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Christian Protesters Demand Satanism Not Be Protected By First Amendment—Without A Shred Of Irony

Christian Protesters Demand Satanism Not Be Protected By First Amendment—Without A Shred Of Irony
Fox 10 Phoenix/YouTube

Christian protesters took to the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona to protest Satancon, The Satanic Temple's first convention, arguing that the event should not be protected by the First Amendment.

The convention included lectures and panels on causes the Temple has openly supported, including efforts to protect members' reproductive rights, protect children who are facing abuse in schools, and fight psychiatric abuse.

There is also a rich sense of irony to these protests.

The Satanic Temple, contrary to protesters' allegations that it promotes Satanism and is a detriment to the nation's youth, is a nontheistic religious and human rights group whose website makes clear "promotes egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of religion and state."

You can see video of the protests below.

People gather in Scottsdale for protest against SatanCon despite plea by Catholic

Protesters, spurred by prominent conservatives, including Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, demanded that the three-day event, which took place between February 11 and 13 and ws held on private property, be shut down by the government.

Kirk himself asserted that "Satan Conferences should not be protected by the First Amendment" and suggested that the nation's Framers would not have included The Satanic Temple's efforts in their remarks about "the fruits of liberty."

Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves later responded by highlighting one of Kirk's older tweets in which Kirk stated that free speech includes "having to hear stuff you don't want to hear," suggesting that Kirk's point of view changes depending on who has the podium.

And indeed, to suggest that the Satanic Temple's right to free speech not be protected is to suggest that the government should have the authority to shut down any and all speech it does not endorse, which would in itself constitute a violation of the First Amendment.

Additionally, Christian conservatives nationwide have often accused the government of violating their First Amendment rights when not calling on the government to strip First Amendment rights from anyone they might happen to disagree with.

Late last year, for instance, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn called for the United States to have a single religion, a claim that goes directly against the First Amendment, which, among others, decrees that Congress "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Many have pointed out that these behaviors are especially hypocritical considering Christian conservatives' criticisms of "cancel culture" and The Satanic Temple's free speech advocacy.

The Satanic Temple's event took place a year after it lost a federal lawsuit against Scottsdale. The Temple alleged a member of the Arizona chapter had been the victim of religious discrimination because they were not allowed to give an invocation at a City Council meeting in 2016.

Although the Temple appealed the ruling, it was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

The city claimed at the time that the organization was turned away because it had no significant ties to Scottsdale, an argument the Temple turned on its head when it announced its conference and dedicated it to former Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and Councilmember Suzanne Klapp, who both left office in January.