Just the word “Satan” sends so many people in a tizzy. That fact alone should tell you that America is a country that has decided that it was “founded in Christianity” even when historically it was not. But this documentary, Hail Satan?, will provide you with much more proof of this perspective of America. You want to separate Church and State? Yeah, good luck. but that won’t stop the Satanic Temple from trying.
Hail Satan? is a look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple.
You might be thinking, “Hey, isn’t that the same as the Church of Satan? Well, no, not really. Though the Satanic Temple is a sort of off-shoot of the Church of Satan, they are not the same group. Without going into too much detail here, the Satanic Temple is most definitely more of a political activist group than the Church of Satan. You might even say they’re pranksters.
Founded in 2013 as a jab at religious conservatism, the organization has since transitioned into a fully sincere spiritual movement itself, one advocating principles of nonviolence, religious pluralism, scientific inquiry, individual liberty and fantasy cosplay/goth attire. To date, the temple has attracted thousands of members worldwide, people who see themselves as outcasts disillusioned by traditional spirituality but still searching for a sense of community and purpose in their lives. Really, watch this film and find out for yourself. It’s a very informative documentary. I could recommend it for that aspect alone.
But you should also see this film because the footage of the Satanic Temple organizing and doing demonstrations on various city hall’s steps are just too priceless to miss. There’s a level of pot-stirring and maybe not just a little sarcasm to co-founder and spokesperson, Lucien Greaves speeches. There’s definitely some amount of poking fun woven into his – and the Satanic Temple’s – message of shining a light on subjects such as religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
There is a lot of fascinating history here; about America’s beginnings as well as the Satanic Temple (Why that name? It was available.) I admit that I do have an interest in the Church of Satan and the Satanic Temple. I’ve never been terribly religious, and the older I got, the more I questioned organized religion. I find most reasonable minds are not what you might call Christian ‘church-goers’.
A considerable part of Hail Satan? is dedicated to the relationship of Church and State, and how they have become far too intertwined. The Temple’s logic is this: Whenever a public institution passes a new law on religious freedom grounds, the Satanists believe Satanism should get the same rights alongside Christianity and everyone else. So when Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill allowing student-led prayer in public schools, the Satanic Temple hold a press conference outside the state capitol in Tallahassee, where a horned and cloaked spokesman “thanks” the governor on behalf of all the Satanic children who can now pray in school. And when some public schools start offering after-school Bible study clubs, here’s “After School Satan,” complete with devil-themed coloring books.
Needless to say, Christians are none too pleased about this and rail against the Temple with all their might. The Christians act decidedly…UNchristian-like toward the Temple members. So much irony.
But even the Satanic Temple has some bumps in the road as a group. Even though they have a general governing system to make sure each respective chapter conveys the same message, sometimes you get a dissident member that needs to be removed from the organization. There’s always ONE heretic in every group, right?
And in case you were wondering, documentary director Penny Lane (Our Nixon, Nuts!), keeps things balanced here. She isn’t preaching one thing or another. She presents a fair picture of the Satanic Temple.
Hail Satan? is really informative and quite entertaining. I definitely recommend people see Hail Satan? for both the enlightenment of who and what they are, and for the entertainment this film offers. I would most certainly recommend this film to people who don’t know much about the Satanic Temple, or those whose knee-jerk reaction is to simply scoff at it and think it’s all just propaganda for the Devil and a sin against God-fearing humanity. But, yeah, pretty sure that last group of people won’t get past the word ‘Satan’, let alone go see it. It’s always the ones who need it most that spurn it.
Easily four out of five kittenhands! Go see this Hail Satan?!
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, just reminding folks that there is some…grown up stuff in this. You know, like some nudity and ritual stuff. Ok, that makes it sound so much worse that it is. One scene that vegans won’t like. And some boobs and penis’s. Get over it. 😉