Christians gathered, prayed and read scriptures outside an Arizona hotel that hosted a three-day event by The Satanic Temple called “SatanCon” that included such sessions as “Raising Children in a Satanic Household” and “Abortion as a (Religious) Right.”
The Catholic demonstrators prayed, read from the Bible, held signs, banners, rosaries, crosses and images of the Virgin Mary outside the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale, the site of the Satanic Temple’s event, which concludes Sunday, Fox 10 reported.
“We’re out here to let the satanists know that there’s no place for evil in Arizona,” a protester was quoted as saying. “And we’re here to combat that. And we’re here to say that Jesus is Lord.”
Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted had said in a statement that Catholics should “refrain from participating in any public demonstration or protest” against the satanic event.
The faithful should instead “unite in spiritual warfare through prayer, fasting and participation in the Sacraments,” the statement read. “These are the most effective spiritual weapons against Satan’s futile attempt at sowing division and confusion in our midst.”
SatanCon included sessions on “Devil’s Food,” “Darwin vs. The Lord of Lies,” “Raising Children in a Satanic Household,” and “After School Satan Club,” among others.
In 2018, The Satanic Temple lost a lawsuit against Scottsdale over its decision not to allow the group to give an invocation at one of the city council meetings two years earlier.
The Scottsdale City Council had given its approval to allow the satanic group to give a less than three-minute invocation at the beginning of one of its meetings in 2016, but later withdrew the offer after facing public backlash. The council said The Satanic Temple was not based in Scottsdale, but Tucson instead, CBN News reported at the time.
In a statement about the event, The Satanic Temple’s co-founder and spokesperson Lucien Greaves said, “In addition to creating a community for our members, SatanCon serves as an expression of our good will toward the city of Scottsdale, despite the perplexing and unfortunate ruling against us which defied precedent and common sense.”
Greaves added, “In the course of litigation, Scottsdale officials desperately made clear that they are, in fact, accepting and inclusive regarding satanists. We heard you, Scottsdale, and we accepted that as an invitation to turn Scottsdale into the Happy Satanic Fun Capital of the World.”
The statement said SatanCon would have talks and presentations on the group’s “efforts to protect members’ reproductive rights, fight psychiatric abuse, protect children from abuse in schools, promote addiction recovery, and build support for TST’s after-school club.”
In 2016, The Satanic Temple launched a nationwide After School Satan Club to counter Christian student organizations in public schools.
The group’s creation came in response to the Christian Good News Club that was meeting at public schools throughout the nation.
Greaves told The Christian Post at the time that the Christian club’s presence at public schools “created the need for a counter-balance in the extracurricular options.”
Moises Esteves, vice president of USA Ministries for Child Evangelism Fellowship, told CP at the time that he believed the Satan club was “yet another atheist PR stunt” that “has no staying power.”
“The ‘After-School Satan Club’ is simply another attention-seeking atheist club. The choice of mascot reveals that its leaders simply hate God, and are trying to provoke or spook parents and schools,” said Esteves. “Like those before it, this club will fizzle out, because parents don't view their children as pawns for a ‘blend of political activism, religious critique and performance art’ by angry atheists.”