(PM) — The Satanic Temple is working for LGBTQ+ rights.
At least that’s what a new documentary about the Satanic Temple desires to explain.
Hail Satan? is a new documentary directed by US film-maker Penny Lane that documents the Satanic Temple and co-founder Lucien Greaves to describe their beliefs and practices. What the film attains: the group is more focused on advancing social justice and human rights than worshiping the devil himself.
The Temple was established in 2013 and is separate from the Church of Satan, which was established in 1966 by Anton Lavey in San Francisco, California.
The Temple’s purpose is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.” It follows seven tenets which concentrate on empathy, compassion, justice, and bodily autonomy.
“I had heard about the Satanic Temple when they were doing their campaign in Oklahoma,” Lane said, according to BBC News. “I thought it was a very funny joke from afar, that they were sort of pretending to be Satanists, but I discovered they had at that point 50,000 members.”
According to Greaves, the Temple is primarily made up of LGBTQ+ people who feel abandoned and disenfranchised from the established religious institution, saying “we will always fight them, we will fight them to the death to ensure that there are equal rights for the gay community.”
“From the start, when one of our early actions was the Pink Mass, a lot of LGBTQ people were looking for another community that didn’t see them as defined by their sexual orientation,” Greaves states. “Within the Satanic Temple, we’re all pretty much one and the same. We’re all Satanists and it’s not like we have ‘tolerance’ for trans people or gay people or sex workers, we just don’t fucking care, and a lot of people in those communities appreciate that.”
According to Greaves, the Temple is also affiliated with Pride demonstrations around the country and vows to preserve and work for the LGBTQ+ community and their rights. The co-founder also states that he continually experiences death threats from white and Christian supremacy organizations like the Ku Klux Klan.
“One problem is that a lot of the threats come through Facebook and Facebook has their own policies on regulating death threats they have never found a death threat made against the Satanic Temple to be outside their terms of service,” Greaves explains. “There’s always that question whether or not it’s a credible threat. And you just never know until somebody does something radically stupid. But that’s just part of the day to day.”
Hail Satan? is accessible to stream on demand immediately.