Wed, Dec 21, 2016
Well, here we are again looking at the hate and intolerance of the unthinking majority. Today, December 20th, 2016, was the second time that the same Satanic “holiday” display in Boca Raton, Florida was vandalized. I think vandalized is a bit of an understatement to be honest, it was pretty sufficiently destroyed. Granted, that fits within the definition of vandalism but had this been done to a nativity scene I can guarantee that the verbiage would have been much more critical. I can’t really criticize the media for tailoring their coverage to the market that they serve, that is the nature of the media game after all and there’s nothing wrong with that. Those that need to be criticized are the perpetrators of the clearly hate motivated acts.
I won’t sit here and pretend that I’m genuinely offended. I’m personally more amused than offended that someone would be so mad about this display that they would crash their truck into a ten-foot-tall, 300-pound metal frame bearing a pentagram. I must say, I don’t think I’ve ever been angry enough at anyone or anything to crash my car into… well, anything. While I might be amused to some extent, I’d also like to extend my sympathies to Mr. Preston Smith whose hard work had already been defaced prior to today’s incident. The time, effort and money he put into this project that was meant as an expression of his personal beliefs and his personal freedoms hasn’t been an exercise in futility. This incident has again brought some awareness to the hypocrisy of people when it comes to religious freedom.
Clearly there are some less than savory people within the Boca Raton community, who do not take kindly to the expression of religious freedoms that utilize what they feel is taboo or “evil” symbolism. To them, it doesn’t matter that Satanists don’t believe that Satan is an actual being, either living, dead, or undead. It doesn’t matter to them that we don’t practice any sort of magic except for the sake of satire. To put it bluntly, they just don’t care. They want to hate us for the sake of hating us. I’m perfectly fine with that, as I’m sure most other Satanists are, but to what extent is it tolerable? I don’t mind being hated, I tend to say and do things that may not be so popular with most people, but can’t you confine your hatred to the hall of your churches and congregational meeting spaces? Is it necessary to destroy not only private property, but public property as well to express your ignorant rage? If you want to make up a public display of Jesus riding a velociraptor and thrusting a spear into Satan’s mouth, and plant it right next to the pentagram display, that would be perfectly acceptable. Destruction of private and public property is not only unacceptable, but purely disrespectful to all of the other members of the community in which the infractions took place.
I think it would be safe to say that this display, which I might add was well made, didn’t harm anyone. Yes, it offended the easily offended and those in the Boca Raton community that hold their religion near and dear to their hearts, some of which I’m sure are very sweet people who mean well and do their best to respect and tolerate if not accept their neighbors regardless of religious beliefs. The irony here is that the one person that intended to do harm more than likely did more harm to their own property than to the display or the grass of the public grounds where the display resides. If ever there were a fine example of karmatic justice, I think this would be the most relevant.
In closing, I’d like to extend a personal thanks to those people in the Boca Raton community, and everywhere else that would defend the religious freedoms of others that may not have the same beliefs. That’s a tough stance to have, especially if your peers don’t follow you in such a noble pursuit.
-A. Morgan Stern