Bravo to Magnolia Pictures for having the bravery to release Hail Satan! This documentary shows the political activism of members of the Satanic Temple. And although their methods are not for everyone; what they are trying to do is of importance to every citizen who values their civil liberties.
The Satanic Temple was formed by Lucien Greaves to raise attention to issues of separation of state and religion. He chose Satan because this is the image of defiance against authority. This also allows for some campy demonstrations with protesters wearing cheap Halloween costumes. While this may sound in jest, it is not. The members are all well-educated and they vote.
The film focuses on the fight over a plague of the Ten Commandments being placed on capitol grounds in Alabama. The Satanic Temple argues that religious statues and symbols should not be allowed on government property, stating separation of church and state as the reason. They argued that if the Christian religion is represented, then so should all religions.
Other political fights being taken on by The Satanic Temple include reproductive rights, freedom of speech and religious presence in public schools.
The Satanic Temple recently won a major battle when it became the first satanic church to be recognized as a religion by the IRS. This allows for tax exemption and all the other privileges of a recognized religion in the United States.
“In light of theocratic assaults upon the Separation of Church and State in the legislative efforts to establish a codified place of privilege for one religious viewpoint, we feel that accepting religious tax-exemption — rather than renouncing it in protest — can help us to better assert our claims to equal access and exemption while laying to rest any suspicion that we don’t meet the qualifications of a true religious organization,” said Lucien Greaves. “Satanism is here to stay.”
While most may scoff or even be revolted by their methods, one can’t help but to like and even admire them for their efforts.