…but I don’t.
My head hurts too much to give it much thought.
My sinuses feel like they’ve been filled with molten slag, the burden of which weighs my head down. My neck bends forward to its utmost. My chin rests uncomfortably against my chest and it feels as if my eyelids droop and bulge from the pressure behind them.
I have no strength today for banging my head against the walls of religious privilege.
I try to rest, to catch a moment of sleep, but I can hear them bleating still.
And in the last few days my Facebook feed has filled with reactions ranging from light-hearted references to the Weeping Angels of Dr. Who fame to the far more frightening pseudo-militant “call-to-arms”…,
Okay, so let’s break it down as quickly as possible…,
• Christians erect a monument to the 10 Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capital.
• Humanists and people from other religious groups cry foul, citing (quite correctly) the non-endorsement clause of the U.S. Constitution.
• Oklahoma responds to the accusations of religious favoritism by saying “nuh-uh!” and then claiming that any religious group may petition for a monument on state grounds.
And the floodgates, they were opened!
It seems that a Hindu group has applied for representation. And also, an atheist group calling themselves the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (I love those guys). And not to be left out, the Satanic Temple of New York.
I’m really surprised that there have not been more.
Funny how no one seems to be making much of a fuss about the Hindu or Pastafarian efforts.
No, the big outcry has been all about The Devil.
Except, it’s not.
The Devil, I mean.
The proposed statue is actually a representation of the god Baphomet.
And Baphomet is…,
wait for it…,
The name Baphomet was acquired, under torture, from Knights Templar, who were accused of worshipping “pagan” idols. The word is almost universally understood to have been a mispronunciation of Mohammed, the inference being that the good knights picked up some nasty habits from their Saracen enemies. Aside from that there is no mention of the name found anywhere in antiquity prior to the 11th century.
Baphomet was never a god and was certainly not the Christian Satan.
Even the image upon which the proposed statue is modeled is nothing more than a fabrication, drawn from the mind of occultist Eliphas Levi, in the 19th Century. It’s a fictional rendering of a god-that-never-was. It’s not ‘The Devil’. It’s not even ‘a’ devil.
It’s a thousand year old case of mistaken identity.
Your Devil, my Christian friends, does not exist, except that you make it so.
You give your Devil life when you twist the laws of the land to give yourselves special favors – like allowing only words from your holy text to be depicted in stone on public soil (covetousness).
You give your Devil life when you sneer at the shrines of the gods while pretending that giant marble reproductions of the 10 Commandments, or statues of our war dead and presidents, do not count as idolatry (bearing false witness).
The Satanic Temple of New York may be trying to goad you into doing the right thing (taking down the Commandments memorial) by proposing that ridiculous statue, but they’re not the ones who are truly honoring Satan.
It’s not the Humanists either, or the Pagans, or the Hindus.
No my friends, it’s you.
It always has been.
And it makes my head hurt.