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Texas Churches Hold Prayer Ahead of Satanic Temple ‘Repeal of Baptism’

TYLER, TX (KETK) — As rain poured down Friday afternoon, some East Texans prayed ahead of a “no-baptism event” planned in Tyler by the Dallas-Fort Worth-area Satanic Temple.

“I wanted to get a group of people to come down before tomorrow’s event and just pray and exercise our freedom of religion,” said Lauren Ettredge-Langos, a member of The Pines Church in Tyler.

For context, satanic templedespite its name, does not worship a biblical figure—or even believe in Satan exists – but operates more as an advocacy group, saying it aims to “encourage empathy, reject tyrannical authority”, in addition to promoting “common sense” and “opposing injustice”. The group has made many legal challenges to (often conservative) laws that can only protect or promote Christianity, such as A hill reports.

The Satanic Temple is often confused with the former Church of Satan, founded in the 1960s, whose activities (inflicting pain, animal sacrifice) the Satanic Temple condemns completely, according to its website. It is especially remarkable that the temple has anti-LGBTQ lawmakers protested and organizations and contested abortion bans by the Republican Partysaying the bans violate his belief that only people have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

According to its website, the Temple says “unbaptism” is an event in which “participants renounce superstitions that may have been imposed on them without their consent as children” — essentially religious beliefs that adults want to part with.

Still, some members of a local church in Tyler said they felt called to gather Friday.

“As Christians, we are called to the spiritual battlefield, and I think this is an opportunity to show our strength in our relationship with Christ,” Ettredge-Langos explained.

Members of the nearby WOW Church said they did not know about the prayer meeting, but still felt called to invite the pastors to the square after hearing about the event at the Temple.

“We didn’t come down to be militant, we didn’t come down to bash anybody’s religion, but we wanted to stand as believers and pray,” said WOW Church Pastor Donnell Walder.

Ettredge-Langos says she expects some church groups to emerge to confront Temple members.

What does the satanic temple believe?

The Satanic Temple says it has seven basic principles:

  1. One must strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all beings in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is a constant and necessary aspiration that must prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. The human body is inviolable, subject only to one’s own will.
  4. We should respect the freedoms of others, including the freedom to offend. Deliberately and unjustly encroaching on another’s freedom means giving up one’s own.
  5. Beliefs must be consistent with the best scientific understanding of the world. One should never distort scientific facts to suit one’s beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If someone has made a mistake, every effort should be made to correct it and repair any damage that may have been caused.
  7. Each principle is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.


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