Detroit has the largest satanist temple chapter in the US

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    The “largest public satanic ceremony in history” took place last
    Saturday in Detroit, a city that has the largest and oldest chapter of a
    national Satanist organization. 
    The group
    unveiled a nearly 9-foot tall bronze statue of a goat-headed Baphomet in
    a private ceremony attended by 600 ticket holders, Lucien Graves,
    co-founder of the national Satanic Temple organization in Boston. The
    Satanic Temple in Detroit has more than 200 registered members.
    “They are so active and well-organized,” Graves
    said. “There’s probably been another wave of interest since this event.”

    The Detroit chapter is the first of the national organization, Graves
    said. He credits the Detroit chapter’s founder Jex Blackmore with the
    growth of the chapter since it was established there in August 2014.

     

    “It’s more or
    less because of her. She was just a very confident person who started
    working with us,” Graves said further. The pair met in Boston and then
    she moved to Detroit and set up a chapter there.

    Blackmore said it is their largest chapter.
    “I think the Temple appeals to the radical, politically-charged spirit
    of the city and many are drawn to us as a force of positive, effective
    change in this community,” Blackmore said.
    The statue was originally planned to sit at the Oklahoma state capitol,
    but the state’s supreme court banned all religious displays there,
    including the Ten Commandments. The statue was created through $28,180
    fund-raised by 1,041 people on Indiegogo.com last year. The fundraising
    page said the statue’s purpose was to contrast the Ten Commandments
    monument that was previously on display.
    Graves said there are 20 chapters across the country with about 20,000 members as a whole.
    Tickets for Saturday’s event were $25 and the location was revealed only to ticket-holders.
    According to its mission statement, the national organization, The
    Satanic Temple, “facilitates the communication and mobilization of
    politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual
    liberty.” Among the causes it supports are gay marriage, reproductive
    rights and eliminating corporal punishment in schools. The national
    organization does “not promote a belief in a personal Satan.”
    “To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from
    supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions,” the FAQ of
    TheSatanicTemple.com indicates.
    Meanwhile, Christians in Detroit protested the event nearby. The event
    served “as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to
    date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against
    self-serving theocrats,” according to the invitation.
    “People are trying to push religious agenda, whether it’s part of the
    public opinion or not,” Greaves said. “Groups will take it as slander
    against them and it’s just not the case. We don’t really care if they’re
    offended or not.”
    Baphomet was chosen for the statue because of the contemporary
    recognition of it as a satanic figure and it illustrates the
    “reconciliation of opposites,” Blackmore said.
    “The Baphomet is both beast and man, female and male, one hand is
    pointed toward the sky, the other to the ground,” Blackmore said. “It’s
    representative of the dualities of our nature
    Source: ABC News

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