The Satanic Temple, a Satanic church based in the Salem, Massachusetts, recently made headlines after claiming they are the first Satanic organization in United States’ history to be officially recognized by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as a religion. In fact, they have been granted section 501(c) tax exempt status, just like other religions and organizations.
This means that the Satanic Temple can apply for federal grants and those who “donate money to the group can also write it off as a tax deduction,” according to a Daily Mail article. The report likewise tells us that the Satanic Temple has 16 chapters scattered in the U.S. and thousands of followers across the globe.
Lucien Greaves, founder of the group, issued a statement saying that the IRS recognition will be able to “lay to rest any suspicion that we don’t meet the qualifications of a true religious organization.”
“Satanism is here to stay,” declared Greaves.
According to one member, followers consider Satan as “a symbol against tyrannical authority.”
In one of their protests, they successfully stopped the erection of a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol, insisting that the statue of goat-headed Baphomet should likewise be given “equal prominence.”
Founded in 2013, the Satanic Temple has ironically been listed on the IRS website under the ‘Cause Area’ and is listed ‘Christian.’
As Greaves pointed out in his statement:
“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.”
Satanic Temple labels itself as “the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature – that of a carnal beast” but also declares that their Seven Tenets include “the spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.”
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