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The conservative case against satanic altars

The conservative case against satanic altars
Photo by Mikita Karasiou / Unsplash

Every society organizes itself around an idea of the sacred. This may sound silly to contemporary ears, but it continues to be true even if modern people have convinced themselves they are too advanced to indulge in such primitive notions.

Statues are monuments designed to inspire reverence, and the kind of statues that a civilization erects, tolerates, or destroys tells you a lot about the character and values of the people. Leftists are perfectly aware of this, which is why they have made the destruction and replacement of statues a central part of their cultural revolution.Subscribe

Activists started with statues of Confederate generals to test the waters, and it worked. Police largely stood by for the destruction, and many conservative commentators even ran rhetorical cover for the iconoclasm by claiming that Confederate statues belong in museums or private collections, not on public display.

Progressive mobs moved predictably to statues of slaveholders, then to anyone remotely connected to slavery, then eventually dropped any pretense and simply started removing everyone from Founding Fathers to Abraham Lincoln. Progressives may mock the notion of the sacred, but they certainly understand the necessity of destroying it.

Nothing exemplifies Christmas in modern America quite like a satanic altar being displayed inside the Iowa Capitol. The enemies of tradition never miss an opportunity to desecrate public spaces, so the local Satanic Temple decided to erect a statue of Baphomet in the capital by exploiting the notion of religious expression.

Predictably, Republican politicians behaved like mewling cowards, refusing to remove the statue. Filled with disgust at the cravenness of elected leaders, former U.S. Navy aviator Michael Cassidy decided to act, beheading the blasphemous statue and leaving the display in ruins.

Religious liberty rightly understood

One would expect that support for the measures taken by Cassidy would fall along partisan lines, but instead, many conservative leaders decided to take the opportunity to lecture Cassidy and other Christians about the First Amendment and the rule of law. Iowa state Rep. Jon Dunwell (R) even made a post on X praising the pluralism and tolerance that made the satanic display possible while warning against the real danger in the United States: Christian nationalism.

It is astonishing and more than a little bit depressing how reliably conservative leaders will adopt the progressive distortion of founding principles and promote it as their own.

Any civilization must prefer its own culture and history to survive, and the United States has been a protestant Christian nation since its inception. That does not mean that some of the other great religions could not be practiced, but Christianity was always given a place of public primacy.

Satanism is not a long-standing faith tradition seeking to commune with the holy. It is a bunch of Reddit atheists being tricked into worshipping evil because they think they are too clever to be fooled by spiritual claptrap.

Religious liberty exists to protect a sincere pursuit of the divine, not the pathetic trolling of sad and lonely atheists. It most certainly does not exist to protect literal monuments to evil inside the state capitol. Neither constitutional conservatism nor Christianity requires the toleration of a satanic altar. The fact that so many leaders would entertain the idea speaks to how vulnerable the right is to legalism.

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