The Incontinence of Evil (Amateur Hour)

--- @smithmarion: Evil appears to be incontinent in 2020: Antifa protestors sacrifice heart of a mammal to the "god of chaos" in satanic ritual on an American street in Boston. @ChurchofSatan: [Replying to @smithmarion] This is not a satanic ritual, nor does is have anything to do with Satanism. [via Twitter (/1318291564838281216), 19 October 2020] NOTE: The footage actually depicts a group of people re-enacting a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The incontinence of Evil aside, it occurs to wonder if, amid the constant stream of accusation, the Church ever takes a moment to sit back, sigh indulgently, raise a glass to Satan, and murmur, “Fuckin’ amateurs.”


Image note: After anticommunist activist Marion Smith warned that, “Evil appears to be incontinent in 2020”, the Church of Satan denied responsibility for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, explaining, “This is not a satanic ritual, nor does [it] have anything to do with Satanism.” Via Twitter, 19 October 2020.

Kansas, Failing to Cope

Great Seal of Kansas (detail)

It is a Kansas thing:

A federal judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that science standards for Kansas public schools promote atheism and violate the religious freedoms of students and parents.

(Associated Press)

There are a number of questions one might wonder about, but perhaps it is time we pause to consider what, exactly, these religious fanatics are doing to their children.

That is to say, we are accustomed to the fundamental argument, and it really does seem a matter of one being unable to tell the difference between unlike things. Thirty years ago groups representing parents, churches, and politicians unleashed a daily spiel about how children were not smart enough to listen to music.

Here’s one: Have you heard Trans Siberian Orchestra? Okay, you know that song they play toward the end of the set, called, “Believe”? It was first recorded in 1990 by Savatage, and describes the epiphany of an unfortunate soul stumbling into the light. But think about that for a minute, one of our best new Christmas songs comes from a band once denounced on a regular basis as being satanic.

Sometimes it seemed a matter of simple jealousy; the “Christian” version of pop music does not seem to carry very far outside its dedicated audience. Those who remember the South Park episode “Faith Plus One”, and the crack about how Christian pop sounded like lust songs about Jesus, need only look back to this time in order to understand where that joke comes from. Brief moments of exposure over the years suggest it hasn’t gotten any better, but if one had to guess without knowing who Stryper was, would “Calling On You” sound like an appeal to salvation or begging for some fumbling teenage intimacy?Stryper

It was a futile effort to keep children away from popular music, but it also made one point clear: These people do not believe their kids are smart enough to listen to pop music.

Over the years, religious advocates have humiliated themselves. Christian censorship advocate Bob Larson demonstrated himself unable to comprehend liner notes, and, furthermore, could be caught rewriting the lyrics to some of the songs he complained about in order to make musicians sound scary.

The psychopathology of the underlying parental fear is open to certain argument, but functionally speaking the argument was clear: I do not trust my child to be smart enough to resist what I find objectionable and scary about the music. It is what it is.

But here is a new proposition: I do not trust my chiled to be smart enough to resist what I find objectionable and scary about science.