The Satanic Temple in the US aims to provide Devil’s Advocate Scholarship to high school students for pursuing higher education. It is an organization that fights to separate religion and social affairs by using satanic symbols. The temple promotes freedom of religion by highlighting religious hypocrisies. According to their mission statement, they want to encourage equalitarianism, benevolence, and empathy among all people.
It has started to collect submissions from graduates of 2020 and announced to reward two lucky winners with 500 USD as a scholarship fund. The application submission period started from Monday and more than 50 applications have been received according to the co-founder of the organization. The requests for the scholarship are open until 31st August and the winners will be announced on the temple’s website on 15th September.
How Can A Student Earn Scholarship From The Satanic Temple?
Applicants are asked to submit a creative response in the shape of an essay, drawing, imagery, video, or a poem. A creative response allows the applicant to use own imagination and a channel of own choice. For a chance at the scholarship, creative response is required for two main questions.
The first question asks the applicants about what they have done to promote temple’s tenets. There are seven tenets of The Satanic Temple mentioned on their website which are fundamental for every member to follow:
- Striving for compassion and empathy towards every creature
- The persistent struggle for justice must prevail over institutions and law.
- Body is a sacred object which is only subject to person’s own will.
- Respecting the freedom of others even if they are offending. A person lets go his own freedom when he disrupts someone else’s.
- Member’s belief system must be inspired from the scientific view of the world. It is not recommended to distort scientific facts to match personal belief system.
- People are weak and imperfect so when someone makes a mistake, one must try to rectify and solve any issue that may have been caused.
- If a person exhibits wisdom, compassion, and justice in spirit then it would have a higher value than the spoken or written information.
These are guiding principles for members to encourage nobility with their thoughts and actions. The second question is regarding a description of a particular teacher which crushed student’s spirit, undermined his self-confidence, and made him hate every minute of school.
Why The Satanic Temple Is Offering Scholarship?
The co-founder of the temple said that the idea of a Devil’s Advocate Scholarship came because one of their former students was having trouble in getting scholarship at her school. The student was asking for a letter of recommendation on the request of the new school if she wanted to avail the religious scholarship there. The student did not receive the scholarship which disappointed the co-founder. He saw this as an opportunity to offer scholarship that reflects the values of his organization.
The temple is involved in activism as well. In 2013, they brought little children in Texas State Capitol who chanted words like Fuck You, Hail Satan, and Stay Out of My Mommy’s Vagina. In 2015, they held a counter-protest against the Planned Parenthood protest by anti-abortionist group. This counter-protest was also conducted with theatrics in which an actor playing clergy was pouring milk on kneeling female actresses. In 2016, the members wore fetish clothing, baby masks, and diapers before engaging in flagellation (self-harm). The temple said that this protest was to expose the anti-choice protests like Planned Parenthood as fetal worshipping tactics.
The Satanic Temple Does Not Follow Satanism?
Members of the temple believe that the Satan or Devil is not an actual being but just a literary construct. The literary version of Devil is used to represent the ultimate rebel against social constructs and authorities. They think people are confused and cannot differentiate between schooling and learning. The advertisements of the temple advocate about pursuit of knowledge because according to them students are being mistreated in schools and the real education is concealed from them.
The Satanic Temple used eerie symbols to attract members towards their ideology. They think it is the hypocrisy of Christian symbols on government property and everyone needs to know. In 2019, it was classified as a church and is officially exempted from Tax. It has also petitioned to build a massive Baphomet statue for years. It is a deformed humanoid figure Templars were accused of worshipping. Its head is shaped like a goat with horns and body resembles a human like creature with both male and female features. This symbol is linked to Satan in most literary concepts.