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Hundreds Gather for Unveiling of Satanic Statue in Detroit

A little before midnight on Saturday, a crowd of around 700 gathered in an old industrial warehouse a few blocks from the Detroit River for what they’d been told was the “largest public satanic ceremony in history.” Most of them professed to be adherents of Satanism, that loosely organized squad of the occult that defines itself as a religious group. Others came simply because they were curious. After all, Satanists exist in the popular psyche as those who casually sacrifice goats and impregnate Mia Farrow with Lucifer’s child if this ceremony was indeed unprecedentedly big, who knew what could be in store?

The reality of the event &mdash and of the contemporary Satanic movement at large &mdash was tamer, and, if the Facebook pictures speak the truth, harmlessly festive: a cross between an underground rave and a meticulously planned Halloween party. They were there to publicly unveil a colossal bronze statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed wraith who, after centuries of various appropriations, is now the totem of contemporary Satanism. The pentagram, that familiar logo of both orthodox Satanists and disaffected teens, originated as a rough outline of Baphomet’s head.

The statue itself is impressive: almost nine feet tall, and weighing in at around a ton. The horned idol sits on a throne adorned with a pentagram, but it is the idol’s wings, and not his chair, that curiously evoke the Iron Throne from a certain celebrated HBO fantasy series. He has the jarring horns of a virile ram but the biceps of a guy who lifts four or five times a week. His legs, which are crossed, end not in feet but in hooves. It might seem more menacing if not for the two bronze-statue children standing on either side of him &mdash a girl on his left a boy on his right both are looking up at him earnestly.

“Baphomet contains binary elements symbolizing a reconciliation of opposites, emblematic of the willingness to embrace, and even celebrate differences,” Jex Blackmore, who organized the unveiling, told TIME late Sunday night. In a sense, the statue is a stress test of American plurality: at what point does religious freedom make the people uncomfortable?

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Was Theodore Roosevelt Racist? Controversial NY Statue to Be Removed

A controversial statue of President Theodore Roosevelt will be removed from the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The monument of Roosevelt on horseback flanked by two men&mdashone Native American and one African&mdashhas presided over the museum's Central Park West entrance since the 1940s, but has long been decried by critics as a symbol of racism and colonialism.

The decision to remove it was proposed by the museum amid a nationwide reckoning on racism sparked by weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had approved the museum's request on Sunday, adding that it was the "right time to remove this problematic statue."

"The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior," de Blasio said in a statement to Newsweek.

"The City supports the Museum's request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue."

In a tweet, President Donald Trump expressed his objection to the removal. "Ridiculous, don't do it!" he wrote.

Officials have not yet determined when the statue will come down and where it will go when that happens, according to The New York Times.

Ellen Futter, the museum's president, told the newspaper that it was the statue's "hierarchical" composition and not Roosevelt himself that was being objected to.

"Over the last few weeks, our Museum community has been profoundly moved by the ever-widening movement for racial justice that has emerged after the killing of George Floyd," she said in a statement to Newsweek.

"We have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism."

Theodore Roosevelt IV, the late president's great-grandson and a trustee of the museum, said in a statement that he supports the statue's removal because its composition does not reflect Roosevelt's legacy.

"The world does not need statues, relics of another age, that reflect neither the values of the person they intend to honor nor the values of equality and justice," he said.

"The composition of the Equestrian Statue does not reflect Theodore Roosevelt's legacy. It is time to move the statue and move forward."

Futter said the museum will continue to honor Roosevelt, who she described as a "leading conservationist" and whose father was a founding member of the institution, by naming its Hall of Biodiversity for him. It already has a number of spaces named after him, including Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and the Theodore Roosevelt Park outside.

The museum's decision to remove the bronze statue comes almost three years after red liquid representing blood was splashed across the statue's base as part of a protest.

In a statement posted online, a group calling themselves the Monument Removal Brigade called for its removal, saying it embodied "patriarchy, white supremacy and settler-colonialism."

"Now the statue is bleeding," it said. "We did not make it bleed. It is bloody at its very foundation."

Last year, the museum hosted an exhibition called Addressing the Statue that explained the history of the monument as well as contemporary reactions to it.

"We are proud of that work, which helped advance our and the public's understanding of the Statue and its history and promoted dialogue about important issues of race and cultural representation, but in the current moment, it is abundantly clear that this approach is not sufficient," Futter said.

She added: "We recognize that more work is needed to better understand not only the statue, but our own history.

"As we strive to advance our institution's, our City's, and our country's passionate quest for racial justice, we believe that removing the Statue will be a symbol of progress and of our commitment to build and sustain an inclusive and equitable Museum community and broader society."

Roosevelt served as New York's governor before becoming the nation's 26th president after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901.

But critics have long decried his racist opinions and noted that he was an aggressive imperialist who led American expansion into colonies in the Caribbean and the Pacific, including Puerto Rico and Guam, believing colonization was necessary to civilize "backward" nations.

An article about Roosevelt on the Smithsonian website describes him as "a racist" who "thought African Americans to be inferior to white citizens."

His election in 1904 marked one of the first Presidential administrations "openly opposed to civil rights and suffrage for blacks," according to a PBS report.

The report noted that while Roosevelt is remembered for inviting Booker T. Washington, a Black leader, to the White House for dinner, the invitation was not "to improve the situation of blacks, but because they agreed that blacks should not strive for political and social equality."

Debate has raged amid ongoing anti-racism protests across the country about whether monuments to offensive historical figures should be pulled down.

In recent weeks, statues of Confederate leaders and other controversial figures who perpetuated racial injustice, such as Christopher Columbus, have been defaced or toppled by protesters.


How the US Got So Many Confederate Monuments

While every statue in every town has a different origin, taken together, the roughly 700 Confederate monuments in the United States tell a national story. Many of these commemorations of those on the losing side of the Civil War are a lot newer than one might think.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which maintains a list of these monuments, the memorials are spread over 31 states plus the District of Columbia�r exceeding the 11 Confederate states that seceded at the outset of the Civil War.

Most of these monuments did not go up immediately after the war’s end in 1865. During that time, commemorative markers of the Civil War tended to be memorials that mourned soldiers who had died, says Mark Elliott, a history professor at University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

A New Orleans city worker wearing body armor and a face covering as he prepares to remove the Jefferson Davis monument on May 4, 2017. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

𠇎ventually they started to build [Confederate] monuments,” he says. “The vast majority of them were built between the 1890s and 1950s, which matches up exactly with the era of Jim Crow segregation.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s research, the biggest spike was between 1900 and the 1920s.

In contrast to the earlier memorials that mourned dead soldiers, these monuments tended to glorify leaders of the Confederacy like General Robert E. Lee, former President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davisਊnd General “Thomas Stonewall” Jackson.

𠇊ll of those monuments were there to teach values to people,” Elliott says. “That’s why they put them in the city squares. That’s why they put them in front of state buildings.” Many earlier memorials had instead been placed in cemeteries.

The values these monuments stood for, he says, included a “glorification of the cause of the Civil War.”

White women were instrumental in raising funds to build these Confederate monuments. The United Daughters of the Confederacy, founded in the 1890s, was probably the most important and influential group, Elliott says.

In fact, the group was responsible for creating what is basically the Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy: a gigantic stone carving of Davis, Lee and Jackson in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Its production began in the 1910s, and it was completed in the 1960s.

The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the center of Emancipation Park the day after the Unite the Right rally led to violence on August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the statue and change the name of the space from Lee Park to Emancipation Park.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By then, the construction of new Confederate monuments had begun to taper off, but the backlash to the Civil Rights Movement was spreading Confederate symbols in other ways: In 1956, Georgia redesigned its state flag to include the Confederate battle flag and in 1962, South Carolina placed the flag atop its capitol building. In a 2016 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center said that the country’s more than 700 monuments were part of roughly 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces.

Protesters and city officials have gradually taken down statues in multiple towns and cities. The Southern Poverty Law Center਎stimates that, as of February 2019,ਊt least 138 Confederate symbols had been removed from public spaces since 2015. 

More statues were targeted following protests over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. On June 9,�, protesters toppled a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia. And Governor Ralph Northamਊnnouncedꃪrlier that month that he planned to order the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond𠅊 former capital of the Confederacy—to be removed.


Confederate Statues Were Built To Further A 'White Supremacist Future'

Crews worked to remove the statue of Supreme Court judge and segregationist Roger Taney from the front lawn of the Maryland State House late Thursday night. Taney wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that defended slavery and said black Americans could never be citizens. Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images hide caption

Crews worked to remove the statue of Supreme Court judge and segregationist Roger Taney from the front lawn of the Maryland State House late Thursday night. Taney wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that defended slavery and said black Americans could never be citizens.

Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

As President Trump doubled down on his defense of Confederate statues and monuments this week, he overlooked an important fact noted by historians: The majority of the memorials seem to have been built with the intention not to honor fallen soldiers, but specifically to further ideals of white supremacy.

More than 30 cities either have removed or are removing Confederate monuments, according to a list compiled by The New York Times, and the president said Thursday that in the process, the history and culture of the country was being "ripped apart."

Groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans defend the monuments, arguing they are an important part of history. One of the leaders of that group, Carl V. Jones, wrote a letter on Aug. 14 condemning the violence and "bigotry" displayed in Charlottesville, but he also denounced "the hatred being leveled against our glorious ancestors by radical leftists who seek to erase our history."

That letter to "compatriots" was signed the day before Trump's raucous press conference, in which he also cast blame on what he called the "alt-left" — comments for which he faced criticism from business leaders, nonprofits and members of his own party, among others.

The Two-Way

Charlottesville Victim's Mother Says She Will Not Take Trump's Calls

Yet many historians say the argument about preserving Southern history doesn't hold up when you consider the timing of when the "beautiful" statues, as Trump called them, went up.

"Most of the people who were involved in erecting the monuments were not necessarily erecting a monument to the past," said Jane Dailey, an associate professor of history at the University of Chicago."But were rather, erecting them toward a white supremacist future."

The most recent comprehensive study of Confederate statues and monuments across the country was published by the Southern Poverty Law Center last year. A look at this chart shows huge spikes in construction twice during the 20th century: in the early 1900s, and then again in the 1950s and 60s. Both were times of extreme civil rights tension.

A portion of the Southern Poverty Law Center's graph showing when Confederate monuments and statues were erected across the country. Southern Poverty Law Center hide caption

A portion of the Southern Poverty Law Center's graph showing when Confederate monuments and statues were erected across the country.

In the early 1900s, states were enacting Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise black Americans. In the middle part of the century, the civil rights movement pushed back against that segregation.

History

Who Are The Confederate Men Memorialized With Statues?

James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, says that the increase in statues and monuments was clearly meant to send a message.

"These statues were meant to create legitimate garb for white supremacy," Grossman said. "Why would you put a statue of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson in 1948 in Baltimore?"

Grossman was referencing the four statues that came down earlier this week in the city. After the violence in Charlottesville, Va., when a counterprotester was killed while demonstrating, and the action in Durham, N.C., where a crowd pulled down a Confederate statue themselves, the mayor of Baltimore ordered that city to remove its statues in the dead of night.

"They needed to come down," said Mayor Catherine Pugh, according to The Baltimore Sun. "My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

Thousands of Marylanders fought in the Civil War, as NPR's Bill Chappell noted, but nearly three times as many fought for the Union as for the Confederacy.

Code Switch

How Charlottesville Looks From Berlin

Around the Nation

Sitting 26 Feet High Atop A Horse, Gen. Lee Becomes A Lightning Rod For Discontent

Still, in 1948, the statues went up.

"Who erects a statue of former Confederate generals on the very heels of fighting and winning a war for democracy?" writes Dailey, in a piece for HuffPost, referencing the just-ended World War II. "People who want to send a message to black veterans, the Supreme Court, and the president of the United States, that's who."

Statues and monuments are often seen as long-standing, permanent fixtures, but such memorabilia take effort, planning and politics to get placed, especially on government property. In an interview with NPR, Dailey said it's impossible to separate symbols of the Confederacy from the values of white supremacy. In comparing Robert E. Lee to Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday, President Trump doesn't seem to feel the same.

Dailey pointed to an 1861 speech by Alexander Stephens, who would go on to become vice president of the Confederacy.

"[Our new government's] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man," Stevens said, in Savannah, Ga. "That slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition."

To build Confederate statues, says Dailey, in public spaces, near government buildings, and especially in front of court houses, was a "power play" meant to intimidate those looking to come to the "seat of justice or the seat of the law."

Politics

FACT CHECK: 'Whatabout' Those Other Historical Figures? Trump's Question Answered

"I think it's important to understand that one of the meanings of these monuments when they're put up, is to try to settle the meaning of the war" Dailey said. "But also the shape of the future, by saying that elite Southern whites are in control and are going to build monuments to themselves effectively."

"And those monuments will endure and whatever is going around them will not."


DIGNITY: OF EARTH & SKY

She casts a peaceful gaze across the waters of the Missouri River. During the day, the South Dakota wind brushes the diamonds in her star quilt, causing blue shades to twinkle in the sunlight. At night, she stands illuminated and strong. She is Dignity.

The Dignity sculpture is a stunning combination of art and history. Located on a bluff between exits 263 and 265 on Interstate 90 near Chamberlain, the stainless steel, 50-foot-tall statue was specifically designed by sculptor Dale Lamphere to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people. That’s why he used three Native American models ages 14, 29 and 55 to perfect the face of Dignity.

“Dignity represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota,” Lamphere said. “My hope is that the sculpture might serve as a symbol of respect and promise for the future.”

Representing the rich Native American culture of South Dakota, the 50-foot Native woman gracefully wears a dress patterned after a two-hide Native dress of the 1850s. She holds outstretched a quilt featuring 128 stainless steel blue diamond shapes designed to flutter in the wind. During the day, her star quilt – a representation of respect, honor and admiration in Native American culture – glitters in the sun with color-changing pieces that move with the wind. At night, LED lights cause the diamond shapes to glow in the night sky, casting a peaceful presence easily visible from the Interstate.

The statue was a $1 million gift from Norm and Eunabel McKie of Rapid City to all people of South Dakota. The couple announced the gift in 2014 to celebrate South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood. (Norm McKie joked that it’s not always easy to spend a million dollars but, when Dignity was announced, McKie said he was “all smiles.”)

“This gift will mean a lot to South Dakota," said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “In addition to being the state of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, South Dakota will also be the state of the Dignity statue.”

Because the statue is located just off Interstate 90, visitors have no problem making Dignity part of their South Dakota experience, whether they're driving west to the Black Hills or east to the state's wide-open prairies and sky. Dignity is easily accessible from the rest area's large parking lot, so visitors of all mobility levels can easily get from vehicle to statue. Expanding on the experience is easy too, since Chamberlain – located just across Interstate 90 – is home to both the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and the South Dakota Hall of Fame. You can also grab a bite to eat in town or across the bridge in neighboring Oacoma.

Since its installation in 2016, Dignity has wowed visitors from across the globe. Some knew what they were searching for, unsurprising since word has spread across the country about South Dakota’s newest sculpture since its installation. Some saw Dignity from the road and quickly pulled off to investigate. Some came looking only for a rest stop and found themselves mesmerized by Dignity’s quiet grace. Whatever the reason, Dignity leaves an impression on visitors. Her gaze will never break and her beauty – and message – will be celebrated for generations. As one of the hundreds of sculptures that make up the South Dakota Arts and Sculpture Trail, Dignity stands proud with an air of peace and tolerance, inviting you to join her in taking in a sweeping view of the Missouri River and the beautiful South Dakota landscape.


Chicago statues of Columbus, Presidents Washington and Lincoln among commission’s list of 41 controversial monuments throughout city

Statues of Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley, as well as the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, were among the 41 public statues and other commemorative markers identified on a list from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration on Wednesday for further review as part of “a racial healing and historical reckoning project” started last summer.

The city launched a website on Wednesday detailing the controversial monuments flagged by the mayor’s commission on monuments. Other statues on the list included a monument to President Ulysses S. Grant, a Benjamin Franklin statue, a police memorial tied to the Haymarket Riot and a statue of Leif Ericson at Humboldt Park.

Disputes over the city’s Columbus statues erupted last summer between protesters and police, including a violent clash at Grant Park. Lightfoot removed the statues but said the move would only be “temporary.”

Not all 41 monuments will be taken down, city officials said, but they merit further discussion. It remains unclear whether the city will bring back the Columbus statues, as Lightfoot suggested.

“This project is a powerful opportunity for us to come together as a city to assess the many monuments and memorials across our neighborhoods and communities — to face our history and what and how we memorialize that history,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Given the past year and in particular the past summer that made clear history isn’t past, it is essential that residents are a part of this conversation.”

Even before the unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, cities around the country were grappling with controversies over monuments that celebrate Columbus, Confederate leaders and other historical figures. Some have been marked with graffiti. Others have been pulled down.

Activists have urged that public art do a better job of representing a broad spectrum of American life, something Lightfoot said the Chicago effort will accomplish.

As part of that, city officials said the Chicago Monuments Project seeks ideas from individual artists and community groups “for the development of new monuments that rethink the place, purpose and permanence of monuments in our public spaces.” The deadline is April 1.

Throughout the country, activists have criticized cities for not honoring women and people of color. In Chicago, women and minorities aren’t altogether absent from the city’s public art, but they are underrepresented.

A statue of the prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks was unveiled on the South Side in 2018. And the Harold Washington Library Center contains multiple artistic tributes to Chicago’s first Black mayor. The city renamed Congress Parkway for journalist Ida B. Wells in 2018.

Other cities have used temporary sculptures to explore the issue of expanding representation.

Before 2017, for example, Philadelphia’s roughly 1,500 pieces of public art and monuments did virtually nothing to recognize people of color and real women (as opposed to mythological figures). Then two arts organizations, Mural Arts Philadelphia and Monument Lab, mounted a temporary citywide exhibition of 10 works by local and internationally known artists that shook things up.

Artist Hank Willis Thomas offered a giant Afro pick that tapered to a Black power fist at the end of its handle. Titled “All Power to All People,” the 800-pound, aluminum-and-steel sculpture was provocatively placed near a bronze statue of Frank Rizzo, a former Philadelphia mayor and police commissioner who for many Philadelphians was a symbol of police brutality directed at African Americans and other people of color.

The discussion over history and monuments has continued into 2021, as San Francisco recently scrapped 44 school names.

The issue came to a head in Chicago last July, when activists forcibly attempted to remove the prominent statue of Columbus in Grant Park, leading to violent clashes between police and protesters. Nearly a week later, Lightfoot took down Columbus statues in Grant Park and Little Italy. Lightfoot later removed a lesser-known statue in the South Chicago neighborhood.

Columbus has been condemned by activists around the country who point to the Italian explorer’s mistreatment of Indigenous people after he landed in the Americas in 1492.

Many Italian Americans prize the statues of the explorer as an expression of their mainstream American identity.

Editors note: This story has been updated to reflect there are 41 public statues and other commemorative markers on the city’s list.


The Evolution of Modern Satanism in the United States

T his weekend, hundreds of adherents and observers flocked to a Detroit warehouse to witness the unveiling of a statue erected on behalf of the Satanic Temple. As organizer Jex Blackmore told TIME, the Satanic Temple isn’t quite a religious organization, but rather a group of people who prioritize human logic. One of the meanings of the monument, Blackmore added, is to celebrate “a reconciliation of opposites”&mdashparticularly in relation to the public display of monuments of other faiths.

But, though the new statue has earned the Satanic Temple a fresh round of attention, Satanism has a long tradition.

In the early 1970s, interest in the occult in American culture was so high that TIME devoted a cover story to the topic, and a large portion of it was focused on Satanism. As the story pointed out, the idea of “the Devil” is an ancient one, predating the Old Testament’s coinage of Satan. The early days of Christianity saw the development of a theology about Satan, and an increase of his agency and power in religious stories. Narratives outside the biblical canon expanded that characterization by the 13th century, Satan was seen to be mighty (and popular) enough to be worthy of condemnation.

“Some of the confessions [in the Inquisition age] must have been sheer defiance: faced with a ruling establishment that was sanctified by the church, a resentful peasantry followed the only image of rebellion they knew&mdashSatan,” TIME posited. “The satanic messiah became especially appealing in times of despair, such as the era of the plague known as the Black Death. Real or imagined, the pact with the Devil may have been the last bad hope for safety in a world fallen out of joint.”

Perhaps for that reason, the Christian Church’s efforts to root out Satanism were not entirely successful. The French aristocracy under Louis XIV was titillated by tales of nude demonic ritual, and the prim and proper Victorian period saw a spike in interest too.

But the existence of Satanists as an organized, public group in the United States is a much newer phenomenon, much of which can be largely traced to one man: Anton Szandor La Vey, author of 1969’s The Satanic Bible. La Vey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 in San Francisco. As TIME explained in 1972, La Vey’s organization was not the scary Satanism of religious imagination:

La Vey’s church and its branches might well be called the “unitarian” wing of the occult. The members invest themselves with some of the most flamboyant trappings of occultism, but magic for them is mostly psychodrama &mdashor plain old carnival hokum. They invoke Satan not as a supernatural being, but as a symbol of man’s self-gratifying ego, which is what they really worship. They look down on those who actually believe in the supernatural, evil or otherwise.

La Vey’s church is organized, incorporated and protected under the laws of California. La Vey, 42, stopped giving out membership figures when his followers, who are grouped in local “grottoes,” reached a total of 10,000. The most striking thing about the members of the Church of Satan (one of whom is shown on TIME’S cover) is that instead of being exotic, they are almost banal in their normality. Their most insidious contribution to evil is their resolute commitment to man’s animal nature, stripped of any spiritual dimension or thought of self-sacrifice. There is no reach, in Browning’s famous terms &mdashonly grasp. Under the guise of eschewing hypocrisy, they actively pursue the materialistic values of the affluent society&mdashwithout any twinge of conscience to suggest there might be something more.

Though the 1960s and 󈨊s saw the introduction of several other concepts called Satanism&mdashfrom actual religious belief, to a credo used to justify criminality&mdashthe Church of Satan did not fade away. In 1978, the U.S. Army even included the group in the manual of “Religious Requirements and Practices” delivered to its hundreds of chaplains. (TIME mentioned that the manual explained that Church of Satan devotees might need “candles, a bell, a chalice, elixir, a sword, a gong, parchment and ‘a model phallus,'” but that chaplains would not be expected to supply those materials.) Though La Vey died in 1997, the organization he founded continues without him.

The brand of Satanism on display in Detroit was of a different sort: political Satanism, a more recent innovation. Those activists are associated with the Satanic Temple, a New York-based group that has spent the last few years publicly offering alternatives to more mainstream displays of religiosity. The Satanic Temple sees Satan as a Paradise Lost-inflected metaphor who represents skepticism and the ability to challenge authority. A spokesperson for the Church of Satan told TIME in 2013, for a story highlighting the differences between the two groups, that the newer organization was focused on “politically oriented stunts” that had “cribbed” their philosophy from the more established group. Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple said that its aim was, in cases where religion had been inserted into the public sphere, “to ensure that its view of the world is included.” If the Detroit attendance figures are any indication, they’ve succeeded.

The continued existence of two organizations that claim Satanism for two different functions highlights a point made by John M. Kincaid, the Church of Satan’s minister of information in the mid-1970s: though it may take a variety of forms, interest in mystery and rebellion is timeless. “The need to believe,” he wrote to TIME in 1974, “is as dominant a factor in this so-called enlightened age of ours as it has ever been”&mdashwhich means those who are skeptical are present and accounted for too.

Read the full story from 1972, here in the TIME Vault:A Substitute Religion


Part of a Stelophosphorus Statue - History











It is with extreme joy that we bring to you the real history of Mary Undoer of Knots.

How this devotion started?

To show us the mission granted to the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an unknown artist painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:

" Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it".

They are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution.
Knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. They are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.

The devotion to Mary Undoer of Knots is not new. The devotion is more than 300 years old. However, it is not based on an apparition of the Virgin Mary to a person, or persons, as in Lourdes or Fatima, but rather it is a revered devotion as many others in the Catholic Church, despite Virgin Mary is only one.
The devotion to Mary Undoer of Knots is becoming more and more known in many different countries, and the Novena has been printed in 19 languages, as well as in Braille. In the last 4 years, the Sanctuary of Mary Undoer of Knots has welcomed more than 600,000 pilgrims from all over the world.


At Mass, there is a multitude of people: the young, the elderly, rich and poor, all asking for help from Our Lady to simplify their lives.

Sanctuary where Mary
Undoer of Knots is venerated

Devotes on field Mass in honor
to Mary Undoer of Knots

Day after day, more and more Christians kneel to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the Fair Love.
Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from our sweet Mother.

We are living in difficult times where the problems, the knots, the temptations, the lack of peace and the evils are all around us. Like a roaring lion your adversary, the devil, prowls around, looking for someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5,8)

For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families, because She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our lives, so that - as sons of the King - we can receive the promises reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory, peace, blessings and reconciliation.

Then, free from our knots – filled with happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this world, like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume exhaling mercy and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Virgin of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry without any consolation, those who are lonely, tied with knots, who have no God, no Father nor Mother.

Mother of the Rising Sun, Immaculate, our Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God and made by Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is presented. Above all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows all about us, who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us, praying for each one of us to Her beloved Jesus.
Is it possible that the Lord does not answer Her?

May Mary Undoer of Knots bless you today and forever. Amen!


What Does It Mean to Tear Down a Statue?

We asked an art historian who studies the destruction of cultural heritage.

Confederate statues and statues of other historical figures, including slave traders and Christopher Columbus, are being toppled throughout the U.S. and around the world this week — an outgrowth of weeks of protests over entrenched racism in the United States, reignited by the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

This follows years of debate about public display of Confederate symbols, following the 2015 murder of nine black church congregants in Charleston, S.C., by a Confederate-flag-bearing white supremacist, and the deadly clash in 2017 between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

The art historian Erin L. Thompson, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has spent her career thinking about what it means when people deliberately destroy icons of cultural heritage. On Thursday, we called her to talk about the statues.

What are the some of the issues that arise when we talk about statues being torn down?

As an art historian I know that destruction is the norm and preservation is the rare exception. We have as humans been making monuments to glorify people and ideas since we started making art, and since we started making statues, other people have started tearing them down. There are statues from the ancient Near East of Assyrian Kings that have curses carved on them that say ‘he who knocks down my statue, let him be in pain for the rest of his life,’ that sort of thing. And so we know from those, oh, that one strategy of rebellion was knocking down a statue in 2700 B.C.

So it’s not surprising that we are seeing people rebelling against ideas that are represented by these statues today.

I feel as if the reflexive instinct in the academy for a long time has been to preserve anything that can teach us more about history. Is that not the case?

I think a lot of people assume that since I’m an art historian that I would want everything preserved but I know that preservation is expensive. It’s expensive literally in that people have to pay for maintaining these statues — a couple of journalists in 2018 did an amazing investigation for Smithsonian magazine and found that in the previous ten years, taxpayers had spent at least 40 million dollars preserving Confederate monuments and sites.

And then at U.N.C., when protesters in 2018 tore down the ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue, U.N.C. proposed building a new museum to house it that would cost over 5 million dollars and almost a million dollar a year in ongoing maintenance and security. So I look at these statues as money sinks. And think about all of the amazing sites of African-American history or Native American history that are disintegrating from lack of funding and think those dollars could be better spent elsewhere.

You mentioned that we’re seeing people rebel against the ideas represented by these statues. Are there other aspects of tearing a statue down that people may not immediately understand or consider?

Throughout history, destroying an image has been felt as attacking the person represented in that image. Which we know because when people attack statues, they attack the parts that would be vulnerable on a human being. We see ancient Roman statues with the eyes gouged out or the ears cut off. It’s a very satisfying way of attacking an idea — not just by rejecting but humiliating it. So it feels very good in a way that is potentially problematic. I’m certainly not advocating for the destruction of all offensive statues in the U.S., in part because it’s very dangerous. Protesters have already been severely injured tearing down statues.

What do the attacks on statues in recent weeks tell us about the protests themselves?

The current attacks on statues are a sign that what’s in question is not just our future but our past, I think, as a nation, as a society, as a world.

These attacks show how deeply white supremacy is rooted in our national structure — that we need to question everything about the way we understand the world, even the past, in order to get to a better future.

What’s a statue?

I think a statue is a bid for immortality. It’s a way of solidifying an idea and making it present to other people. So that is what’s really at issue here. It’s not the statues themselves but the point of view that they represent. And these are statues in public places, right? So these are statues claiming that this version of history is the public version of history.

You wrote an encyclopedia entry about the destruction of art in which you wrote that the “perceived legitimacy” of the destruction of art has changed since antiquity. Can you talk about that a bit?

So let’s think about bronze, because many Confederate statues are made out of bronze, which is a metal that you can melt down and make into something else. The ancient Greeks made their major monuments out of bronze. Hardly any of these survived because as soon as regimes changed, as soon as there was war, as soon as someone could steal the statue, it got melted down and made into money or cannon balls or a statue of somebody else.

This is the history of art, of changing loyalties and changing pasts. We have been in a period of peace and prosperity — not peace for everybody, but the U.S. hasn’t been invaded, we’ve had enough money to maintain statues. So I think our generation thinks of public art as something that will always be around. But this is a very ahistorical point of view.

What do you make of the comparisons between what protesters in the U.S. are doing and, say, what the Islamic State did in destroying monuments in Palmyra?

I don’t think we can say that destruction is always warranted or that destruction is never warranted. We have to think about who is doing the destruction for what purposes. ISIS was destroying monuments of a tolerant past in order to achieve a future of violence and hate. These protesters are attacking symbols of a hateful past as part of fighting for a peaceful future. So I think they’re exactly opposite actions.

And even practically: Look at ISIS’s destruction of monuments at Palmyra, these Roman temples. The effect of that was to destroy the tourist economy of the modern city of Tadmor, next to Palmyra, which made achieving peace and stability in the region even harder because you now have thousands of people out of a job.

ISIS also raised a lot of money: Their destruction was a propaganda act to get people to make donations to the jihadist cause. They sold antiquities that they stole from the museum of Palmyra in order to conduct war. It’s a very different context to what is happening now.

Also, I wish that what is happening now with statues being torn down didn’t have to happen this way. But there have been decades of peaceful protest against many of these statues, in many cases before the statues were even erected — which have come to nothing. So if people lose hope in the possibility of a peaceful resolution, they’re going to find other means.

You said in a tweet that, when pulling down a statue, a chain works better than a rope. Why?

It has less give, so more of the force of the pull will be directly conveyed to the statue.



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