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Film / Hail Satan?

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Hail Satan? is a 2019 American documentary film about The Satanic Temple, including its origins and grassroots political activism. Directed by Penny Lane, the film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on April 19, 2019, distributed by Magnolia Pictures. The film shows Satanists working to preserve the separation of church and state against the privilege of the Christian right. (Summary taken from Wikipedia).

The film released to high critical and audience reviews, many citing a fresh and enlightening take on the way religion is present and used in American society today.

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  • Baphomet: As part a of a protest against religion in the public space the Satanic Temple created a statue of Baphomet to display alongside a stone copy of the ten commandments that was placed outside a government building in Arizona. As a reminder that America is not a nation with only one religion, the iconography of other religions must be allowed.
  • Corrupt Church: a reason many satanists cited for joining was disillusionment with their previous churches, and a desire to protest the corruption in churches, such as hiding the misdeeds of clergy members.
  • Dirty Communists: The film discusses one reason for the change to the pledge of allegiance adding the phrase "Under God" in 1954 was in retaliation to the Red Scare of the 1950s and in response to widespread fears of communism since the United States wanted to distance themselves as much as possible from the secular communist state. Shortly after this also led to the phrase "In God we Trust" on American money.
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  • Double Standard: It's pointed out many many times that Christian denominations enjoy privileges due to being the majority religion in America that many other religions don't, such as being able to put up iconography of their religion in government and public locations, hold prayers on public radio, and hold public services without protest or resistance.
  • Religion of Evil: Many who protest the Satanic Temple's actions claim them to be this.
  • Satan is Good: Obviously, as it's a documentary exploring the origins of the Satanic Temple and Satanism as a religion. In the film, many members explain that to them Satan represents a symbol of rebellion and the desire to not submit to the dominant culture.
  • Witch Hunt: Discussed. The panic over satanism in the 90s via things such as Dungeons and Dragons and heavy metal music is compared to a witch hunt, and it did ligitamently ruin people's lives. It's pointed out most people accused of satanism at the time were not satanists at all.
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