Thursday, October 10, 2019

Diversity Thursday

Of course.

It was only a matter of time.

The below is ligit, it seems.

Even as an unchurched Evangelical, I firmly believe that certain Catholic priestly vocations are in the best position to discuss how Satan and his teaching would best serve ship, Shipmate and self at the Naval Academy and the fleet.

There are some additional details on the - dare I say - devilish goings on with this little treat over at TAC that I would recommend you give a read.

It is all rather farcical, just a step over from "Lean-in-Circles," but serious as well. These are not neo-pagans doing what neo-pagans do with very harmless whatever they do with ... whatever. Regardless of what they say otherwise; Satanism is a different kettle of fish. Satan has a little track record. Again, I'll let the Catholics take it from here.

The good news? It also appears that the good folks at Annapolis still have a sense of humor.

UPDATE: For those so interested, here's the response from USNA;
An internal email was sent to the Brigade of Midshipmen Oct. 8 announcing that “satanic services” would start this week. This email was sent without the review and approval of the Naval Academy’s Command Chaplain, as required by command policy; it did not represent the U.S. Naval Academy’s Command Religious Program.

Recently, a group of Midshipmen with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple (a nontheistic religious and politically active movement based in the U.S., recognized as a church by the Internal Revenue Service), requested a space where they could assemble to discuss and share their common beliefs. The request was for a "study group" space, not for holding “satanic services," as stated in the email.

The USNA Command Religious Program provides for the exercise of diverse beliefs. Arrangements were being made to provide the Midshipmen with a designated place to assemble as chaplains facilitate for the beliefs of all service members, a responsibility outlined by Navy instructions (SECNAVINST 1730.7E and BUPERSINST 1730.11 CH-1).

Americans embrace a wide array of beliefs, life philosophies, and opinions, and our Constitution guarantees to all the right to hold those beliefs and to freely exercise such beliefs (modified by unique requirements accompanying military life). The Command Religious Program at the Naval Academy facilitates the opportunity for the free expression of diverse beliefs, but without endorsing any particular belief.

Midshipmen have the right to assemble to discuss their beliefs as they choose, but, to be clear, in accordance with Department of Defense Policy, military members will not engage in partisan political activities, and will avoid the inference that their activities may appear to imply DoD approval or endorsement of a political cause.
This does beg a few questions.

As described above, "...The Satanic Temple (a nontheistic religious and politically active movement..." - let's unpack via

Let's have some word fun.

First, "nontheistic" derives from:
theism[ thee-iz-uh m ]
1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).
So, nontheistic is just "atheist" using a less well known and loaded word.
Nontheist is equivalent to the broader definition of atheist (anyone who lacks a belief in gods.). The term "nontheist" isn't popular though. All atheists fall under this definition, no matter their stance on the claim of the nonexistence of any or all gods.
So, we are just dealing with atheism.

Next, "religious."
religious[ ri-lij-uhs ]
1. of, relating to, or concerned with religion:
a religious holiday.
2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly:
a religious man.
3. scrupulously faithful; conscientious:
religious care.
4. pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
Sure, you can stretch definitions more, but contradiction here is clear. You cannot have a "nontheistic" organization based on a spiritual being, "Satan." Satan only exists in various different confessions of the Abrahamic religions ... and a few others by different names. This specific concept of "Satan" comes from the Christian branch. If Satan has ideas and concepts worth having a "temple" for, then "Satan" must exist. If Satan exists, then G-d must exist. OK, fine, then you have a religion. We can discuss that.

If, however, you state that G-d doesn't exist, then Satan does not exist. If Satan does not exist, then you are just making things up - or you might as well have a temple based on a fictional character out of a Hemingway novel. You have something, but it isn't religious and should not fall under any Command Religious Program. If followers of Ayn Rand have an Objectivist Club, do they fall under the Command Religious Program? Heck, at least Objectivists believe Rand existed.

If it isn't religious, then you have to look at the other side of their definition, "political." A Command Religious Program should have nothing to do with a political organization.

If Satanists want to sit in a circle to discuss how great the ideas of the fictional character of Satan are - whatever - but don't put that anywhere under a Command Religious Program where for almost all the different branches where Christian, Muslim, Jewish, & even Buddhist Chaplains have a very real belief in "Satan." That is simply institutional trolling ... which is pretty much what Satanists have been doing since I first ran in to that sad little bunch in the late-80s.

Put them wherever the Dungeons & Dragons Club is. 

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