I’m a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don’t blame Satan for white supremacy.

As the co-founder of and spokesman for the Satanic Temple, I’m naturally irritated by such comments. To many casual observers, there seems to be a tendency to view condemnations of white supremacy as Satanism as a triumph of progressive thought among prominent U.S. Christians. But such language is not harmless. It lets mainstream religions off the hook for some of the darker periods of American history, despite the deep connections between slavery and Christian theology. These leaders’ invocation of the eternal adversary as a scapegoat comes with darker implicit assumptions that should be confronted and rejected outright.

I identify nontheistically with a Miltonic Satan that defies all subjugation, exalts scientific inquiry and promotes Humanistic, pluralistic values. The Satan of Modern Satanism is a metaphorical icon for Enlightenment values. Satanism adopts a mythological backdrop that we feel is more befitting to modern culture than the monarchical, feudalistic, theocratic superstitions of old. The Satanic Temple, far from endorsing crass nationalistic tribalism, actively fights for individual sovereignty and secular values.