In accepting the Golden Globe for best actor for playing Dick Cheney in "Vice," Christian Bale said, “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role.”
Now, if you're a satanist, and your role model is God's antagonist, do you worship Dick Cheney or spit on him — Cheney being Vice President from 2000 to 2008, and one of the ballsiest, richest, most don't-give-a-fuck torture-happy sociopaths ever to occupy high office?
That's the question that popped up this week.
There are two satanic "churches," and they curse each other's names, and they took different views. The Chuch of Satan, a decades-old, dour, decrepit group of (mostly) atheists who like to dress up in black and shock the nation's housewives tweeted their joy that Satan got a prime-time mention.
To us, Satan is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. As Mr. Bale's own talent and skill won him the award, this is fitting. Hail Christian! Hail Satan! https://t.co/ILuK8TFZXi
— The Church Of Satan (@ChurchofSatan) January 7, 2019
But the Satanic Temple, a new, vibrant, often-hilarious group of (mostly) atheists who like to troll the government into giving them abortions and free-speech rights based on religious freedom, thinks the Church of Satan, and their Golden Globe tweet, was corny as shit.
"The Church of Satan is desperate to attach themselves to any pop cultural reference to Satan, even when it clearly isn't complimentary or helpful in elaborating Satanic values," the head of the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, messaged Rooster. "But then, to be fair, with their fetish for authoritarianism, Dick Cheney may well be the Church of Satan's ideal image of a Satanist — certainly not ours."
This is all a little out-there; neither church actually believes in a metaphysical being. They're all nonbelievers who admire Satan as a symbol of rebellion and rejection of the Christian god — or, at least, the kinds of fakely-pious hypocritical douchebags who tend to run the world's Christian churches.
But in a world in which millions of young people are searching for a way to channel their anger at the assbags who are burning the planet to the ground, the Satanic churches are attracting tens of thousands of new members who wear pentagrams and sign their tweets "hail satan."
The Satanic Temple saw its membership fly up like a witch on a broomstick after the election of Donald Trump, and folks were desperate for a way to register their opposition to Trump and his stiff hymnal-hugging pal Mile Pence. They're active: Satanic Temple members like to roll their joints in bible pages; protest Christmas hilariously and have girls kiss and dudes drop their nutsacks on the gravestone of gay-bashing preachers.
It's all teriffic stuff. And so, the lesson of this week is (maybe): if you're loving on Dick Cheney, you should join the Church of Satan. If you're mad at Cheney, join the Satanic Temple.
Or something. It's 2019. Embrace the weird.