TSI: Thanks, But No Thanks by Magus Peter H. Gilmore

Thanks, But No Thanks

We’ve noted that some secularists in Nebraska have decided to combat their local Adams County Board of Supervisors’ decision to post a sign with the vapid slogan “In God We Trust” in the county courthouse by offering an alternative sign which would list our founder Anton LaVey’s text for “The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth.” Now, that initial slogan was pasted on to U.S. paper currency in 1957 and was intended as a rebuttal to what was perceived as the threat of “godless communism.” As Satanists who understand that all deities are myths, to us it is an empty bit of verbiage that is as meaningful as stating “In Thor We Trust,” or “In Baal We Trust.” Such phrases have no place in any secular arenas as they are statements of faith which should only be used in religious contexts. As Satanists, we eschew faith entirely, so we find these statements to be trite and self-serving as so many faithful folks want people to see their beliefs as some sort of “good guy badge.” As we’ve emphasized for decades, “we don’t need no stinking good guy badges.” 

We Satanists do not play the “There Goes The Neighborhood” game and I’ve covered this multiple times over the years:

“The Church of Satan is a secularist, atheist organization, so it would be hypocrisy for us to intrude on churches scrabbling for dominance in their attempts to proselytize to the masses. We do not endorse religious pluralism in public spaces. And we are well aware of the current attempts by theists to reassert their age-old bigotry.”

From an article in the Cherokee Tribune and Ledger-News, Margaret Marsh is interviewed as a part of the group of people trying to raise funds to produce a sign appropriating our text, and it is quite clear that they selected our 11 rules as they knew they’d be offensive to the Board of Supervisors and their theist supporters. But, since they aren’t aware of any local Satanists, they apparently felt that no locals would be in for reprisals by those who might support the “In God We Trust” slogan. Yet it escaped their considerations that local Satanists might not be “out” to many people, including Ms. Marsh and pals, if at all. Should they be identified, they could be targeted by hostile faithful locals. It should be noted that we have members in every state in the U.S. and in many other nations globally. Additionally, Marsh erroneously states that we are a tax exempt organization—quite the contrary, we pay our taxes and challenge all religious organizations to do the same. 

So, I urge Ms. Marsh and her cronies to leave us out of their machinations and immediately end this fundraising campaign for signage including any text associated with the philosophy and literature of the Church of Satan. As I document above, the Church of Satan does not play this brinkmanship game with theists trying to insert their faith where it doesn’t belong. I suggest that you secularist Nebraskans should simply have the balls to be as succinct as the folks who wrote the entertainingly insightful THE BOOK OF MORMON and offer in rebuttal a banner that states the English translation of the phrase from that delightfully diabolical musical: “Hasa Diga Eebowai”—“Fuck You, God!”

—Magus Peter H. Gilmore

Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News: Another Sign Proposed at Courthouse