The Devil was given his due Tuesday night when a member of the Satanic Temple gave the invocation for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting.
“Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the tree of knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old,” said Iris Fontana, according to press reports.
The invocation — which was offered while most Assembly members stood respectfully — concluded with the phrase “Hail Satan.”
Not a typical phrase to be offered as a guiding light for a municipal meeting. And as we’re not well-versed in the finer points of theistic Satanism, we referenced a few dictionaries to find a basic definition of whom or what Satan is.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines Satan as “the great enemy of humankind and of goodness; the Devil: usually identified with Lucifer, the chief of the fallen angels,” and as, “any of various celestial beings functioning as accuser or critic of humanity.”
The American Heritage Dictionary defines Satan as “a powerful spiritual being” in Abrahamic religions, “the tempter and persecutor of humanity, sometimes considered as an angel who rebelled against God and became the Devil.”
Or, this from Wiktionary: “The supreme evil spirit in the Abrahamic religions, who tempts humanity and rules Hell; the Devil.”
For some folks who view municipal government — or any government — as a special circle of Hell, invoking Satan at the start of a meeting might make sense.
The rest of us are just thinking, “What the hell?”
When our government officials are comfortable with standing at respectful attention while their meeting opens with a call for obeisance to “the great enemy of humankind and goodness,” something, somewhere, has gone very, very wrong.
It suggests that we no longer seek to avoid evil; we now actively embrace evil.
Hail Satan. Hail Temptor and Persecutor of Humanity. Hail Supreme Evil Spirit.
Is this what has become acceptable “wisdom” in the halls of government?
— The Ketchikan Daily News, Aug. 12, 2016