They are called The Satanic Temple. But they are not satanists. In fact, on their website they explicitly state that "we don't believe in Satan or anything supernatal." Which places them within the camp of atheists. Although it is also true that they leave a margin for deism, which means that there is no personal god, but rather a general principle that manifests itself through the laws of nature. That puts them, more or less, in the same group as the Dutch philosopher (and who would have been Spanish if we hadn't had the happy idea of expelling the Jews) Baruch Spinoza, among many 18th century enlightened men (such as Hobbes, Russeau or Montesquieu) and, more recently, by Albert Einstein and the physicist Gerald Holton, winner of the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in 2021.
Of course, those names mean nothing to almost anyone. That's where the Satanic Temple comes from. For an organization that advocates extreme rationalism, nothing better than a name that scares some and touches the gonads of others, especially in a country, the United States, that lives in a permanent debate -sometimes, a rant to a clean bellow- about the role of religion in public life. No one would say that many of the country's founding fathers—beginning with its first four presidents, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison—were very close to deism.
The provocation reaches its peak at the annual SatanCon festival, which the Satanic Temple holds every year and whose tenth year is taking place in Boston, traditionally the most Catholic city in the United States because of Irish immigration.
The city's mayor, Michelle Wu - who, in a sign of the times, is not of Irish, but Taiwanese descent - has banned the Satanic Temple from using the City Hall building to launch the invocation that was supposed to kick off SatanCon, so the leaders of the religion -because the Satanic Temple is an officially recognized religion, with which it is exempt from paying taxes- have decided to dedicate the festival to the head of the Consistory.
The SatanCon, according to the information of its organizers, consists of a series of conferences, exhibitions, events and exhibitions that would fit into any more or less woke event. That includes talks about atheism, about the absence of evidence of the existence of God, in favor of abortion, the LGBTQ movement, or an impassioned defense of masturbation in Sins of the Flesh: Satanism and Self-Pleasure. Since the English language does not have a gender in nouns, no one is going to talk about les gallines (neuter, or absurd, in Spanish, although the truth is that it is feminine in bable), but that state of mind is going to overestimate as a spirit not spiritual about the convention of atheists.
Others don't see the humor in it. This Saturday, several small groups of Christian nationalists had called protest actions against SatanCon. The Boston police were monitoring the situation lest one of them get out of hand. Which is not impossible, given the propensity of pseudo-Satanists to provoke, such as when they placed a sculpture of the demon that is their symbol - Baphomete - next to a statue of the Ten Commandments in Alabama.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project