Religion

Indiana residents panic as the Satanic Temple cleans up trash from a local highway

The Indiana chapter of the Satanic Temple is “adopting” a stretch of highway in rural Zionsville, and much to the displeasure of some local residents, the state’s Department of Transportation has erected a sign commemorating the temple’s effort.

As WISHTV.com points out, the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program places a group’s name on roadside signs if they promise to clean up litter on a 2-mile stretch of a highway assigned to them at least four times a year.

The temple is well into its endeavor, but that’s not winning over some of the local residents uncomfortable with the signs displaying the temple’s name so close to their property.

“We’re obviously believers in God,” Jill Konija told WISHTV. “It’s like advertising a Satanic church in front of our home.”

But according to a spokesperson for the Indian Department of Transportation, the sign isn’t going anywhere as long as the temple continues its cleanup effort.

Mary Rosswurm, who lives across the street, said she’s concerned about the sign affecting her property value.

“There could maybe only be one other sign that’s worse that that to have up from your house,” Rosswurm said. “Which would be the KKK (Ku Klux Klan).”

Satanic Temple Indiana Chapter head Damien Blackmoor said the group is atheistic and they do not worship Satan.

“We’re not out here sacrificing babies,” Blackmoor said.

Contrary to what some people believe, the Satanic Temple is not an occult group that practices devil worship. In an interview with the Religion News Service back in 2016, Satanic Temple spokesperson and co-founder Lucien Greaves explained that the group represents an “atheistic religion” and that their worldview is “not dependent on a literal Satan.”

“That is a very difficult thing for a lot of people to grasp,” Greaves said, adding that people who think religion is “dependent upon a belief in a supernatural entity” often have trouble understanding the temple’s purpose.

The Satanic Temple’s history of successfully trolling the Religious Right is unprecedented. They’ve put Christians’ “religious freedom” arguments to the test with their “After School Satan” school clubs; they got Arizona Christian lawmakers to ban public prayer; they even had a Satan-themed coloring book made available for display at an elementary school. All the Satanic Temple’s activism is based around using the Christian drive for religious superiority in the public sphere against them.

Watch WISHTV’s report on the story here.

[Friendly Atheist]

Featured image via screen grab (WISHTV8)

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