“Religious freedom” is a right that Christian conservatives have made the cornerstone of their rhetoric, but when a religion they deem as scary comes to town, it quickly becomes apparent that the freedom they espouse is not meant to be spread equally.
This Friday in Spring, Texas, the Church of Lucifer opened its doors to the public, but not before a throng of protesters gathered outside to greet them.
“This is what we get when we have freedom of religion. We ought to be filling up the whole street here, that they have to pass through us to get into that church,” protester Christine White (formerly of “Monster Energy Drinks are the Work of Satan” fame) told ABC13. She added that God loves the Lucifarians, but that “you either bow now, or you will be forced to bow later,’ and then it’s too late.”
According to KHOU, several merchants in the area blamed media coverage, not the church, for the fanfare and asked that this story not be covered at all fearing that increased exposure will hurt business in Old Town Spring.
“We’re not worshiping the devil. We’re not pushing our views on other people,” said church leader and author Michael W. Ford who says they do not worship any deity at all, that the philosophy is based on self-reliance and the power of self. “The symbol of Lucifer is a symbol of spiritual self-rebellion. But also rebellion with a purpose. We’re not against Christianity.”
“If somebody were to come and say you can’t be a Christian anymore and it’s illegal to be a Christian we would probably be the first people to stand up for the Christians for their right to believe what they believe,” added Jacob No, the church’s founder. “We honor their right to believe what they believe. And their right to protest. We can honor that right. There’ll be no resistance from our end because we cherish that right ourselves.”
In the week before the church opened, a chainsaw-wielding vandal cut off a ranch from an overhanging tree, sending the branch crashing down on the church and a shop below.
Go to ABC13 to watch the full report.
Featured image via screen grab