Episode #140 — Kym & Nick from the Satanic Temple

Gather round, Why? listeners — it’s time we had “The Talk.” Sometimes, when you’re listening to a podcast, you might notice certain things are different than they used to be. There might be taboo topics discussed where previously we talked about penguin training. Or there might be historical hair collectors gathering where once only waxers stood. What we’re trying to say is that as Why? gets older we’re steering even more toward the unconventional. But that’s why we started this podcast in the first place and why you choose to listen to us: we’re all open-minded when it comes to viewpoints and trying to understand what makes different people tick. I’m glad we had this talk — if you have any follow-up questions, look it up on the internet. What could go wrong with that? And dinner will be ready in an hour. Don’t make us yell upstairs for you.

This week we’re definitely in the realm of unconventional. Sure, we make a habit of covering subjects that people probably have preconceived notions about. But we’d be hard pressed to find a subject that has more preconceived notions than Satanists. From “Rosemary’s Baby” to the Church Lady skit on “SNL” to televangelists, American pop culture is full of portrayals of Satan and his followers. We spoke with Kym and Nick from the Satanic Temple to discuss just how accurate these representations are, among a lot of other subjects.

Obviously we always have a lot of questions for all of our guests, otherwise it would be a pretty boring podcast. (Us: “Hey, so, what’s up?” Them: “Not much.” Us: “Oh, okay. Did you watch ‘Hoarders’ last night?”) But let’s just say we had a particularly healthy amount for these two gentlemen. And they graciously and happily took on all queries. They know how most people react when “Satanic” is mentioned, and they’re always ready for a conversation to lead to a mutual understanding.

Kym and Nick talked about how the Satanic Temple is different from the Church of Satan or other sects and variants of Satanism. They shared why they do things like petition to have a statue representing their religion put up whenever someone else places the Ten Commandments on the lawn of city hall — and why the Satanic Temple isn’t anti-Christian. They gave us the inside scoop on their black mass (though we still don’t know if they serve cookies afterward). And they taught us the correct, French Canadian way to say “Celine Dion.”

Needless to say, there were many surprising facets to our interview about the Satanic Temple. Kym and Nick talked about how they strive to clear up misconceptions about their beliefs. They also shared why they get political to keep church and state separate — wanting equal representation to avoid a theocracy and not wanting beliefs to be weaponized against people. Kym and Nick also explained how members of the Satanic Temple don’t believe in the supernatural, along with how ritual and supernatural are different.

We had a great talk time talking with our new Satanic friends. If you have any questions about Satanists, or any concerns or fears about Satanists, we highly recommend you listen to our conversation. They also have a website and are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Much like all of our guests, you’ll finish listening to the episode and realize that you have a lot more in common with Satanists than you thought. (We mean you have a lot more in common with our guests… you didn’t listen to the beekeepers last week and think, “man, I have a lot in common with Satan,” did you? You didn’t, right?)

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