Boston’s SatanCon: A Weekend of Blasphemy and Remembrance?

With the Satanic Temple’s headquarters located in Salem, MA, it is no surprise that Satanists have decided Boston will be home to their second national conference–dubbed ‘SatanCon 2023’–this coming April.

Advertised as the “largest satanic gathering in history” and “a weekend of blasphemy and remembrance,” SatanCon is planning to feature Satanic rituals, a Satanic marketplace, and even a Satanic wedding chapel (which is particularly ironic given that Satan was the original being to first attack marriage by destroying Adam and Eve’s Edenic harmony with God.) A promotional video also displays the Latin phrase Sicut Matribus, Sit Satanas Nobis, roughly translating to Let Satan be to us as mother.  

However, it seems that The Satanic Temple (TST) isn’t just hosting SatanCon due to its proximity to Salem. Believe it or not, Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston has attracted the ire of TST in her time as City Councilor, earning her a “dedication” from event leaders as a champion of “religious discrimination.”

In 2021, Wu declined to offer TST the opportunity to give a satanic invocation at a Boston City Council meeting, where council members would give an invite-only opportunity to faith leaders for opening prayers. In response, TST sought to subpoena Wu for a deposition intentionally scheduled on Election Day. A federal judge rebuked the organization for its “tactics… to get the attention of the public.” This pattern of “tactics” also seems to be at play with its request to fly a satanic flag after the Supreme Court ruled in a historic victory that it was unconstitutional for Boston to deny the flying of a Christian flag. The satanic flag has not been flown as the flag-raising program in Boston has been suspended.

While TST seems to be distinct from the Church of Satan as one that does not “worship Satan” nor believe in his existence, that doesn’t seem to stop those embracing the name of the Lawless One from being particularly concerned with the law, especially where it intersects with faith.

The Satanic Temple has filed several lawsuits against various cities and states to try to force them to recognize satanic practices or at least to reject Christian ones. For example, TST sued the state of Arkansas for refusing to allow it to put up a large statue of Satan at the state capitol. TST argued that because Arkansas had erected a monument of the Ten Commandments, they could not discriminate by rejecting a satanic monument. In another case, TST sued Texas and Missouri for their laws restricting abortion, arguing that satanists in those states have a “religious right” to practice “abortion rituals.” In a letter to the FDA, TST’s lawyer even stated that TST’s “Satanic Abortion Ritual is a sacrament.” As mentioned earlier, closer to home, TST sued the city of Boston for refusing to invite a satanist leader to offer the opening prayer at a Boston City Council meeting. TST has yet to win any of its cases. 

The Satanic Temple’s cases, like many of its other schemes, seem to be less about advancing satanism than they are about inhibiting Christianity in the public square. TST might be more accurately described as an anti-Christian trolling group than as a pro-Satan activist group. But like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other organizations, TST is hell-bent on eliminating any reference to Christ in public spaces and removing Christian morality from American law. Therefore, whether or not its members truly worship Beelzebub, it’s not a stretch to say that they are doing the devil’s work.

The event has drawn national concern from Christians. Local pastors have responded with the announcement of a revival campaign of worship and prayer over the same weekend, gathering Christians from Boston and beyond to unite against SatanCon.

For our families,

Andrew Beckwith, President & General Counsel


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