Author Topic: How are you spending the summer solstice?  (Read 62568 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #170 on: June 24, 2019, 06:52:54 pm »
It always amazes me that the USA, being so much more religious than Australia or NZ does not have Good Friday as a public holiday. Over here no business or supermarkets are allowed to open. In Dunedin there is no pubic transport. Only small family businesses and petrol stations operate. Easter Sunday is similar but not so restrictive. Last year a law was passed in parliament allowing city councils to decide about businesses operating on Easter Sunday. Dunedin voted to remain closed. The only other similar days are Christmas day and the morning of Anzac day. I would have been horrified if expected to teach on Good Friday.

I think it's as simple as the separation of church and state commanded by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Not only can they not declare a religious holiday a legal holiday but they can't put a soldier's memorial in a public park. That happened in a rural town of 7,000 that I covered for the newspaper. They let a veterans' group put up a little memorial and it was of a soldier kneeling at a grave, and the sculpture had a big cross on it.

Someone on the city council thought that might be seen as mingling church and state, so they removed the memorial. Then protesters picketed the decision and filled the town with Popsicle-stick crosses. So the city put the monument back.

Then the Satanic Temple got involved. They insisted on being able to put up a monument of their own. So the city declared a small portion of the park a place for rotating memorials that would stand for a few months apiece. The city said OK to the Satanists, which then of course led to more local protests. So the city council killed the whole idea. So -- and this is where I came in to report the story -- the Satanic Temple was suing the city for reneging on its promise, because they'd already constructed the memorial.

When first assigned this story I said I thought there's no such thing as real Satanists, that nobody sincerely worships a figure of evil, that people who call themselves Satanists were poseurs who want to be scary and contrarian like the band Black Sabbath or something. Well, turns out I was partly right, except that the Satanic Temple itself doesn't seriously claim to worship or even believe in any non-scientifically-provable figures, such as Satan. Their whole purpose is to combat mingling of church and state, as they explain on their website and as I heard when I talked to the co-founder on the phone.

Basically they're the ACLU with a more provocative and attention-grabbing approach. The Temple is based in NYC and is subject of a recent documentary. The monument they made to put in the small town was, I thought, tasteful: a black stone cube etched with a pentagram and topped with an upside-down soldier's helmet.

This little town was literally the first place they would have ever put a monument of any kind. But while the city wavered back and forth they got in a similar spat in Chicago and in that case their monument was a giant sculpture of a goat-headed man. Maybe some of you know who this figure is -- something that starts with B, I believe. Far less tasteful than the other one, IMO.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #171 on: June 24, 2019, 09:37:02 pm »
Bacchus?
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #172 on: June 25, 2019, 02:25:04 pm »
Bacchus?

Doesn't sound right, not for a man with a head of a goat.

Testimony in witch trials (and we know how reliable that is) sometimes includes descriptions of the devil appearing in the shape of a goat.

Satyrs have goats' legs and horns, and they are not nice people generally.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Sason

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #173 on: June 26, 2019, 03:55:25 pm »
Maybe Belsebub.

I hope the Church of the flying spaghetti monster is allowed to put up a monument somewhere.
Maybe a nice stone with a giant golden colander on top?  8) ;D

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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #174 on: June 26, 2019, 06:39:54 pm »
Maybe Belsebub.

I thought of that, but he is sometimes referred to as "Prince of Flies," so a goat head didn't seem right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beelzebub
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Sason

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #175 on: June 27, 2019, 06:40:11 pm »
Ah, ok.

Then I don't know.

My list of potential Satanic figures is very short  ;D

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #176 on: June 28, 2019, 09:25:13 am »
Here is the entirety of an unsigned email I received the day after the story ran:

Um...the "goat headed creature" is called Baphomet,  which I'm sure you know, yet you wouldn't call it what it is. It is both male and female.  Why don't you write an article on that?

I didn't reply, but if I had I would have written, "Um ... because, no, I actually didn't know that and had never heard of this character and because the incident happened in Chicago and was an extremely minor point in the story and most readers don't care but if they do want to brush up on their Satanic figures that's what the internet is for."



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #177 on: June 28, 2019, 01:43:18 pm »
Now that you mention it, I have heard that name, but I guess Beelzebub is more widely known. Maybe he's got a better publicist.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: How are you spending the summer solstice?
« Reply #178 on: June 28, 2019, 01:51:25 pm »
Now that you mention it, I have heard that name, but I guess Beelzebub is more widely known. Maybe he's got a better publicist.  ;D

 :laugh:  Definitely so, if my correspondent's email is any reflection of Baphomet's publicity manager.