On July 10, 2021 TST hosted a celebration of the first Satanic monument on public property. A 40-foot-tall cross in Bladensburg, Maryland that was built in 1925 was the subject of a lawsuit because the statue sits on public property and is maintained by public funds. The Supreme Court ruled that the Peace Cross does not violate the First Amendment because it honors all veterans and their sacrifices. Ipso facto, this includes veterans who are members of The Satanic Temple.
TST appreciates this tribute. To mark this auspicious occasion, TST has updated the name of the monument as "The Bladensburg Satanic Peace Cross" and hosted a ritual in honor of Satanist veterans at the Bladensburg site on July 10, 2021. Counter-protesting Christian groups greeted the TST members performing in the ceremony. Because the protesters were two hundred feet away from the ritual site and police officers arrived to maintain the safety of the event, TST’s ritual coordinators indicated that the ritual practitioners were unfazed. The ritual was, in all, a successful commemoration of veterans and their sacrifices.
Those who wish to support the ceremony and TST's endeavors can do so by donating.
In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled in American Legion v. American Humanist Association that maintaining the Peace Cross on public land does not violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution. Delivering the decision, Justice Alito wrote that “The Bladensburg Cross has come to represent… a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for this Nation...” As the Supreme court has essentially ruled that a 40-foot tall cross on public property is considered a monument that represents all faiths, TST takes this to mean that the Supreme Court is inviting TST to memorialize Satanist veterans through this “community” based monument.
TST has a long tradition of supporting its military members. This has included assisting TST members who want to organize prayer at the US Naval Academy, the appointment of lay leaders to establish a religious ministry in the US military, and the construction of a veterans memorial that was intended to be erected in Minnesota. While Belle Plaine, MN, has the distinction of being the first city to approve a Satanic monument, consistent with the Supreme Court ruling, Bladensburg, MD, is the first city to actually have a Satanic monument on state property.
Deciding that the Bladensburg Cross does not just represent Christians, but people of all faiths including Satanists, is a kind of blasphemy that is consistent with Satanism. As a symbol for all veterans, the Cross represents Satanist veterans who we are honoring in our ceremony. The Satanic Temple will refer to the memorial as the Bladensburg Satanic Peace Cross. We expect the celebration of this Satanic icon will be a recurring event, and we encourage Satanists everywhere to make pilgrimages to Bladensburg. Outside of Salem, MA, we expect Bladensburg will become known internationally as a destination for Satanists.