I tried my best to come down to the kitchen quietly this morning to make the coffee before grandson number one figured out that I was up. Like so many kids on the spectrum, his sleep patterns are irregular, to say the least. He will stay up all night working on his latest composition or invention or brilliant idea, and will only sleep when he totally runs out of gas, which during the summer months is usually around 9-10 o’clock in the morning. What that means is that when I am in morning mode and need my peace and silence before coffee, he’s up as a pup, bright and chipper and in such a good mood. He’s even learned to make a great pot of coffee so that I can focus on him even better.
He finally gave up when I didn’t get too excited about him rewiring the bathroom so I was able to turn my attention to the news online. The first thing I saw was the photo of the newly erected statue of Baphomet, a freshly minted idol, in all his glory. According to the news, a group of earnest young Satanists erected a 9 foot statue to him in Detroit. What does Baphomet look like? Well, according to these guys he has a goat’s head, a human’s muscular body, hooves, and wings. There are two children standing on either side looking up adoringly. The right hand is raised with two fingers up. I’m not sure what that means, but it looks a little like a Brownie salute.
I know I should be upset, in fact, I should be outraged. Yet, truthfully, I found the statue laughable. It looks like it was made from the leftover props lying around the floor of an Indiana Jones movie. This is not the stuff of nightmares. It’s no more scary or awe inspiring than a kid in a Halloween parade wearing devil horns, a mask and pitchfork. This is the work of people who seem to be on the same mental level as giggling girls at a junior high sleepover with a Ouija board. I don’t find goats scary. They’re furry and cute, especially the little ones that jump up and down in the videos. They are beneficial to many people and can provide milk, cheese and meat just like cows. They are kept all over the world and their function is similar to sheep. Their biggest problem is that they have cloven hooves. Some cultures have a real issue with them and throughout history they have been thought of as a representation of the devil. Never mind that cloven hooves are very useful for animals that need to climb over rocks and rough terrain for a living.
The really ironic thing is that the readings of the day were from Exodus 32:15, the part where Moses goes up to the mountain to receive the 10 commandments. While he’s up there the people get figidy and talk Aaron into letting them have a golden calf idol to worship. We all know how that turned out. Obviously, the super geniuses behind this public demonstration want to point out to anyone who cares that all “religions” are the same and if you let the 10 Commandments be erected on public lands you have to let Mr. Goathead there, too. Do they have a point? Let me think a minute…on one hand, you shall not kill…on the other – Mr. Goathead. On one hand, honor your parents…on the other – Mr. Goathead. One one hand….seriously? It seems to me that the statue adorers are really only a couple of harmless atheists out for a little fun getting the Christians all riled up. Of course, many of the Christians took the bait and got riled up.
But just because the statue is laughable doesn’t mean that the subject is. To the Christian, hell is real and Satan is no one to be trifled with. These folks really should be a bit more careful who they invite to their parties, because he just may oblige them by showing up. Things can get pretty dicey when pure evil comes around. If Satan ever did come calling, those fun loving athiests who are taunting the Christians by yucking it up with “Hail, Satan” would get religion pretty darn quickly.
So, what should the Christian response to this statue be? There is a legend that the early Church celebrated the day after Easter by feasting, laughing and telling jokes because Jesus went into hell and laughed at the devil because he lost. The result of the Resurrection was that Satan lost his power over humanity. He can’t have us anymore.
But there are still terrible, awful things happening in the world every day. Evil is still alive and well and millions of people are witnessing it first hand. Christian men, women and children as well as others with undesirable ethnic backgrounds in the Middle East are facing true evil. Those who are fortunate enough to survive exterminations are driven from their ancestral lands and any trace of their culture and identity is wiped clean. Hatred and violence roam our streets daily to the point where we wonder if the world has gone mad. Children starve to death while the rich feast and debate about whether the poor are deserving of our help. Species after species are disappearing and there is every indication that the dominoes have already begun falling. There is evil in the world alright, but it’s far more terrible than any of the overfed, overcoddled, overcapitalized demon worshippers can imagine. This isn’t a Halloween parade. When the real Satan comes calling, God help them. The goat statue will be the least of their worries.