On Saturday morning, a Minnesota church will host a fairly typical bake sale in a fairly typical location (a basement) to help raise money for their ongoing work in the community.
"Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, the whole gamut, anything that you would find at a typical church basement bake sale," John Wreisner told BringMeTheNews. "This year we’ll be providing more vegan and gluten-free options because they’ve been asked for by multiple people."
The big noteworthy distinction though: This church is dedicated to teachings of the prince of darkness.
The Satanic Temple of Minneapolis bake sale
Magus Books & Herbs in Dinkytown will host the second annual Satanic Temple of Minneapolis bake sale this Saturday starting at 10 a.m., and despite the ominous name and blackened trappings, the sale promises to be a lighthearted affair.
"We’re not oblivious to the fact that there’s a lot of latitude for tongue-in-cheek stuff in what we do," Wreisner, the temple chairman, said. "So we'll have Pineapple Upside Down Cross Cake; we sort of gave punny names to a lot of our otherwise completely boring baked goods."
Proceeds from the sale will help fund the Satanic Temple's ongoing social justice work, including supporting reproductive rights campaigns and combating discrimination against LGBTQ youth.
A different side of the devil
While Satanism has been classically associated with all things eerie and occult, the modern incarnation of Luciferian faith skews far closer to secular humanism and rational skepticism than any sort of demon worship, according to a Satanism FAQ.
The Minneapolis group is derived from the Satanic Temple (not to be confused with the Church of Satan), and attempts to draw a strong distinction between their faith and the mystical reputation "satanic" tends to conjure, Wreisner explained.
They use Lucifer as a metaphorical figurehead for a faith they say is based on progressive social activism and equality.
"The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic and a non-supernatural religion," he said. "We have rituals, but they’re strictly psychodrama, we’re not trying to summon anything. So we do identify as a religion, just lacking the supernatural component."
The history of the Satanic Temple
Founded by Lucien Graves and Malcolm Jarry in 2014 and based in New York City, the Satanic Temple has quickly grown to accommodate an executive ministry, national council, and roughly 20 local chapters throughout the U.S. and world.
The Minneapolis chapter is about a year old, and boasts roughly 50 regular members, according to Wreisner.
The temple holds meetings every other week, usually at Grumpy's Downtown, and Wreisner says they usually feature about 30 faithful, with influxes after public appearances such as the bake sale. The group discusses the issues of the day, along with chapter business like upcoming tabling events.
"Fellowship is important. I think most involved are really weird people in most of our lives," laughs Wreisner. "So finding other people with similar proclivities can be really psychologically liberating."