Last year, as you may recall, The Satanic Temple’s (TST) now quasi-defunct San Jose Chapter (many former members of which have reorganized into the current Santa Cruz Chapter) installed a holiday tree (along with hundreds of others) in the city’s annual Christmas in the Park event. As we reported at the time that tree’s Chris Andres designed Baphomet head topper was stolen, resulting in a national fundraising effort to raise money for a replacement. The original was never recovered, nor was the culprit identified.
This year, another Satanic organization and friends of the blog, Satanic Bay Area (SBA) raised and decorated a tree for the annual event. Unfortunately, this tree has also been experiencing problems with keeping its decorations. SBA released a statement attempting to address the petty theft issue with levity.
Satanic Bay Area Press Release
“For the second year in a row, visitors to San Jose’s Christmas In the Park have decided to help themselves to the decorations on a Satanic Christmas tree.
In 2017, a chapter of the Satanic Temple decorated a tree at the annual South Bay Christmas gathering. In short order, a still-unidentified Grinch stole a goat mask from right off the top.
So far park goers have left the pentagram up top alone, but after just 72 hours the tree required redecoration because so many other ornaments have been stolen.
Satanic Bay Area is an independent, Bay Area-based grassroots group of atheistic Satanists. Founded in 2015 (as Satanic San Francisco), SBA creates both religious community and left-wing political action for Satanists in the South Bay and beyond.
SBA members hung nearly 140 Satanic-themed ornaments (mostly handmade) on a roughly seven-foot tree in Cesar Chavez Plaza on November 23.
It’s our hope that the proliferation of Satanic-themed holiday displays in cities across America helps people realize that Satanist groups are part of their local communities too, and that many different kinds of people find joy in the holiday season.
But it seems some people’s idea of holiday cheer is to pull a reverse-Santa and make off with the goods in the middle of the night. Christmas In the Park’s organizers tells us that ornament theft is not uncommon most years.
We’re fairly certain that people are taking them out of admiration rather than antagonism. But we’re running out so fast that we’re issuing this plea for light-fingered admirers to stop. If you really want a Satanic ornament, email us and we might just send you one.
Fellow Satanists in Sacramento have volunteered to make additional ornaments to help reload. If this keeps up, we might have to put some kind of curse on the new ones—or maybe just stick something gross on the backside, we haven’t decided yet.”
Vandalism is an Annual Problem for Satanic Displays
I suppose it’s a small comfort that people are taking ornaments from the SBA tree without malicious intent. The history of problems with Satanic displays goes back to 2016, when far more malicious actors repeatedly vandalized a Boca Raton pentagram display in their local park’s holiday free-speech zone.
Absconding with ornaments hardly rises to the same level of vitriol as having a truck driven through your display, but I would hope that admirers will consider the funds and effort that members of SBA have put into their participation in the event and see fit to avoid making-off with any more of the trinkets. All in good fun It may be, but since such displays seem to suffer problems year over year, supporters should consider just enjoying the spectacle and making their own ornaments.