Satanic Temple sues a Netflix show

Seems like Christians aren’t the only ones who can get their panties in a twist.

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That series is pretty egregious. I’m not surprised that they are suing. The show includes cannibalism, ritualistic murder, the murder of children, coercive power, and more.

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Really? I didn’t watch it, doesn’t really interest me.

It certainly does sound a disgusting program (based on Joshua’s description of its subject matter.) However, I have no good grasp of the legal foundations and chances of such a lawsuit.

Lots of films/TV series have depicted Christians and Christianity negatively, even in disgusting ways. Unless the series knowingly slanders particular people or organizations with malicious intent, won’t the courts side behind freedom of expression (especially when it comes to the arts)? I remember when Larry Flint published a really disgusting satirical depiction of Jerry Falwell. I think Falwell’s defamation lawsuit went all the way to the Supreme Court and they sided with Flint, citing freedom of expression. The fact that the disgusting, fictional story about Falwell was so extreme was part of what the court said made it less harmful to Falwell—because a thinking person would realize that it was just fiction. Yet, what of a TV series depicting a religion that few people know much about? The Sabrina program is not a documentary, so I would think that the courts will side with freedom of expression.

Of course, if the statue in the TV series is a near identical copy of an original work, there could be legal grounds there.


I think that you are missing the real purpose of this lawsuit. The Satanic Temple is an atheist group who is big on Freedom of Expression rights. The lawsuit is an attempt to bait the Federal Courts to take up laws that limit freedom of expression. Satanic Temple will lose this case to Netflix and in the process have the Federal Courts come down on the side of Freedom of Expression. The result will be anytime Christians claim that they have been offended by a movie or art or speech, Freedom of Expression will trump religious freedom. Think of this case as the reverse of the baker doesn’t have to make a cake for a gay wedding case.


You are actually making my point—but doing a much better job of it. (I just got lazy and didn’t spell it out further.) Lawsuits of this sort are almost always about (1) making a statement which draws public attention, and (2) getting the courts to take stronger positions. So I agree 100% with you on what this is really about. I just did a very poor, incomplete job of explaining it.

It is also interesting that Falwell and Flint ended up becoming “friends” of a sort. They even did some interviews together.


Yes, I watched those interviews. I didn’t like either of them . Falwell was too crudely religious to me and Flint was too crudely human animal to me. I much preferred the refined grace of Playboy to the rouchy crudeness of Hustler.

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I would consider it a good thing if Satanic temple loses. Christians have no right to force anyone to stop hurting their feelings by making offensive media. Neither do satanists.

Similarly, no one should have the right to force someone else to bake a cake for them. This would be slavery.

Christians need to live with being offended and so does everyone else. People really need to read some Jacques Ellul. The state can only act through inflicting violence or the threat thereof.

I have news for you - the Satanic Temple want to lose. The case is a ruse to get the Federal Court to come down on the side of Freedom of Expression takes precedence over Freedom of Religion.

This case is similar to the Church of the Giant Spaghetti Monster member wanting to take his driver’s license photo with a collider on his head. He won, so an enraged legislator disallowed every religious exception (including hijabs) for homeland security reasons.

So Christians will be pleased that Satanic Temple lost but most will not realize that the Federal precedent will be set that Freedom of Expression trumps Religious Freedom which is what most secular humanists want.
This is a good one to watch as there is big corporate money at work here.