There’s no wrong way to do the right thing

Satanic New Zealand has created a “Soles for Satan” Givealittle page to buy new socks, hats, and warm clothing for homeless shelters and children living in poverty

A “Satanic” campaign to buy warm clothes for disadvantaged people has been blessed by an Auckland reverend, while drawing the ire of Family First. Satanic New Zealand has launched a “Soles for Satan” Givealittle page to “buy new socks, hats, and warm clothing for homeless shelters and children living in poverty”. Co-founder Frankie Astro Seven Vegas said the group aimed to challenge religious authority while encouraging public good. “We’re not in any way anti-Christian, we’re just pro-Satan,” the Dunedin resident said. The clothes would be donated to KidsCan, Women’s Refuge and a number of homeless shelters. Reverend Frank Ritchie of the Wesleyan Methodist Church said he supported the campaign as a way of promoting public discussion. “We would entirely disagree on some world view stuff, but if they’re out there looking to help disadvantaged in New Zealand, then we’re entirely in agreement on that, and I would support it.”…. “I would encourage people, rather than embracing this in anger, to actually look at where the common ground is and applaud what the group are trying to do.”

A very wise person once told me there’s no wrong way to do the right thing. Sure, we could open that up for debate, but when the end result is a good and right thing accomplished, are the details really all that important?

F’rinstance, let’s say a group works to “buy new socks, hats, and warm clothing for homeless shelters and children living in poverty.” You’d probably feel positively toward people who’d give of themselves in order to help those in need. Ah, but here’s where “good Christians” enter our story to pee in the sandbox. What if the group we’re discussing turns out to be a collection of…wait for it…SATANISTS???? BUTBUTBUT…don’t they hate the baby Jesus????

Family First director Bob McCoskrie was scathing of the idea. He said it was “no different to a ‘good cause’ promoted by gangs.”

“Based on the little-known and questionable details of this group, they may struggle to win credibility and trust.”

Indeed…except that what McCoskrie doesn’t realize is that “[b]ased on the little-known and questionable details of this group, they may struggle to win credibility and trust” is a better description of the collection of self-righteous hypocrites he represents.

Contrary to McCoskrie’s smug self-righteousness, there’s no wrong way to “buy new socks, hats, and warm clothing for homeless shelters and children living in poverty.” If he could be bothered to get past his judgmental “Satan = BAD” mindset, he might learn that those he’s disparaging just might be kind, compassionate, and accepting of others. Would that the same could be said of McCoskrie.

Ms Vegas said Satanic New Zealand aimed to become an official chapter of The Satanic Temple – a United States-based political activist organisation.

There are seven tenets of the group, which urge followers to “act with compassion and empathy” and respect the freedoms of others.

Ms Vegas said she did not believe in Satan as a deity, but rather a symbol of “the ultimate rebel”.

Satanism is not a philosophy which holds any interest for me; I’m good without God AND Satan. What I do appreciate, however, is that many of the views Ms. Vega and her group hold are compassionate and humanistic…unlike “good Christians” like McCoskrie. Evidently doing a good thing isn’t such a good thing if you don’t worship the correct flavor of Supreme Being.

Compassion, kindness, and selflessness are NEVER bad things, nor should those involved in doing good things for the right reasons be denigrated for not holding “acceptable” religious beliefs. Satanic New Zealand decided to do a kind and compassionate thing, which is something to be lauded. It’s the action, not the religious belief, which is important here. McCoskrie’s self-righteousness and judgment only serve to make him look small- very, very small.

McCoskrie would be well advised to revisit what the Lord and Savior he claims to revere taught. Jesus didn’t preach judgment, intolerance, and prejudice. Far from it. He taught love, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, and compassion- things these “good Christians” could stand to learn.

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