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‘Reject the Devil’s lies and turn to Christ, the way, the truth, and the life’

Invoking Satan should be understood as a form of hate speech that poses a true threat to individuals as well as to society.

(Image: Kevin Grieve/Unsplash.com)

“Sympathy for the Devil” is the title of the 1968 Rolling Stones song composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. “Sympathy for the Devil” could also be the title of the article written by Christopher Borrelli and published by the Chicago Tribune about the Satanic Temple display in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol.

What is curious is that the article appeared on page one of the December 14, 2022, print edition of the Chicago Tribune. Page one articles of a major newspaper are usually reserved for news stories, not opinion pieces. Christopher Borrelli makes his opinion clear when he writes, “‘Tis the season for understanding. And who could use it more this holiday than the Satanists of Illinois?”

In affirming their right to the Satanists’ display in the rotunda, Mr. Borrelli proclaims, “Say what you will about Satanists, they know the Constitution.” To which I respond: Not so fast. The Constitution is not as simplistic as the Satanists may think.

I am a law school graduate and I keep my license to practice law current in the State of Illinois. As any lawyer can tell you, not all speech is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States, decided in 1919, the Court ruled that it was a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 (amended by the Sedition Act of 1918) to distribute flyers opposing the draft during World War I.

Writing on behalf of a unanimous court, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” This ruling was partially modified by Brandenburg v. Ohio in 1969, in which the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press “except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action [e.g., a riot] and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

Thus, there are many types of speech and expression that are not protected by law and in fact are punished by the law, such as defamation (slander if spoken, libel if written), conspiracy to commit a crime, and child pornography. The legality of “hate speech” has also been a matter of substantial debate among lawmakers, jurists, and legal scholars in recent years. In the 2003 case of Virginia v. Black, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold a Virginia statute making it illegal to burn a cross in public with the intent to intimidate others. Writing for the majority, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor held that even though cross burning was at times expressive, Virginia could ban cross burning because it represented a “true threat,” a category of speech that is not protected by the First Amendment.

Invoking Satan should be understood as a form of hate speech that poses a true threat to individuals as well as to society. Those who do not believe in a literal Satan but rather think that Satan is merely a literary metaphor are sadly seduced by Satan’s lies.

Jesus said this about Satan in the Gospel of John (8:44): “He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” We should all reject the Devil’s lies and turn to Christ, the way, the truth, and the life.

When the leader of the Satanic Temple says that Satanism “is compatible with other religions,” that their “core tenets are moral values” such as “treat people with empathy,” and that “these tenets should work in concert to inspire nobility of thought,” he is simply lying like the Devil. True religion binds people to God and to each other in love of neighbor. Satan seeks to divide people from God and from each other.

The Rolling Stones at least got it right when they challenged listeners to guess the name behind the death sentence rendered by Pontius Pilate against Jesus, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the Nazi blitzkrieg of World War II, and the killing of the Kennedys. Their answer? “Just call me Lucifer, ‘cause I’m in need of some restraint. So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy … or I’ll lay your soul to waste.”

The true meaning of Christmas is summed up in the Gospel of John (3:16): “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

Christians look forward to eternal happiness with God in Heaven. Those who worship Satan are doomed to suffer the pains of hell with the Evil One and his minions forever. People are free to choose. I pray for the conversion of sinners and their eternal salvation.

(Editor’s note: This column was posted originally by The Catholic Times of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, and is reposted here with kind permission of Bishop Paprocki.)


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About Bishop Thomas John Paprocki 3 Articles
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, M.Div., M.B.A. S.T.L., J.D., J.C.D, is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He has degrees in theology, law, canon law, and business, and has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School since 2016.

13 Comments

  1. “People are free to choose. I pray for the conversion of sinners and their eternal salvation”, Bishop Paprocki in imitation of Christ takes to himself the measure of charity, Christ’s entry into the universe of man to save those who hated him.
    Satan, a liar and murderer satanists his disciples displaying their hatred in the Illinois state rotunda. Hatred for what we as Catholics stand for hatred for our persons. A permissive society interprets the law, freedom of speech permissively. The rationale of George Soros funded district attorneys, lawyers, mayors permitting the violent, the murderous to remain and continually commit atrocities.
    All in the name of a lie disguised as freedom.

  2. We read: “Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, ‘The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic… The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent’.”

    Earlier in the Harvard Law Review (1895), the same Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. also wrote: “. . . I often doubt whether it would not be a gain if every word of moral significance could be banished from the law altogether. . . .”

    Earlier still, he had written: “I think that the sacredness of human life is a purely municipal idea of no validity outside the jurisdiction” (Mark de Wolfe, ed., The Pollock-Holmes Letters, 1874-1932; Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1942, Vol. 2, p. 36.)

    Not yet diabolical, this so-called neutrality, but certainly a vacuum inviting today the smoke of Satan.

  3. Satanism is to Christians as
    Anti-Semitism is to Jews.

    The good Bishop reasons correctly that a Satanic Temple is a symbol of hate, an expression of hate, and an incitement to hate. The ‘civic’ permitting of these public symbols degrades, demoralizes, demonizes, and derogates all of humanity. Right-thinking men should expurgate all such offensively defamatory structures.

  4. You have to be able to see how bad this article makes you look. Right? How blind to the satire and your hypocrisy can you be. This is exactly why Catholicism, and Christianity in general, are withering away. Mote, Beam. Ect…

    • Yes. The lies and falsehoods of satanists are deceiving the masses and causing injury to people once keeping the true faith. Many people actually serve Satan without being aware of it, because they are not dedicated to truthfulness. No one is saying that satanists themselves don’t truly believe their own b.s. Some satanists do believe themselves to be merely satirists, but objectively they are wrong in denying the truth and reality that Jesus is God and revealed the truth about God’s love and plan. Thus the bishop is correct, not hypocritical for writing: “True religion binds people to God and to each other in love of neighbor. Satan seeks to divide people from God and from each other.” If you deny he is correct, then you believe in truth and prove that truth matters or you wouldn’t care. Thus his claim matters and proves that it is not hypocrisy but a matter of the truth concerning what satanists are objectively doing…dividing people from the reality of God. Satanism is a false religion and its followers believe their own b.s. otherwise they would not care about who is correct and hypocritical since according to satanist principles these things don’t matter. Secondly, those who have worked with satanists also know it is a lie and pretense to act like satanists teach universal empathy as Christians do. Actual satanists teach hate of enemies, not love of enemies. They are thus a religion opposed to true goodness and are deceived. You seem concerned about what is true and so there is hope for you. This is the truth: Jesus loves and forgives anyone who wants to return to him. No sin is greater than him because no sin is greater than the eternal God. Many abortionists and similar satanists have turned back to Christ and received his forgiveness in Christian baptism or confession. God’s mercy is always available and only the lies of Satan try to keep people from it.

    • Catholicism and Christianity are booming in many places of the world and are still vibrant here. How exactly was the bishop hypocritical? The goal of Satan is to take as many souls to hell as possible. How would would a satanic display not be a form of hate speech to such a large group of people, e.g. Christians?

    • You raise a pertinent question. God cites the point because it is so germane to the church today!

      2 Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.

      1 John 4:6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

      Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

      Hebrews 3:14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

      1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

      1 Timothy 1:4 Nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

      2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

      Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

      God bless you as you strive to help those who are struggling.

  5. Does the writer believe quoting scripture will sway these people? They don’t believe in its accuracy or authority. It would be like someone asking you to live you life by the tenets set forth in “The Hobbit” or any other work of fiction. I think you have to try to persuade them by using logic and reason.

    • You make strong points, yet God’s word reaches into the soul of some transforming their lives. Let us plant the seed with assurance for some of it will fall on good soil.

      Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

      1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

      Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

      Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

      Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

      Psalm 119:Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

      James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

      2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a cornucopia of blessings as you serve the Lord,

      Brian

  6. I’ll try to remember to write here tomorrow–I’m NOT going to write ON CHRISTMAS about the problems we are having in Chesapeake with a Satan After School Club. Besides, although we happily have been to Mass (last night), I still have to wrap presents to give this afternoon to family and TRY to finish trimming the tree. Thank God today is just the FIRST DAY of Christmas!!! Our tree will stay up until Feb. 2.

  7. What I wanted to say in my first attempt: Whatever the actual belief/nonbelief in satan by the adults acting in or supervising the Satan After School Clubs, in reading the news stories here in Chesapeake (where the satanists are seeking Club 5), it is clear that there will be undeniable damage to the child participants, pulling them away from church and family. (1) The Satan clubs (PRIMARY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, remember) use a cartoon/cariacature of a head and face of satan. My reaction can’t be considered, but other Christian adults should take a look at it–an attempt to draw/attract/compel little ones? (2) Even at these young ages, the children are introduced to the concept of zero authority beyond the person, one of the tenets of the Salem Temple. This should definitely be a problem for Christian parents. (3) Please don’t consider these clubs related in any way to genuine ecumenism, for there can be no correspondence or mutual respect between Christ and satan. Civic civility is not the same as mutual respect between Protestants and Catholics or Jews or Islamists. God is God; no idol can horn in.

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  1. Rejetez les mensonges de satan et tournez-vous vers le Christ

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