"People don’t believe in Satan. That is really one of the major problems here. People just laugh at this. They think, oh, it is harmless, isn’t that cute? Kids sitting up in the lap of this Satanic statue — doing what — sitting on the lap of Satan for ‘inspiration and contemplation. They think it is harmless. Well, it is not. I mean, that is a representation of Satan. That is often the way he manifests himself to people when he wants them to see what he kind of looks like symbolically, that is how he shows up, this goat with the horns and all that. So, it is not a laughing matter. It is not an innocent, harmless thing."
-- Conservative radio talk show host Bryan Fischer, on the Oklahoma state capitol monument being proposed by the New York City-based Satanic Temple
Speaking of not laughing at something, I admit that it's really hard to not simply shrug off the ridiculous, and coincidentally not at all harmless, rants of this guy. The same instinct that makes anyone with a brain revel in an act of hypocrisy-exposing subversion like the Satanic Temple's proposed monument in Oklahoma also makes him or her want to just ignore a terrified, hyper-religious clown like Fischer.
But every once in a while we're presented with an opportunity to really take a step back and look at the belief system driving the Christian fundamentalists who've hamstrung our politics and culture again and again. And that's what Bryan Fischer has given us, so let's call it like we see it here.
Read the above quote again. Bryan Fischer, a 62-year-old man living in the year 2014 with an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, claims to believe that there's a creature whose true appearance is that of a malevolent goat but which can assume any form you imagine. This creature controls an underworld where wretched souls go to burn for all eternity when they pass from this world and it can manifest itself in myriad ways in an effort to tempt and trap each one of us into doing its bidding. He believes that this creature is an omnipresent threat and is not to be joked about or trifled with. He doesn't believe in evil as an incorporeal state or in Satan as a symbol of evil; he believes, or claims to, that Satan as a giant, horned goat is 100% real.
He's right. That is not a laughing matter, an innocent and harmless thing. That's insanity, pure and simple.