Freddie vs. Jason. Alien vs. Predator. We can now add fascists vs. Satanists to this list of iconic crossovers, after the white nationalist group Patriot Front showed up in Boston on Saturday to protest “SatanCon 2023.”
For the last few days, self-described devil-worshippers from across the country have been converging on the city for what has been advertised as the “largest Satanic gathering in history.”
Yet the Beelzebub blowout also attracted 100 or so Christian protesters, who were joined by the designated hate group on Saturday afternoon.
Patriot Front members were spotted taking the train in their characteristic khaki pants, ball caps, and white face masks, as other riders confronted them over their views and posted the interactions to social media.
When they arrived at the event, counter-protesters chanting “Nazis, go home,” streamed their demonstration on Twitch.
Other Christian demonstrators held signs claiming that “Satan has NO Rights!” and warning the “Homosexuals, baby killers, idolaters, unbelieving, liars, drunkards, gossips, cowards, thieves, mockers, fornicators” presumably in attendance that “hellfire awaits.”
Yet the protesters seem to have committed their own transgression in the process, violating an explicit order from the Archdiocese of Boston for them “not to organize or encourage others to go to the event to protest” and to stick to praying instead.
Organizers of the sold-out event advertised Satanic ceremonies, a Satanic wedding chapel, and panel discussion on topics including “Reclaiming the Trans Body” and “Deconstructing Your Religious Upbringing” as major draws for the conference, held by the Satanic Temple, which this year marks its 10th anniversary.
The organization views Satan not as the embodiment of evil but instead as a figure who dares to question authority, and they advocate for various causes, including abortion and the separation of church and state.
“The mission of the Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits,” the Satanic Temple’s website says.
This stands in contrast to the position advocated by the Patriot Front, which the Anti-Defamation League calls a “white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.”
The group was born in the aftermath of the infamous 2017 “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the murder of protester Heather Heyer.
Patriot Front has demonstrated in Boston before, recently leading a procession of nearly 100 masked men through the city on July 2 in an incident that resulted in one man being injured in an altercation.