A group of Sunshine Coast Satanists have asked for equal protection as a religious group, in light of the federal government’s religious discrimination bill.
The Noosa Temple of Satan says it is calling on the government to cover security costs for its upcoming Black Mass in the face of religious-based threats against its members.
The sold-out Halloween celebration is set to feature drag performer Sellma Soul.
The J, the Noosa Council-owned venue hosting the Black Mass, has advised the Temple that it will apply an additional cost of $480 for two security guards at the half-hour event.
The venue says security personnel are needed for protection following a stream of death threats targeting the Satanic group.
Temple spokesperson Brother Samael Demo-Gorgon, the alter ego of activist Robin Bristow, said he was “shocked to see the gross intolerance shown by Christians towards people of different faiths”.
“The Noosa Temple of Satan has been surprised by the large number of threats received on social media directed at the Temple by fanatical Christians,” he said.
“All this for merely practising our right to freedom of religion in [the] community with others and in private.
“These outrageous threats to our event must be seen in the light of the calls by our Christian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a religious freedom bill.
“The hypocrisy of Christians is breathtaking.”
The secular Temple of Satan was established to bring attention to the religious discrimination bill, which would see LGBTIQ people and other marginalised groups vulnerable to legalised discrimination.
The Temple of Satan’s submission to the government went viral in January, when it ‘welcomed’ the bill and the protections it would offer Satanists.
“[The bill would] give people the right to hate,” Brother Samael told Pink Advocate.
“Its impact will be widespread across all groups of people: women, the LGBTIQ community, the disabled community… it’s vast.”
He said that the group’s aim is for the “unacceptable” bill to be scrapped, and that Australia instead needs a bill of human rights.
Noosa Police have said they will be present on the night of the Black Mass to keep the peace.
“Hail Satan for our dedicated police!” said Brother Samael.
Organisers are asking Noosa Federal MP Llew O’Brien to step in and fund the security costs.
“Llew and the Morrison Government have been extremely vocal with their support of religious freedom, so now they should put their money where their mouth is,” said Brother Samael.
“Scott Morrison’s own church was recently granted more than $100,000 of taxpayers’ money for security upgrades.
“Surely Llew could help the Noosa Temple of Satan have a safe and secure Black Mass with a contribution to the security costs.”
Brother Samael said that Noosa’s Satanists could not be expected to pay security costs every time they hold a Black Mass.
“This would be grossly unfair,” he said.
“Hillsong Church uses the same facility for their Sunday services and is not charged additional security costs by Council for the time they spend at this same venue.
“Is Noosa Council trying to censor our religious freedoms with this excessive extra cost?”
Brother Samael said that the Temple wants to highlight “conditional” respect for religion.
“As soon as Satanists demand the same treatment, the shit hits the fan,” he said.
LGBTIQ group Rainbow Noosa will hold a vigil outside the Black Mass in support of the Temple.