A lawsuit filed against Netflix regarding its recent hit series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has drawn quite a bit of attention recently, more so because of who wants relief from the streaming content provider than anything else. The Satanic Temple has sued Netflix and Warner Bros. for what it considers copyright infringement of a Baphomet statue used throughout the series, and the lawsuit seeks “at least” $50 million. To make matters even juicier, the Church of Satan has also responded to news of the lawsuit.
Now, first things first: It’s important to understand that the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan are not the same thing. The Satanic Temple is more of a political activist group, and while it uses Satanic imagery, it does so to promote social justice and the separation of church and state that’s enshrined in the U.S. constitution. The Church of Satan is a religious organization that devotes itself to the Satanic Bible, founded in San Francisco by Anton LaVey.
But in addition to being different organizations, the Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan also don’t seem to get along together particularly well.
In a letter written by Reverend Joel Ethan of the Church of Satan last week regarding the Sabrina lawsuit, he refers to the Satanic Temple as being “known for childish PR stunts” and describes the Temple as “not in anyway representative of the apolitical, individualistic and atheistic religion of Satanism.” In addition to critiquing the Satanic Temple’s lawsuit against Netflix as without a leg to stand on (even disparaging the Temple’s Baphomet statue at issue in the suit), he is asking that people do not conflate the Satanic Temple’s actions with the Church of Satan.
The two organizations diverge when it comes to the new Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. While the Satanic Temple has sued the streaming service and is upset at the misrepresentations of its teachings, the Church of Satan deems the series more like “a darker spin on Harry Potter” than an attempt to falsely paint its religion, and notes, “Our members are watching [Sabrina] as are many horror fans, and, as might be expected, some enjoy them and others find them not to their tastes.”
“To each his own,” says Ethan.