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The spirit of deception is alive and well at the second annual Pagan Pride Fest in Tyler, Texas.
Despite the event organizer, Raynie Castañeda, claiming the event was "not satanic," nothing could be further from the truth. Those hosting the event appeared to be trying to distort and spread false senses of self and identity to the attendees.
"We're just hanging out," Castañeda explained to the "Tyler Morning Telegraph." "There's kids trick-or-treating, people getting their faces painted ... We're not doing anything satanic or any crazy rituals. We're just existing."
The event was formed specifically to be anti-Christian.
In promotional material distributed beforehand, the event is described as a place to "gather & celebrate ourselves in the center of town, on our Good Old Square, which has historically been the place of our town's atrocities against BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Pagans, and any non-Christian folk. We reclaim this space in Honour of Ourselves, or our Gods, or our Ancestors."
The focus was to celebrate "ANY Pagan, Heathen, Satanist, Atheist, Spiritualist, any 'Other'd' folk who just don't know."
While touting the typical talking points, in case there was confusion about where the left stands on Christianity, the Satanic Temple was one of many groups in attendance at the festival.
As reported by Tayler Hansen, the Satanic Temple clergy were clad in black robes and an assortment of demonic masks, while charging people $10 to be "un-baptized" by having a black upside-down cross drawn on their foreheads as they exclaimed "Hail Satan!"
They said this event was to free people from the "superstitions that may have been imposed upon them without their consent as a child." But—this is not a satanic event, according to the organizer.
The attendees who were un-baptized were also given a certificate of un-baptism as well, openly mocking Christian churches throughout the entire process.
Therein lies the point of the entire festival. It was an anti-Christian gathering designed to lead people away from the Christian faith. The open hostility toward Christians was evident throughout, including the warning the Satanic Temple posted on their Facebook page about potential Christian protesters:
"If you are going, just some word of caution: there is a high chance of protesters. Do not engage, do not argue, just pass go. They are not there to listen; they are there to try to 'save you'- do not confront or try to start something. You are on your own if you do. We will not come bail you out of jail"
Before and during the festival, several Christians arrived to pray against what was happening in the square.
"As a Christian, we're called to a spiritual battleground, and I think this is an opportunity to exercise our strength in our relationship with Christ," Lauren Ethredge-Langas, a member of the Church of the Pines, shared with KVEO-TV.
Displays of anti-Christian imagery were everywhere at the event. Many of the attendees dressed up as mockeries of priests, nuns and other religious figures. The hostility toward Christianity and what the organizers said they were trying to represent simply did not add up.
With a narcissistic focus on self and being "your own god," Satan and his influence was prevalent at the festival. The organizer's claim that it was not "satanic" is the go-to strategy for many who live without Christ in America today: Just lie about exactly what you are doing.
Denial has worked so well for Satan and his minions, there is no reason to stop it now. People are being deceived by this tactic as is evidenced by this festival and others like it across the world.
The goal of making it appear innocent and undermine the seriousness of the spiritual impact an event like this would have can be seen across America.
The same spirit that claims a pagan festival's sole focus is not to be anti-Christian, is the same spirit that wants to see children exposed to sexually explicit drag shows. It wants to see children taught CRT and LGBTQ ideology in schools across the nation. It wants the government to continue to deny the existence of God (such as the Democratic party's pledge to secularism) and keep the truth of Jesus Christ from the hearts of as many as it can.
James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.
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