Queerantined

Daily Dose: Meet the group that turned homophobe Fred Phelps’ mother gay

Hail Satan?

Welcome to Queerty’s latest entry in our series, Queerantined: Daily Dose. Every weekday as long as the COVID-19 pandemic has us under quarantine, we’ll release a suggested bit of gloriously queer entertainment designed to keep you from getting stir crazy in the house. Each weekend, we will also suggest a binge-able title to keep you extra engaged.

The Tongue in Cheek: Hail Satan?

We first heard rumblings about this wild documentary at Sundance 2019. Now the time has come for us to recommend our readers give it a look, and prepare to cackle maniacally.

Hail Satan? chronicles the rise of The Satanic Temple, a grassroots organization of activists, not to be confused with the actual Church of Satan, which worships Satan as part of religious dogma. The Satanic Temple first emerged in 2013 under the eye of founder Lucian Greaves as a group dedicated to keeping church and state separate. Much to the ire of conservatives–and the talking heads of Fox News–the Temple used religious freedom laws to its own advantage as a means of self-promotion, shaming overreaching religious groups bent on Christianizing the secular government, and overturning religious-based laws used to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Less a religion than a group of performance artists, The Satanic Temple cares more about protecting civil liberties and fighting back against faith-based oppression than promoting a dude with a pitchfork.

Oh, and the Temple once posthumously “converted” Fred Phelps’ (of the Westboro Baptist Church) mother to lesbianism by performing a ritual on her gravesite that involved same-sex kissing and a Lucian Greaves rubbing his testicles on her tombstone. So, there’s that.

What began as simple contrarian hell-raising develops into a full-blown movement–something Greaves and his early followers didn’t anticipate, which brings with it a whole new set of problems. Funny, ridiculous and, to our surprise, uplifting, Hail Satan? is more fun that its title implies, and much more thought-provoking than detractors of the Temple would like to admit.

Streams on Hulu, Amazon, iTunes & YouTube.