On Monday, Oct. 16, the Georgetown Lecture Fund hosted the founders of the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry. The event, titled “Atheism and Activism,” drew immense criticism from Georgetown’s Catholic Campus Ministry due to the group’s history of publicly desecrating the Eucharist and Greaves’ history of bigoted remarks.
The Catholic Campus Ministry responded admirably with an interfaith prayer service.
In addition, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women at Georgetown co-sponsored an open letter, with over 150 signatories, expressing discontent with the Lecture Fund’s event. While the letter condemned the event, it acknowledged the Satanic Temple’s right to free speech.
Many Catholics refused to attend the event, as any association with Satan turned them off.
Still, about 60 Hoyas attended the event.
These 60 Hoyas may have thought they were participating in an edgy yet satirical act of defiance, but in reality, they were supporting a hateful group that stands against the ethos of pluralism.
What attendees may not have realized — perhaps even the Lecture Fund did not realize — is that the most problematic aspect of the event is Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple.
Greaves, whose real name is Douglas Misicko, has a history of hate speech, even resulting in other Satanist groups condemning his comments.
The clearest example of Greaves’ bigotry came during a 24-hour radio livestream, in which he degraded religious Jews, promoted fascism and expressed support for white supremacist and domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh.
But perhaps the most egregious view Greaves holds is his support for eugenics, the belief that the human gene pool can be altered through selective breeding. Historically, eugenics has been used by Nazis, white supremacists and other totalitarian governments to advance their evil agendas.
In the same livestream, when asked a question about whether people with low IQs should be able to have children, Greaves responded by claiming that these individuals should not be allowed to reproduce.
To date, Greaves has not apologized for these quotes or beliefs. Nor has he condemned eugenics or white supremacy. Instead, Greaves has preyed upon unsuspecting students and progressives, bringing them into his cult of hate.
Greaves’ views are disgusting. All should join in condemning them.
The Temple has also repeatedly desecrated the Eucharist, a sacred Catholic sacrament.
Catholics believe that during our mass, the host — unadulterated wheat reduced to flour, diluted with natural water and baked into bread — becomes the body of Jesus Christ through a process called transubstantiation. To be clear, Catholics believe that the Eucharist is not just symbolic, but that the host truly becomes the body, the real presence of our Savior.
By choosing to desecrate the Eucharist, the Satanic Temple desecrates the source and summit of a Catholic university: God Himself. This act is among the greatest offenses in our religion.
This is especially troubling because the speaking event attacks the very core of Georgetown’s Jesuit identity: religious pluralism.
Georgetown was the first university to hire a Muslim chaplain full-time, open a mosque with ablution stations, hire a Hindu priest as a chaplain and open a Dharmic meditation center. In addition, Georgetown also boasts vibrant Jewish, Protestant, Orthodox and Buddhist communities, among others.
This celebration of the world’s religions is only possible in tandem with the religious respect promoted by the Jesuits.
In every sense, the Satanic Temple event opposes the very ethos of interreligious understanding. By encouraging an event that mocks even one religious faith, the Lecture Fund disrupts the fragile environment of respect that the university has fostered for all religious faiths.
It is incumbent upon universities to foster the growth of students’ minds through constructive discourse, which the Satanic Temple fails to provide.
Instead of playing its role as a steward of free speech, the Lecture Fund chose to highlight speakers who deeply offend many members of the Georgetown community. The talk was not constructive; instead, it was a childish attempt to be provocative.
If you are religious, irreligious or even a Satanist, you should be disgusted by this event.
As Hoyas and as people, we deserve better than having university funds wasted on a futile attempt at a joke.
To ensure that the Lecture Fund is unable to hold more ridiculous events, a structural change is required. Perhaps the Fund should be composed of student leaders from important campus clubs. Perhaps there needs to be more administrative supervision.
Whatever the case may be, this mistake ought not to be repeated. We cannot provide a paid platform to bigoted individuals.
Gregory Brew is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Correction: A previous version of this article misattributed racist statements made by Tom Metzger on the 24-hour livestream to Lucien Greaves.