Fueled by “recent attacks on Planned Parenthood by conservative politicians,” a group called Satanic Arkansas is throwing a concert at Vino’s this Saturday night, with all proceeds going to the reproductive health care nonprofit in Sen. Jason Rapert’s (R-Conway) name.
The Lights Inside the Woods, Or and Crankbait are on the bill, and the performance starts at 8 p.m., with a suggested donation of $7. We caught up with Satanic Arkansas co-founder Ivy Forrester to chat about the show, and about Satanic Arkansas’s mission. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t actually involve Lucifer at all, and embraces a moral code that includes an imperative to stand up for the poor and otherwise disenfranchised. Imagine that.)
I think a lot of us were unaware that there was such a thing as Satanic Arkansas. What’s the mission of the group?
Satanic Arkansas is a grassroots group of like-minded satanists who reject the notion that a religion must be based around the belief in a god or deity. We do not believe in the Judeo-Christian god nor the existence of Satan or Lucifer. However, we do believe in the importance of community, fellowship, and the desire to come together with similar people and improve the place in which we live. We believe that volunteering and activism are the rent you pay for living on this earth because there is a moral imperative to do so.
Why Planned Parenthood, and why now?
We chose to donate the proceeds of this show to Planned Parenthood because of the unprecedented level of defunding they have experienced despite the number of services they provide for some of the most vulnerable members of our society. We believe that it is immoral to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood under the guise of reducing the abortion rate in America because it not only does not reduce the abortion rate, but it also puts women, children, people of color, gay, trans, and queer, and low income folks at risk by reducing key access to essential medical services that should be a guaranteed right, including safe abortion. If our representatives refuse to do what is best for their constituents, then satanists like us will step up and respond to the needs of the community in which we live.