On Wednesday, Arizona state Senator Juan Mendez (D) proudly honored Satanists at the state capitol in Phoenix.
Mendez claimed that Satanists are under “arbitrary” and “tyrannical” religious persecution and gave the group glowing praise as he welcomed them to the capitol grounds before a committee hearing.
“Members, I would like to introduce a group of Arizonans, some from my district, but they have membership all across the state,” said Mendez as he spoke through a mask during the hearing.
“They are here today to confront the arbitrary, tyrannical authority of religious persecution that's scheduled for government committee later on today,” he continued. “We are graced with the presence of ministers and members of the Satanic Temple of Arizona.”
Mendez told his colleagues while stuttering through the microphone that the Satanists are “at the Capitol today to fight for the rights of their more than 12,000 members of their denomination and the rights of free speech and free exercise of all Arizonans.”
The Democrat senator went on to claim that the group practices religious values such as “compassion, justice, bodily autonomy, free speech, science, humility, and noble action.”
“As an organized religion,” he continued, “They actively do outreach and community service and participate in public affairs where their issues might benefit from their rational, satanic insights.”
“The mission of the satanic temple is to encourage belovenance and empathy among all people,” he added. “They embrace practical common sense and justice. They are guided by their conscience to undertake noble pursuits that fulfill their religious values … I welcome them to the floor today.”
The Democrat senator was slammed on social media after welcoming the devil worshippers to the capitol with open arms. People also took the opportunity to mock him for wearing a mask during his speech.
“What's up with the mask? How do we know he's actually speaking?” said one user on X.
Another individual weighed in and said, “And in the committee hearing on the bill, one of the Satanists concluded his testimony with a hearty ‘HAIL SATAN!'”
Satanism has made headlines in the United States over a few incidents that have occurred within the past several months. A Satanic statue that had been erected inside the Iowa State Capitol in December sparked debate and outrage; it was then been beheaded by a Christian veteran.
The veteran was then charged with a “hate crime.“
Further outrage was sparked when another Satanic statue was erected in front of the Michigan State Capitol shortly after the one that had been set up in Iowa. A Democrat staffer posed with it and called it “sexy.” It has also since been removed from the premises.