Satanist church holds drive to collect socks for the homeless

Caroline Mortimer
An depiction of Satan from a 19th century illustration of Paradise Lost by John Milton. Most satanists do not actually worship Satan

A satanist organisation in Florida has launched a sock drive for the homeless as part of a long-running campaign.

The “Socks for Satan” scheme run by the Satanic Temple, a controversial US political group which advocates for the protection of the separation of church and state, has been operating across the country for a number of years.

On its Facebook group, the organisation announced it would be collecting donations of “unopened packs of socks” to be given to people on the streets of the city of Pensacola, on the westernmost edge of Florida.

It said: “Dry socks are a must for healthy feet in our rainy town."

The drive will run until 30 April and the group has asked for the “Satanic Socks Boxes” to be deposited to the Revolver Records store and the 3D Ink Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery.

Contrary to popular belief, most satanists do not worship Satan.

The Satanic Temple, which is one of the largest satanist organisations in the US, is an atheist group which uses the Judeo-Christian image of Satan to highlight and mock the overly superstitious nature of religious thought and campaigns against the influence of religion on public life.

Its mission statement says: “The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.”

As well as clothes donations for the homeless, the organisation also campaigns against corporal punishment in schools – which is still legal in some US states – and recently installed a billboard in Texas calling on students to “never be hit in school again”.

The billboard, which appeared on Highway 99 just north of Forth Worth, urges students to tell school boards that corporal punishment violates their civil rights.

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