Breaking News
More () »

'Hail Ottawa County' | Satanic Temple of West Michigan supports Ottawa County becoming 'Constitutional County'

"Ottawa County will become a stronghold for Satanists," said Bender Bones of the Satanic Temple.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — "Ottawa County will become a stronghold for Satanists," said Bender Bones of the Satanic Temple, during his public comment at an Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting earlier this week.

Bones, representing The Satanic Temple of West Michigan, talked for almost three minutes prior to the board's vote to make Ottawa County a "Constitutional County" on Tuesday.

The symbolic "Resolution to Protect Constitutional Freedom" aims to "preserve freedom and constitutional rights" while highlighting specific amendments and articles in the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution.

The vote finally came late into the night, after five hours of public comment, with the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners passing the resolution by a vote of 9-1.

Bones thanked the board for bringing forth the resolution, and made note of the board's commitment to upholding the First Amendment constitutional right of Americans to freely practice all religions.

"The West Michigan congregation of the Satanic Temple applauds this commission for its commitment to upholding the religious freedoms for all our religious values include bodily autonomy, acting with compassion, and empathy, and embracing pluralism. These values are core to our deeply held beliefs as Satanists and we are always pleased to see these values upheld by governments at all levels," said Bones.

According to The Satanic Temple's website, "The mission of the Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice and undertake noble pursuits."

The group also says that they do not worship or even believe in the existence of Satan or the "supernatural."

Instead, they say "Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse."

Bones said the Satanic Temple wants to further support the resolution by participating in opening prayers at the board's meetings and showing off their "goat display" during holidays in Ottawa County.

The meeting was streamed live on YouTube, and many users weighed in during Bones' public comment.

"This is what happens when Leftists control the education system for a couple generations. Are you happy with this," Dan Winiarski wrote in the YouTube comments.

Others were visibly upset during Bones' public comment, with one woman bowing her head in prayer.

"In closing, I want to thank everyone in support of the constitutional county resolution for strengthening the rights and freedoms of Satanists of the Satanic Temple West Michigan, I'm proud to know that Ottawa, Ottawa County will become a stronghold for Satanists of all type," said Bones as he finished his public comment.

Shortly after Bones public comment, Virginia of Laketown Township shared that "Morality left our country when Christian principles, such as the Ten Commandments, were removed and disregarded. Demons have come in by the multitudes. They are in every area of societal influence."

The resolution, now passed, will hold no legal power and is largely symbolic in nature.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out