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Tridents, Pitchforks and Satan in the news

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"We will follow them to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice. Because Hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside," Vice President Joseph Biden speaking about ISIS on September 3, 2014, at the Portsmouth Naval Yard, New Hampshire. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is one of four remaining naval shipyards in the nation, and is capable of docking all active classes of submarines including the Los Angeles, Trident and Virginia classes.

trident is a three-pronged spear, used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for "triple-spear"). Parallel to its fishing origins, the trident is associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, the Roman god Neptune, and Shiva, a Hindu God who holds a trident in his hand. In Hindu legends and stories, Shiva uses this sacred weapon to fight off negativity in the form of evil villains. The trident represents the deity in his three aspects of creator, preserver and destroyer.

pitchfork is an agricultural tool with a long handle and long, thick, widely separated pointed tines (also called prongs) used to lift and pitch (throw) loose material, such as hay, straw or leaves. Pitchforks typically have only two, three or four tines. The three-pronged pitchfork has grown to be associated with the Devil or Satan. The pitchfork is often used in satire of Christian demonology in popular media, especially in early humorous cartoons where a popular joke was a caricature of an angel and a pitchfork-wielding devil sitting on the opposite shoulders of the conflicted protagonist. The "pitchfork" of Satan looks remarkably like a trident. One has merged with the other.

Author Chris Woodyard's research on Herman Menz and his carved stone Devil of Detroit (see above) has revealed a trident on the monument, although it was called the "big ugly fork" in the original news story. Woodyard has a new look at this Devil and others here.

Speaking of Detroit, the site of "Devil's Night" every October 30th, it is directly in the news in conjunction with Satan's followers coming to that city.

The Satanic Temple, a New-York-based religious group, announced on September 7, 2014, it wants to build its first chapter house in Detroit, Michigan, where it will perform services such as marriages and funerals. It noted the sacrificing of babies, humans and animals will not take place.

This is the same group that caused a stir when it said it wanted to erect a seven-foot tall statue of Satan near the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol.  The proposed image (see above) of the statue suggested that the Temple wanted to depict Satan as a goat-headed Baphoment figure with a long beard, horns, and wings, with a pentagram design placed overhead. Two smiling children would be placed on both sides of the statue. Early reports of a Black Mass in Oklahoma also circulated. The plans for the Black Mass appear to be on a fast track.

However, the group’s leaders say they do not worship Satan. “We believe in a metaphorical, literary construct of Satan,” a Temple leader said. “He’s a symbol for rebellion, a symbol of human nature, the thirst for knowledge.”

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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