It’s Satan weekend here. I’m Canadian and for Thanksgiving weekend I’m giving thanks that I live in a country where I’m allowed to be critical of beliefs and poke fun at things in a way that could be considered blasphemy in other places. A few stories worth throwing together came around over the past few weeks. Here’s the first one.
Late September in New Mexico. Bernard Pritchard sued his prison for not letting him practice his religion. The fact that it’s Satanism might have a teeny weeny bit to do with it.
Pritchard is asking for an injunction to practice “Satanic worship” as well as $100,000 “jointly and severally” from his defendants for “emotional injury” and another $20,000 from each defendant for punitive damages.
Notably, Pritchard’s lawsuit fails to explain specifics about how his defendants allegedly infringed his religious rights. Alex Tomlin, a spokeswoman for the department, says prison officials go out of their way to accommodate inmates’ abilities to practice their religion.
So, that’s worth the bolding. Does the man have a case or is he just stirring up something for the hell (haha) of it? Without any solid evidence of mistreatment or denial of rights to worship as he sees fit (or at least, as is feasable from prison) then I suspect this lawsuit will get thrown out.
Pritchard is in prison for aggressive stalking and is a registered sex offender, which has nothing to do with the story that I can tell, except as character description. The Church of Satan was contacted about the guy but he’s apparently not a member and in the email they clarify,
“Satanic worship” and “inner faith” are terms “we Satanists reject…as that concept plays no role in our skeptical philosophy.”