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Metal In The Mainstream

Move Over Metal, SAM SMITH Is The New Face Of Satanic Panic!

God ol' Satanic Panic, back again.

Sam Smith
Sam Smith photo by Michael Bailey-Gates, background photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

Pop artists Sam Smith and Kim Petras got on stage last night at the GRAMMYs to perform their single "Unholy" and of course there are cries from conservatives that it's "Satanic." Smith donned a tophat with horns and a red suit to belt out the track, which United States senator Ted Cruz called "evil" and brainiac Marjorie Taylor Greene said… was sponsored by Pfizer among some other Greene-isms.

"The Grammy's featured Sam Smith's demonic performance and was sponsored by Pfizer," said Greene without a hint of irony. "And the Satanic Church now has an abortion clinic in NM that requires its patients to perform a satanic ritual before services. American Christians need to get to work." No really, what's with these people and Pfizer? Was Satan in the vaccine or something?

Oh, and don't worry – world-renowned musicologist Ben Shapiro weighed in too: "The elite in our society are fully in line with the ideology of Satanic fealty expressed by Smith and Petras. So what's the story with Satan and the transgressive ideology? For most of religious history, Satan was the great villain, an emblem of rebellion against the Good and the True, a symbol of resistance to the Holy." If any of these folks took literally ten seconds to do any research into the concept of Satan and modern Satanism, their heads might explode.

Disturbed vocalist David Draiman, however, is completely on board with Smith. "Lol, I don't want anyone ever saying that Hard Rock/Heavy Metal live performances are too 'extreme' for the [Recording Academy / GRAMMY] telecast… because Sam Smith just set the bar for EVERYONE last night," wrote Draiman in a tweet.

Smith is hardly the first pop culture icon to cause some good ol' Satanic Panic lately, either. A poster for Demi Lovato's new album ruffled some God-fearing feathers, while apparently Johnny Depp is possessed by pirate demons. Oh, and who could forget the guy wearing a literal "God" shirt trying to burn down a Satanic Temple? You can't even make that shit up. And given the decline of Christianity in the United States (and here), these flares-ups certainly feel like a symptom of a bigger fear.

Anyway, maybe Sam Smith could get up on stage with Disturbed this year and summon the Devil or whatever it is conservatives think is happening. And for what it's worth, the performance by both Smith and Petras was excellent. Talk about showmanship, right?

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