Steve Hill refuses to fit neatly into any category. A former Marine and peace officer, he is now a successful standup comic, real estate appraiser and local activist. He also made history in what is possibly the most bizarre election cycle ever, as the first openly Satanic public servant to run for office in America.
What’s especially contemptuous is that Steve ran in a district known as the Bible Belt of LA County, the Antelope Valley, and helped the Church of Satan challenge the Lancaster City Council to comply with religious freedom laws, and allow the Seven Tenets of Satan (think the 10 commandments of Satan) displayed alongside a bible at Lancaster City hall. The group even organized to hold a Satanic ritual on 6/6/16, to teach concerned city officials about their beliefs.
This left a few fervently religious locals confounded and afraid, and all hell broke loose.
The unapologetic frankness with which he talked about his beliefs and his involvement in the ritual gave Steve a massive boost of social and mainstream media exposure, garnering attention from the likes of TMZ to even Time Magazine. The exposure netted him endorsements from VoteprogressiveCA.com , and several Bernie Sanders fans on social media. In the end, Steve lost the Senate race, but left his mark as one of the most fascinating and entertaining candidates to run for office. VEX caught up with Steve while taking a break from preparing his upcoming comedy special, and touched base with him on his religious views (or lack thereof) , and his vision of a better world.
What does Satan Represent to you? You know that the first or original place that you heard of Satan is in the Bible. Satan represents a stick. God represents a carrot. You know about the carrot and the stick? Good and evil. In the book that everyone is supposed to buy into, you were given God….which is so good, so perfect, pristine, omnipresent. And then you were given the Devil, which is diabolically and diametrically opposed, 180 degrees opposite, this Evil, this Wretched, just.. everything you can imagine. So, you were given the Devil to scare you with. You were given the Devil...to scare you. That’s fear based. And that’s what Satan represents to me. So … we don’t believe in Satan, per say, any more than we believe in God. We’re using satire to go, here: We’re everything you hate. We’re allll evil. And we’re gonna fight you with your own crap. When you buy city property, and turn it into churches...turn it into little community ‘faith based’ homes...then, We want one. We are ‘religious’. We ‘worship’ Satan. So...what makes your religion better than our religion? We want to be treated equally - it’s the in law. But more importantly - separation of church and state.
So is the purpose of Satanism just to debunk and troll Christianity? Basically. Its Satirical.
So if there was no Christianity would there be no need for Satanism? If they were not pushing their religion into our government, which is by the people and for the people, then no. We all don’t think alike, we all don’t worship alike. There are muslims, buddhists, but you don’t see any muslim faith based houses, do you? It’s just Christians. How obviously discriminatory is that? But people are cowards - they don’t wanna say nothing because they know they’re fighting a majority. Everybody likes the idea of religious faith based houses - until Satan shows up wanting one. But it’s just common sense - let’s have some fairness.
Do people try to join you completely ignorant of the fact that you’re atheist? Assuming that you’re Devil-worshippers? Well we do hold rituals - I don’t participate in them, but we had one in LA recently where it was off the chain - there’s was people suspended from the ceiling, and these long pillars of candles and smoke, so we do great shows, but we don’t believe in any of this. It’s all for satire. We mostly meet up, have some drinks and meet like minded people who enjoy our company. What you do when we leave here is your business.
So you don’t get a lot of weirdos? We get some, but we weed them out. There’s an application that you fill out and there’s some specific questions devised to weed out people who think that Satan’s really running around somewhere. But we try to make it abundantly clear we are atheists for the separation of church and state. We don’t worship shit.
I noticed a lot of fearful christians posting your interviews on pro-Bernie sites, trying to warn people of the dangers of voting for you. That backfired, because that exposure eventually got you an endorsement from Vote Progressives CA. Do you think notoriety gave you that advertising boost you needed? Yeah, it was effective. Because people would go on my website, check out my facebook page and actually look at my platform.
How hard was it to get the 7 Tenet of Satan displayed at Lancaster City Hall? I know you guys had some protesters, but was anyone in the city council trying to turn you down? I think so, but what could they do? Of course we didn’t think they they would be all warm and fuzzy. But they wasted taxpayer money trying to fight it!
Is that why you guys decided to create a giant pentagram with GPS signals? Yes, and their ‘opposing force’ was to hire a skywriter to make a giant cross in the sky. And it cost the city a lot of money.
In your run for Senate you actually came in 3rd place. I think the count was over 15,000 votes, which was about 13% of the vote.
But did you spend any money on advertising? I never saw any commercials, banners, flyers, none of that for you. No, the few donations I did get helped with my political consultants and paying for the debates. They were coming from across the country and were very small donations, between $10-$20. I think the biggest donation I got was $200. Running for office cost me about 5 Grand, but I didn’t care.
You’ve mentioned before that the City is not displaying the tenets in a respectful way. Tell me whats happening there. They’re not being displayed at all! They probably threw them in the trash. I tried to speak to the City Manager during the [Black Lives Matter] rally, but he was leaving the rally before it even started. But those Tenets, those really mean something to us. We fight for LGBTQ rights, women’s reproductive rights, we’re ‘social justice warriors’. So the Tenets actually do mean something. If everyone could live by them, it’d be a better world. But people are out here praying - like, do you understand that we’re out here at a rally because people are killing us in the streets? And you’re praying to the same god as the people who are killing us in the fucking streets. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
It’s stockholm syndrome. One of the first things they teach you in the Marines, if you’re captured by the enemy, you might feel sympathy for them. When I was a guard at the penitentiary, if the prisoners got out and started to riot, they warned you - you might experience stockholm syndrome. But we have to stand up, get off your knees, and fight back.
Steve Hill will be performing with Roger Rodd and Dwayne Mooney at Fresco II Thursday October 8th at 8pm