Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina's Pagan Set Designer Defends The Show's Controversial Religion

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
At this point, we've all binged every episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, right? Right. And while we may have a lot of questions after diving head-first into this spooky world, luckily a second season is already on its way to give us even more Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka). However, one question that we can answer right now is one people have been asking about the show's religion, the Church Of Night. For a show about witchcraft, there's a lot about Satanism. IRL, those are two separate things, so some fans were surprised to see them conflated along with other Pagan religions.
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"I also just want to point out, while I appreciate that this #tvseries is living up to the #comics, #Satanism and #Witchcraft are two separate things altogether," one viewer wrote on Twitter.
"So when Sabrina was exorcizing Suzy’s uncle she called on Tituba and Marie Laveau," another pointed out. "So in this universe is there is no separation between witchcraft and voodoo ?"
"Everyone is upset about Salem (and rightly so) but no one is angry that they're adhering to the 'witches are servants of Satan' trope??" another asked. "Witchcraft & paganism are NOT about demonic activity but about connectedness with the spiritual and natural worlds."
When a group of reporters visited the set back in September, they had similar questions about the show's religious blend. Set designer Lisa Soper herself is Pagan (a term for religions that fall outside of the main world religions, like Wicca) and told Refinery29 that she took no offense to the show's depiction of witchcraft. In fact, the ambiguity was kind of the point.
“We are taking from some parts of reality to help sculpt this to make it more layered and textured and creative and interesting for people that might have a hand in a certain belief or not,” she explained. “None of it’s made to offend. It’s all made to try to elevate...and again, I myself as a Pagan, I think it’s funny. I think it’s great. I don’t believe in Satan, but I draw him every day, and I put him in the show, and I think it’s wonderful...I would say the same thing when you watch Spirit of Christmas and Santa comes down the chimney. Santa’s not real, he doesn’t actually come down the chimney, but we understand that.”
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But something tells me that won't appease the Satanic Temple, which is threatening to sue the Netflix show.
“I’m amazed that anybody is confused as to why we would seek legal remedy over Sabrina using our monument,” Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesperson for The Satanic Temple, tweeted about the show's statue of Baphomet. “Would they be as understanding of a fictional show that used a real mosque as the HQ of a terrorist cell? A fictional Blood Libel tale implicating real world Jews?”
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is on Netflix now.
Travel and accommodations for the author were provided by Netflix for the purpose of writing this story.
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