Organized Satanism’s tendency to align itself with political movements is lame. Satanism should be about the celebration of evil and the performance of heinous deeds of malevolence. Dorky satanists’ attempts to politicise their movements are pathetic.
I know there are countless Satanic sects, but the two biggest groups of organized Satanists are the Church of Satan and the Satanic Temple, and both have ridiculous links to politics.
The Church of Satan
The Church of Satan is all about individualism. You don’t need to adhere to any specific lifestyle or political belief system to become a member. That being said, the philosophy behind this “religion” is based on the writings of Ayn Rand, and it’s largely about maximising one’s own power at the expense of others. This focus has attracted countless right wing wankers. LaVey, the organization’s founder, fraternized with James Madole and several other neo-fascists. In the 80s, several members of the Church of Satan appeared on Race and Reason, a talk show hosted by Neo-Nazi Tom Metzger. Now, I know that a few members of an organization being Nazis doesn’t make every member of that organization a Nazi, but one of the guys I’m talking about was later asked to become the organization’s leader. I don’t actually believe that every member of the Church of Satan is a white supremacist, but I do believe that most of the members get a kick out of their religion’s nebulous connections with neo-fascism. They’re Satanists for fuck’s sake; they love being associated with scary stuff. (CoS’s links with right wing scum are well documented elsewhere. Google it if you want more information.)
I don’t think that the Church of Satan is a hate-group or anything like that. I just think its members are nerdy virgins who were bullied at school and spend the rest of their lives trying to seem dangerous. They’re too wimpy to actually do anything, so they just flirt with Nazi imagery on their tumblr blogs. Lame.
The Satanic Temple
By now, I think the Satanic Temple (TST) probably has more members than the Church of Satan. This organization promotes progressive ideas of social justice and that kind of thing, and I think a lot of stuff that TST does is kinda cool. I just dislike its members as individuals, and I think the whole thing of Satan being the good guy is silly.
Satanism, regardless of what brand, has to be a little bit naughty. It’s named after Satan, the adversary of God. Satan doesn’t follow the rules. He’s not supposed to do the right thing. If not the antagonist, he is at very least a trickster. Inviting Satan to the battle against conservative Christians is fair game, but what about invoking him to protect Muslim refugees in the USA?
I am NOT saying that I disagree with welcoming and protecting Muslim refugees. Islam is an Abrahamic religion, and the Shaitan (an evil spirit) tempts Adam in the story of the Garden of Eden as told in the Quran. Somehow I don’t think many Muslims are going to feel comforted when greeted with the following image:
I didn’t make that image myself. I found it in a TST facebook discussion group a few years ago. Check out the replacement of the star with the pentagram. Is that blasphemous? Some well-meaning Satanist was making these images to share online. Here’s another one:
The name Satan comes from a Hebrew word meaning accuser. Satan first appears as a specific entity in the Torah, and he plays an important role in the beliefs and sacred texts of Judaism. Some fucking idiot has placed an upside-down pentagram, the symbol of Satan, inside the star of David. How fucking oblivious can you be?
Of course, this isn’t the first time that somebody decided to mix Satanic imagery with Jewish symbolism. Here’s an image from the July 1938 edition of Der Stürmer, the Nazi tabloid.
This kind of hateful nonsense even predates the Nazis. During the medieval period Christian leaders put a lot of effort into linking Satan to the Jewish people. I have no doubt that the individual who posted the Satanic Solidarity images meant well, but Jesus Christ, what an ignorant fucking imbecile.
I made the following image myself and posted it in the same thread as the two above. I was kicked out that facebook group shortly after.
No. Making Satan the good guy is dumb.
the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this cultureCambridge
the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or societyOxford Languages
the adoption or co-opting, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers associated with or originating in minority communities by people or communities with a relatively privileged status.Dictionary.com
Cultural appropriation is a favourite topic of some modern progressives. Regardless of how problematic you think it is, I’m sure you’ll agree that all three of the above definitions of cultural appropriation apply to the Satanic Temple’s adoption of Satan as a symbol for progressive values. Oh the irony! Satan is a character, a force and a symbol from Jewish and Christian belief systems that has been willfully misunderstood and transformed into a force of benevolence by a bunch of geeks wearing black nail varnish. There are obviously more Christians than these progressive Satanists, but the language used to describe the appropriators as being “relatively privileged” or “typically dominant” doesn’t really create a contradiction. TST looks edgy on the surface, but its values are actually pretty close to those of the majority of people living in the Western World. Their beliefs are (thankfully) dominant here at this point. The benevolent Satan of TST is an abhorrent corruption of the evil Satan of the Abrahamic religions.
I want to reiterate that I think that some of what TST does is actually pretty cool. I just think a lot of its members are clueless weiners. The above images are just one example of the kind of wishy-washy, goody-two-shoes nonsense that I witnessed in TST facebook groups before deactivating my account. (I want to make it very clear that I definitely prefer these harmless geeks to the nasty little rape glorifiers of the Church of Satan.)
Satanism is inherently dumb, and any attempts to codify it are bound to turn out lame. A true Satanist serves Satan; they shouldn’t try to tame the Dark Lord and have him spout their political dogma or make excuses for it. The only viable form of Satanism is the performance of atrocious deeds of unspeakable evil. Snarl at the moon, abuse yourself, spit blasphemous obscenities in the faces of believers and revel in your acts of unholy destruction (preferably all at once), but please keep your political beliefs for lunchtime conversations at work like a normal person.