Satanism is a subject which has long puzzled me, for a variety of reasons. Most prominent among these comes from my natural cynicism with regard to religion, but it goes further than that. To me, the Bible seems to take the form of an excessively long and didactic novel, one in which there is broadly a hero and a villain; as such, the support of a villain (spoiler alert – it’s Satan) seems to be perverse for the sake of perversity, much in the same way that one might support Sauron over the hobbits because good triumphing is too mainstream. But this is of course theologically irrelevant, and we can now move on to the bit which requires a soupçon of thought before writing.
The official website of the Church of Satan, with its red and black colour scheme and convenient ’666′s in its contact details, might seem at first sight to be the kind of place where one could expect to find the Satanism of newspaper headlines. Indeed, this impression was strengthened as I looked at the history section of the website and found a picture of a man in a cotton devil costume pointing at the camera while a naked lady (one boob showing, bondage unconfirmed) lay on a bed of some sort, presumably waiting to be sacrificed. However, on reading through their fabulously coloured literature I was disappointed to find out that they are roughly equatable to Republicans with less religion and more anger. They claim to “understand that all gods are fiction”, and “accept Man’s true nature – that of a carnal beast”, which strikes me more than anything as being a startlingly apt description of Malcolm McDowell’s cane-wielding psychopath; not, then, much use in understanding what a short trip to Wikipedia told me is Theistic Satanism, rather than the Atheistic Satanism which I had just encountered.
Having moved on, I came to find http://www.spiritualsatanist.com, a website which among other things promised to find me ‘young Venus Satanas in my area’. Its front page, which provides an easily readable introduction to Theistic Satanism, tells me that “of all the gods, it seems as if Satan is the most human”; this is precisely what I set out in search of, and now provides me with a vehicle for voicing something which has seemed odd to me for a long time. While it is true that in recent times the character of Satan has been explored to some considerable degree, most notably in Paradise Lost, the Satan which everyone initially came to know and love was first found in the Bible. The Bible which is, and I think it would be very hard to deny this, a Christian book written by and large for the glorification of God. God, that is, who is the nemesis and very antithesis of Satan. Herein lies my serious problem with Theistic Satanism – excepting, of course, the ritualistic murders; I have deep trouble getting my head around the notion that worship of one being can come about from a depiction of said being which shows it as being the epitome and/or cause of all evil in the world. It might be understandable is these Satanists considered themselves evil, and somehow considered propagation of this as a worthwhile cause, but to judge from this particularly ‘sect’, for want of a better word, that is not the aim: they wish for “independence, self reliance, determination, and self-realization”. Moreover, there seems to be a distinctly grey area with regard to the acceptance of a Christian God among these Satanists. However, one must assume that such a God is accepted to avoid falling into a logical shitpit, as it is the bedrock of the text from which Satanists draw their own beliefs, which leads me to ask: why, in pursuit of such ‘honourable’ aims as previously stated, would one take any side other than that of a being who is omnibenevolent, and has the omnipotence to effect his benevolence?
I do not expect any serious response to my puzzlement; Hell, I don’t much expect any response; but this is my first contribution to the blog and I’ve rather enjoyed finding a way to express my inane and irrelevant thoughts through a medium other than frantic slurring.