On “Re-defining” Satanism
© 2013 C.E. by L. Hernandez
Satanism is defined in The Satanic Bible. It is a religion which holds a basic atheistic stance, yet has ceremony, rituals, holidays, and dogma. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Satanism differs from atheism in several important ways, atheism being nothing more than the lack of belief in a literal god or gods. I won’t get into those differences here, as I want this to be brief and to the point.
When someone takes Satanism—a clearly defined religion—and throws out the parts they don’t like while attempting to “re-define” the rest (for whatever reason), what they are left with ceases to be Satanism—and should not be called such. If you take the deck off a skateboard and replace it with a bicycle seat or just plane nothing, what you have left is no longer a skateboard, regardless of the leftover components. Jews understand this concept and thus do not accept Christianity as a part of their religion. Why people seem to not grasp this is mind-boggling.
If a person is inspired by and agrees with only parts of Satanism and can move on from there happy with the fact that they are not Satanists, that’s fine—but there seems to be a trend where people are trying to turn Satanism into nothing more than militant atheism, which takes away many of the very things that define it as Satanism in the first place.
The Church of Satan has been around for forty-nine years now as of this writing and we don’t need others to try to re-define our religion. Do your own thing, be inspired by whatever you choose, but understand that if you’re going to try and create something “new and improved,” you’d best come up with a new name for it as well.
I cannot stress enough how important doing real research is! I always tell people the best place to start is with HTF Rhodes’ “The Satanic Mass,” which is by far the best, most well-researched historical documentation on the topic. Ignore Jules Michelet’s “Satanism & Witchcraft,” as that book has been shown by historians to be not only poorly researched, but almost a complete fabrication from nowhere else than the author’s own imagination.
If you haven’t at least done that basic reading, you have no business making any historical claims about anything to do with Satanism. Period.
For those who insist on claiming that Satan is a real entity and who call themselves “Theistic Satanists,” if you’re going to play on that paradigm, you’re playing on a Christian field using their rules at their game, regardless of any protests to the contrary. Thus, you are Christian devil worshipers and have no right nor business calling yourselves Satanists.