Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Progressive Bigotry

This gem from The Eureka Reporter in California:

IRS recognizes Church of Satan as a religion

By Dave Stancliff
Published: Jul 19 2008, 10:45 PM
Category: Opinion



Let’s get one thing straight right now.

I’m not that old.

When I made my appearance in this world in 1950, Satan wasn’t considered a good guy. Back then he was recognized by Christians as a fallen angel and someone you didn’t want to run into in a dark alley — and who would prod you with a pitchfork if you were bad and went to hell.

Basic religions were a simple enough subject back then. Somehow, 57 years later the subject of religion has taken on a direction that no baby boomer would have dreamed of. Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Church of Satan as a religion?

What triggered me to this odd fact was a July 9 article in The Chicago Tribune. The headline read, “In Satanist’s custody battle, law may play devil’s advocate.” Proving truth is stranger than fiction, an Indiana court is looking at a case where an ex-wife is trying to restrict her Satanist husband’s visitation time to allow his three youngest daughters to attend Christian church.

Say what? I can remember growing up and hearing urban legends about Satanist cults, but no one ever seemed to be able to locate their covens. Satanists scampering around in old castles with stone altars in their cellars was the stuff of bad B movies. And no one — let me repeat that — no one knew a Satanist who went to the Church of Satan. Unless, that is, in the ’60s they were one of the original members of the Church of Satan founded by a clown named Anton LaVey who lived in the San Francisco area.

I’m not sure how many people realize this, but the current high priest, Peter Gilmore, of the now Manhattan-based organization (I have trouble calling it a church) claims that Satanists are atheists. Their handouts explain that they see Satan as being a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism.

They even have their own “Satanic Bible,” written by LaVey, who immigrated to California from England (just ahead of the law), where he got his start as a nut who used Satanism as a way to have sex orgies and to declare that it was his religion.

Now modern Satanists have lawyers who argue they are a legitimate religion. When I think about the Satanists’ creed that “Anything goes” and “Do what makes you feel good,” I wonder how safe the children will be with a guy like Jamie Meyer, the plaintiff in this weird case (and a proclaimed Satanist).

Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised. Things have changed in this country and I’ll be the first to admit it. Now it’s OK to do just about anything a person wants. Society today has shrugged off any pretense of morality, as evidenced by what we watch and listen to every day on television and in the movies.

I can remember looking for a supposed group of underground Satanists in Palm Springs in 1991, when I was the managing editor of a group of newspapers in that valley. The local police had a few cases of cats with severed heads said to have been used in some bloody rituals, and they cooperated with me on an article I was writing at the time.

Upside-down crosses in blood on the wall were about all the evidence we could find at the site of the severed heads, along with some black candle wax. I even got an anonymous caller who claimed he knew some of the Satanists, but his information didn’t pan out. No surprise there.

For all I know, those terrible acts could have been done by a group of bored kids, perhaps would-be goths. I’ll never know for sure because the atrocities suddenly stopped when spring break became all the news and Mayor Sonny Bono put his infamous ban on thong bikinis!

Now, 17 years later, I’m reading stories about Satanists in courts. Since when did they become so socially acceptable? I know all about political correctness, but this seems to be something out of the old science fiction TV show “The Outer Limits.”

I consider myself a progressive kind of guy, and while I don’t agree with a lot of the new music today, I’m not such an old fuddy duddy that I’ll call it names. My five grandchildren think “Papa” is pretty cool, but I have trouble with people who celebrate having no rules — especially society’s restrictions — and raising children.

As It Stands, sometimes I wonder what culture shock is coming next; then I realize it’s best not to know or it’ll age me faster!


************************************************************************************
This pissed me off in a way I haven't felt in a while. It was just so wrong on so many factual levels that I sent a personal response to the self-righteous, sanctimonious prick who wrote it. I couldn't post a civil corrective comment because the Eureka Reporter edits all responses by either calling to verify your comment or ignoring you. If I had been allowed to comment I probably would have done the usual and been business like and civil. Since i couldn't they got the full on bitch.

So--first my letter to the paper, then my good-girl comment, then my personal letter to Mr. Sanctimony:

To The Eureka Reporter:
Below please find my rather angry personal letter to your reporter/columnist Mr. Stancliff. As a member of the Church of Satan I am used to dispelling myths about our religion fairly regularly .

In this day and age, however, I am not used to seeing such shoddy and pridefully bigoted commentary disguised as information in what I previously assumed was a legitimate news provider. It is 2008, the writer (I refuse to call him a journalist) has access to the internet, and one would assume, a library, and yet makes unsubstantiated claims as if they were facts.

I am aware that Mr. Stancliff is a columnist, and that his forum is specifically to offer his personal opinion, but that doesn't excuse lying to readers. He is free to demonstrate his bigoted and antiquated opinion. The fact that he has to lie to justify said opinion speaks volumes.

It is even more disturbing that there is no direct recourse for those slandered by Mr. Stancliff. To leave an online comment on your site is like being vetted for Vice-President. I filled out all the information only to find the equivalent of "don't call us, we'll call you" at the end.

Were I able to have left a comment it would say the following:

The Church of Satan would like to point out that our organization has been recognized as a legal church since 1966. Additionally we would dispute the contention that we lack rules or accept an "anything goes" philosophy. Our church has a precise dogma and life philosophy that embraces law and order. One need only to visit www.churchofsatan.com to understand that while we are not a religion for the masses our tenets of mandatory self-responsibility benefit society as a whole. During this American phase where father's are accused of abandoning their kids, it is sad that a father who fights to maintain his parental relationship is being vilified based exclusively on his religion. That should scare every parent.

Magistra Ygraine
Church of Satan

You can read my responses to Mr. Stancliff below.

--- On Sun, 7/20/08, Ygraine wrote:
From: Ygraine
Subject: The Christian Love of Slander/Church of Satan
To: richstan1@suddenlink.net
Date: Sunday, July 20, 2008, 9:50 AM



Dear Mr. Stancliff,


How nice for you to work for a paper that allows you to blatantly lie, refuse to do basic research and still call yourself a "reporter!" Nicer, still, that your paper edits or prohibits comments so that you cannot be challenged on your libel in the same forum you publish it on. 'and you say Satanists have no rules!

I'm a member of the clergy of The Church of Satan, and an authorized spokesperson for that 40+ year old organization. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but when reporters outright lie it says much more about the newspaper they work for and it's lack of standards than it does about those lied about. Of course, we are used to demonstrations of Christian values--lying is right up there with tax evasion, use of prostitution, and sexually abusing altar boys.


Let me help you do your job by giving you some facts:


"Let’s get one thing straight right now.

I’m not that old.

When I made my appearance in this world in 1950, Satan wasn’t considered a good guy. Back then he was recognized by Christians as a fallen angel and someone you didn’t want to run into in a dark alley — and who would prod you with a pitchfork if you were bad and went to hell.

Basic religions were a simple enough subject back then. Somehow, 57 years later the subject of religion has taken on a direction that no baby boomer would have dreamed of. Did you know that the Internal Revenue Service recognizes the Church of Satan as a religion?

Yes. For 42 years. What is even more amazing is that the Church of Satan does not take advantage of it! The Church of Satan pays it's taxes and refuses to benefit by tax exempt status. We feel all churches should pay taxes and we lead by example.

What triggered me to this odd fact was a July 9 article in The Chicago Tribune. The headline read, “In Satanist’s custody battle, law may play devil’s advocate.” Proving truth is stranger than fiction, an Indiana court is looking at a case where an ex-wife is trying to restrict her Satanist husband’s visitation time to allow his three youngest daughters to attend Christian church.

Is it strange to you that parents want to raise their children in their own religion, or, in this case, a parent doesn't want to sacrifice his visitation so that another parent can take their children to a place that spreads lies about other religions, supports the degradation of women, and sucks up tax-payer money without supporting the Constitution?

Say what? I can remember growing up and hearing urban legends about Satanist cults, but no one ever seemed to be able to locate their covens. Satanists scampering around in old castles with stone altars in their cellars was the stuff of bad B movies. And no one — let me repeat that — no one knew a Satanist who went to the Church of Satan. Unless, that is, in the ’60s they were one of the original members of the Church of Satan founded by a clown named Anton LaVey who lived in the San Francisco area.

There are no "Satanist cults," and the word is "Satanic." The legends you hear about are created in your pews in order to scare the gullible into paying tithes and getting a ticket to Heaven. The sad fact is Christians make their misinterpretation of Satanism so colorful that they create little devil-worshipers--Christian Heretics who believe that silliness and perform criminal acts. Meanwhile, our legal and law abiding church gets blamed for what you create.
I’m not sure how many people realize this, but the current high priest, Peter Gilmore, of the now Manhattan-based organization (I have trouble calling it a church) claims that Satanists are atheists. Their handouts explain that they see Satan as being a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism.

Those who have trouble calling a federally recognized religious organization a Church should understand that they sacrifice the right to call themselves American by denying the First Amendment.

And just like Christians get to define themselves, so do Satanists. The difference is our definition is based on history and research. The Hebrew word "Satan" was not a name. It was a word that meant "adversary" or "accuser" or "opponent." Satanists are atheists who use Satan as a metaphor for those who defy the status quo---who refuse to relinquish personal responsibility to kneel before some imaginary , albeit cruel and genocidal, God. We thanks no gods, blame no devils. We alone are responsible for our own lives. We, do understand, however, why that notion frightens those who give up personal responsibility for worship.


They even have their own “Satanic Bible,” written by LaVey, who immigrated to California from England (just ahead of the law), where he got his start as a nut who used Satanism as a way to have sex orgies and to declare that it was his religion.

The Satanic Bible has been in print for 39 years. The rest of the information you wrote is outright wrong. LaVey was never "just ahead of the law" and he wasn't from England. Sexuality is part of individuality, and what happens between consenting adults is their own business, but it plays no actual religious role in Satanism. Once again, you are feeding the masses misinformation in an attempt to make us look bad, but all you really do is provoke interest! As for nuts: Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggert, multiple Catholic pedophile priests, FLDS, Mike Warnke.....Christians have no shortage of criminals and lunatics---yet, somehow, their religion is never blamed for the actions of its followers.


Now modern Satanists have lawyers who argue they are a legitimate religion. When I think about the Satanists’ creed that “Anything goes” and “Do what makes you feel good,” I wonder how safe the children will be with a guy like Jamie Meyer, the plaintiff in this weird case (and a proclaimed Satanist).

This is when I wish Christians were right: Thou shalt not bear false witness upon they neighbor.

Were that true you'd be going straight to Hell.

NOWHERE is there any Satanic literature that claims "Anything goes" or "Do what makes you feel good." You, Sir, are a liar.

We have rules and you'd know them if you'd done what any legitimate reporter would do and do some research. www.churchofsatan.com Go to the Theory & Practice link. BINGO. Rules.

Moreover, we DO NOT do forgiveness. When a Satanist breaks the law we terminate their membership and assist law enforcement with prosecution.

Unlike Christians who "spare the rod and spoil the child" we are commanded to never harm children. Our religion believes children to be sacred.

As a mother of 5 and grandmother, I am offended that you can condemn a man's parenting based on his religion, which you purposely have remained ignorant of.

I know hundreds of Satanic parents, and every one of them is utterly dedicated to their kids.

I know thousands of Christian parents---and every day we see their cruelty to children in the news.

Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised. Things have changed in this country and I’ll be the first to admit it. Now it’s OK to do just about anything a person wants. Society today has shrugged off any pretense of morality, as evidenced by what we watch and listen to every day on television and in the movies.

If my religion encouraged child abuse, sexism, and an abandonment of personal responsibility in place of prayer I wouldn't be standing on the morality soap box.


I can remember looking for a supposed group of underground Satanists in Palm Springs in 1991, when I was the managing editor of a group of newspapers in that valley. The local police had a few cases of cats with severed heads said to have been used in some bloody rituals, and they cooperated with me on an article I was writing at the time.

Upside-down crosses in blood on the wall were about all the evidence we could find at the site of the severed heads, along with some black candle wax. I even got an anonymous caller who claimed he knew some of the Satanists, but his information didn’t pan out. No surprise there.

For all I know, those terrible acts could have been done by a group of bored kids, perhaps would-be goths. I’ll never know for sure because the atrocities suddenly stopped when spring break became all the news and Mayor Sonny Bono put his infamous ban on thong bikinis!


You reap what you sow. Christians claim that is what Satanists do and bored kids wanting to rebel, listen. If they had actually been exposed to The Satanic Bible they would have known that those acts are not Satanic. Anyone who harms an animal except for hunting for food is NOT a Satanist.


Now, 17 years later, I’m reading stories about Satanists in courts. Since when did they become so socially acceptable? I know all about political correctness, but this seems to be something out of the old science fiction TV show “The Outer Limits.”

I consider myself a progressive kind of guy, and while I don’t agree with a lot of the new music today, I’m not such an old fuddy duddy that I’ll call it names. My five grandchildren think “Papa” is pretty cool, but I have trouble with people who celebrate having no rules — especially society’s restrictions — and raising children.


How dare you publish a lie like that without regard to consequences? Have you no shame?

Do you know why Satanists are morally superior? Because we study instead of worship, and we blame and thank people, no devils and gods.

Our children learn that they alone are responsible for their behavior, and that the laws of this country must be followed to the letter.

You are condemning a man you've never met who wants nothing more than time with his kids. You are supporting a mother who never had trouble with his religion until she wanted a divorce and knew to play to the fears of the general public.

You ought to be ashamed.
Magistra Ygraine Mitchell



2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Have you ever gotten a response to your reply? I'd be really interested in seeing that one.

Magistra_Y said...

They never published any of my comment/s and even after I wrote the actual editor I was ignored. One can only assume they are willing to stand by their reporters prejudice.

Personally, the man is an asshole.

Thanks for asking!

Y~