Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ygraine’s Position on the word “Satanism” and it’s Religious Applications

Over and over again I am being challenged on my position that Satanism only means one thing, and that thing is the religion represented by The Satanic Bible as practiced by members of The Church of Satan.

The nature of blogging and the internet is such that those who disagree are given a voice, and as stated before , I cannot, nor can my church do anything about it. I have put my writings online and to expect not to be challenged on my opinion is , at best, naïve. Regardless, I will not change my mind. My rationale is valid, my logic is not flawed, and while I accept that others hold a different opinion, and show them the respect of allowing them to voice it on my personal blog, in no way implies that I view all opinions as equal.

Here is the pertinent fact: There has never, in the history of mankind, been a religion that has codified it’s dogma in a cohesive form, and titled it “Satanism.” You can name all the orders and sects you like--not one has ever codified it’s position and titled themselves Satanist. At best Satanism was a derogatory term used by Christians to describe heretics. Just as I do not give Judeo-Christianity the right to claim they have a monopoly on natural laws that they claim to be of their own creation (ie. The Ten Commandments) I see no reason to accept their definition of my religion. Prior to 1966 no organized religious group called themselves “Satanists.” Dr. LaVey alone enabled those who wish to use the title the opportunity to do so. One has to wonder what he would have thought about those who have taken the name and altered his creation….but the point is moot now.

Without a written dogma, without an organization who’s rules are clear and concise, there is no protection from the herd who insist that Satanism is dangerous or criminal. If anyone can claim they are a Satanist, and then do as they will (hence making them a Thelemite, not a Satanist,) there is no defense beyond personal testimony, easily disqualified as being opinion and not fact. By virtue of our Bible, our Satanic Rituals, our Satanic Scriptures, our written Laws Of The Earth and Our Satanic Sins, we have become a legally recognized religious organization ---we are legitimized. (* These dogmatic writings as practiced by our membership and those de facto Satanists who have opted not to join, allow us to clarify with precision a definition of Satanism that is exclusive to us.

Those who practice what they perceive as a different “type” of Satanism are practicing something else entirely, which is their right, but they shouldn’t expect us to accept and welcome it. We know from bitter experience that what they are actually doing is feeding into that derogatory Christian definition and diluting any strength and validity that we have been working for these past 40+ years. We cannot, and will not, pander to that in some namby pamby, new agey, “it’a all good” mentality.


Malign Presence said...

You do make good points, and I don't intend to dwell further on that disagreement (I don't disagree with the substance of your argument, and I believe that your position is valid and defensible; I did not intend to create a contrary impression in the prior debate.)

I am curious, after reading this post, about your position on other recognized religions use of the mentioned terms. In other words, say the "First Temple of Satan of Latter Day Demonologists" was to file a Form 1023, and the ruling by the IRS was favorable. Further, they opted to use the title "Satanism" for a structured religion that differed in some material way(s) to the Church of Satan’s teachings. Obviously, you might disagree with them strongly, and even dislike the pollution of the meaning of the word “Satanism”, but would you consider it valid, even though reprehensible?

By the way, I know that you're not writing here to pander to my questions, so I would take no offence, nor assume any meaning, by a lack of response. I respect your work and opinions, and only wish to extend the dialog, should you be interested.

Magistra_Y said...

Anyone who can maintain civility even in the face of disagreement is cool by me.
Your hypothetical scenario makes me think I would be angry and consider their terminology incorrect. If they were legally recognized, I'd accept that they were a a legal religion, but again, unless they had a dogmatic philosophy in print, where one could easily see what their religion actually meant, I'd be less than impressed--not that my opinion in any way would change things.
When all else is stripped away I want to be able to nutshell the following:
1. Belief (or lack thereof) in literal deity.
2. Concept of retribution for breaking the religion's dogma/karma.
3. Concept of afterlife.
So...for instance--
Christianity vs. Satanism
1. All powerful monotheistic patriarchal god vs. No literal deity.
2. Punishment of Hell vs. No cosmic scoreboard and simply the result of cause and effect.
3. Heaven/Hell (and in some cases limbo/purgatory, etc...) vs. You rot.

What few realize is that manners and etiquette mean a great deal to members of the Church of Satan, so again, I have no problem being challenged by those who can demonstrate civility.