Thursday, May 15, 2008

More on the definitions of "Satanist" and "Pagan" - response to Chell

In the comments below Hrafnkell's post Are Satanists Pagans?, someone named Chell wrote:

From Diane's post:
"The vast majority do NOT simply accept Christian beliefs except for siding with the Other Guy."
To believe in the "Other Guy," don't you have to accept at least some Christian beliefs? Where is the line drawn on those beliefs, if at all? So for Satan to exist, Christianity must be correct.

Wrong. First, many Satanists are atheists who don't believe in any gods at all, but see Satan as only a symbol. Among theistic Satanists, who do revere Satan as a deity, there are many different theologies. For examples of some of these theologies, see What is Satanism?. See also The varieties of theistic ("traditional") Satanism.

And if it is, Pagan Gods must not be worshipped.

Since when were Satanists noted for retaining Christianity's prohibitions?

Chell has a blog of her own, called "Chell's Roost." In a post titled Is this even possible?, she wrote:

Christianity is considered a monotheistic religion. But a post on Hrafnkell’s blog, a blog linked from there, and some e-mail chitter chatter has me thinking about this. In Christianity, it is believed there is one God. Yet Christians might pray not only to Jesus, but to Mary or saints (some derived from Pagan Gods) the way they pray to God, and might even honor them the way a Pagan might honor a God. This, to me, smacks of worship. How can Jesus or Mary answer a prayer that they cannot hear? And is it not divinity that gives them the ability to hear and answer those who call on them? Even if their divinity comes from their “one” God, that of Pagan Gods does not. To call on a Pagan God, does one not have to first believe in that God, even if he has relabeled her a saint? So do Christians actually worship beyond one God?

First, not all Christians pray to saints. As a general rule, Protestants don't and Catholics do. Furthermore, Catholic theology makes a distinction between "dulia" and "latria." (See the online Catholic Encylcopedia article on dulia.)

My question here is about polytheism. Along with the question on Hrafnkell’s blog about the possibility of a Satanist being a Pagan, can a Christian be a Pagan? That seems a preposterous stretch, like asking if red can be green,

A more interesting question is what Chell thinks of the African diaspora religions and other similar hybrids of Christianity and non-Abrahamic religions. Also, what does Chell think of the Western occult tradition?

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