Monday, November 16, 2009

"Creed" for theistic Satanists? (to leon)

"leon" posted a comment which I thought I accepted, but apparently I inadvertantly rejected it. Luckily I was able to go back and capture the text. Here it is:

Hi D,

In your view, is there a need in theistic satanism for something like a "nicene creed" for the individual (or group)?

I'm busy researchng one for myself to have a concise statement of faith, but what sayeth u?

There's no one "Creed" that would work for all theistic Satanists. Beliefs are way too varied among us. I also don't think it's desirable to try to establish an orthodoxy for all theistic Satanists, since that would contradict the freedom and independent thought which, at least in theory, are an important part of what Satan stands for in most forms of Satanism.

But I think it's okay for individual Satanist groups to have their own creeds, to establish a sense of common purpose for the particular group. I just don't think that any such creed should be applied to theistic Satanism as a whole, with the attitude that those who disagree aren't "true Satanists."

The New York City proto-congregation of the Church of Azazel now has a short ritual that is somewhat Creed-like, although not a Creed per se: Affirmation of our common purpose.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lutheran pastor, in Texas, labels Oprah Winfrey and Mormons "Satanic"

For some insight into what "Satan" means to those Christians who promote belief in Satan, see Focus on Faith: Want to Re-Define God? by Rev. Dr. Bobby W. Leggett, Trinity Lutheran Church-Blanco, November 11, 2009.

Leggett starts off by alleging that Oprah's followers are "the fastest-growing church in the world" and calls them "a cultic religion ... Satanic in what it teaches." Later in the column, Leggett says, "There are two kinds of religion in the world. First, is man-centered religion. Religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Communism, Satanism, humanism and Oprahism." The only other kind of religion in the world is, of course, what he calls "historic Christianity" (and perhaps Judaism and Islam?). He then says, "In any occult religion God is always reduced and the human is always elevated to be a god. ... What was the Serpents promise in Genesis, '…you shall be like God.'"

Leggett's column, by the way, appears not on the Trinity Lutheran Church website, but on the website of a supposedly secular local newspaper, the Blanco County News, in Blanco, Texas. Here in New York, it's hard to imagine a column like this getting published in a local newspaper. Texas is in the Bible Belt, after all.

However, even here in New York City, I'm pretty sure that your average evangelical storefront church pastor would agree with Leggett's column, as would at least some of the people in the Catholic hierarchy. (A somewhat similar statement, though more nuanced, appears in the Vatican document Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Waters of Life: A Christian reflection on the “New Age”: "Mind-expanding techniques are meant to reveal to people their divine power; by using this power, people prepare the way for the Age of Enlightenment. This exaltation of humanity overturns the correct relationship between Creator and creature, and one of its extreme forms is Satanism.")

Another "Satanism" hoax

The Britney Spears hacking was not the only "Satanism"-related hoax these past few days. I just now came across Strange satanic church posters cause concern by Lauren Rogers, Worcester News (U.K.), Saturday 14th November 2009, about prank posters advertising an alleged "Church of Satan" gathering in a cemetery at midnight.

The news reporter seems unsure as to whether this is a hoax, but it clearly is. The Church of Satan rarely holds publicly-announced gatherings of any kind, and is highly unlikely to hold them in unauthorized locations, or to advertise them without providing contact info.

Britney Spears and her hacked Twitter account

I just now ran across a bunch of stories about the hacking of Britney Spears's Twitter account on Thursday:

One of the above stories speculated that the hacker might be an actual Satanist or Devil worshiper. Also, Air America's copy of the AP story is titled Britney Spears' Twitter Account Hacked By Satanist -- although the AP story itself does NOT, itself, allege that the hacker was a Satanist. I think it's exceedingly unlikely that the hacker is an actual Satanist.

More likely, the hacker is just a prankster, or perhaps someone with a grudge against Britney Spears. Obviously, the hacker is someone familiar with grand conspiracy ideology, and was most likely hoping that grand conspiracy ideologists would keep the story alive forever, like the Proctor and Gamble "Satanism" hoax.

So far, the story does not appear to have been picked up by very many major media sites. And, as far as I can tell so far, even "conspiracy theorists" recognize that it's a hoax. In a story on Alex Jones's Prison Planet, a major purveyor of grand conspiracy ideology, it is acknowledged that "Chances are unless new world order and Illuminati are the names of indie bands, Brit has no clue what those terms mean. And as for the praise for Lucifer, everyone knows Britney doesn’t speak in tongues … she lip-synchs."