As part of our study on world religions, this week, we are going to look at Satanism.
I didn’t know that much about it until I began doing some research, and this article will provide the information concerning Satanism.
What is Satanism?
Satanism, as we know it today, seems to have appeared in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries, and was in response to the Judeo-Christian demonization of nature worship. In these instances, Satan was often portrayed as a benign spirit of nature and would be prayed to concerning forces and things of nature because some felt that God did not have control over the elements.
There are two main groups of Satanism:
- Atheistic Satanism
- LaVeyan Satanism
However, there are beliefs that are prescribed over all to Satanists.
- Major emphasis is placed on the power and authority of the individual Satanist, rather than on a God or Goddess.
- They believe that “no redeemer liveth” ? that each person is their own redeemer, fully responsible for their own life.
- “Satanism respects and exalts life. Children and animals are the purest expressions of that life force, and as such are held sacred and precious…” Children and animals are not abused or killed.
- They believe that one should live out their lusts and desires, and enthusiastically explore the “seven deadly sins” with other consenting adults.
- They follow many beliefs, practices and rules of behavior which are in conflict with traditional Christianity, and essentially all other religions.
- Uniqueness and creativity are encouraged.
Please note, Pagans and Wiccans do NOT count as Satanists. They are their own separate religions.
Differences Between The Two Groups Of Satanists.
There are two groups of Satanists, as stated above. The atheistic Satanists do not believe that Satan exists and, so, they do not “worship” Satan. They believe that the individual themselves are gods and worship themselves.
Satan, to atheistic Satanists, is a symbol of rebellion.
In LaVeyan Satanism, like the Atheistic Satanists, encourage reliance upon self over a deity. The worship of self is prominent in LaVeyan Satanism and hedonism, materialism, ego, self worth, self determination, and individualism.
When they say, “Hail Satan!” they are actually saying, “Hail me!”
They are also atheists, not believing in any deity.
To LaVeyan Satanists, men created the gods- the gods are not actually there.
Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 in San Fransisco- it is one of the first above ground movements of Satanism. It is also considered an alternative religion.