The Ridge

Satanism: Not What You Think

Jessica Townsend

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Despite what the media shows, Satanists are not metal-heads, clad in black, performing animal sacrifices in the forest. In fact, they’re practically the opposite. Satanism is smothered with misconceptions, and that needs to change. When people are uneducated on a topic, they often act out rashly in fear.

The most important thing to understand is that Satanists do not believe in Satan, or any deity for that matter. Satan is a symbol. Anton LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible in 1966, underlining self worth and individualism. In an essay by Magus Peter, titled What? The Devil?, he says, “Worshiping any god is thus worshiping by proxy those who invented that god…instead of bending a knee to worship to-or seeking friendship or unity with-such mythical entities, he places himself at the center of his own subjective universe as his own highest value

For many years, people have used Satan as a scapegoat. When tragedy strikes, they say its the devil work. In cases of people doing something illegal or morally wrong, they say the devil tempted them rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. A good example of this is the Satanic Panic of the 1980’s, in which tons of satanic ritual accusations were made on citizens, but none were proven.

So, if they’re Athiests, why use Satan as their mascot? Doug Mesner, co-founder and spokesperson of the satanic temple, describes Satan as a “metaphorical construct intended to represent the rejection of all forms of tyranny over the human mind.” (The Washington Post)

Satanism is about accepting ourselves, including our “sins.” For example, it welcomes people to embrace their sexuality, regardless of social norms, gender, race, etc. They do not accept rape, abuse, nor inequality.  To be put in simplest form, Satanism is the idea that you can do whatever you want, so long as you’re not intentionally hurting someone.

There is no magic, no animal sacrifices, no missionaries coming to your door to promote the devil. The universe is utterly indifferent. Unfortunately, most people hear “satanism” and immediately start praying. They believe that it is “evil” without even bothering to do research for themselves. This is ignorant, blind, and flat out annoying.

The best place to get more information is the Church of Satan FAQ page. Find real, factual information on a religion before you pin it as evil. Satanists support freedom of religion as well. You do not have to become a Satanist to understand what it is. Do everyone a favor and put honest thought and research into different religions before setting your ideals and opinions for life.

 

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About the Writer
Jessica Townsend, writer/editor

Jessica Townsend is currently a sophomore at ARHS. This is her second year working on the school paper. She is presently an editor and writer of world...

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Satanism: Not What You Think