Satanism, “devil worship”, and banning groups

First off, let me state that I follow neither of the above paths. But, as a neo-pagan, I understand how it feels to be accused of worshipping evil when we do no such thing. So since preemptively banning “Satanists” was proposed in another thread, I had to speak up.

Devil worship is, by definition, worship of an evil deity (or anti-deity, depending on your PoV). But not all Satanists worship evil. Indeed, many don’t worship any deity outside themselves. Per Wikipedia’s entry on Satanism (unfortunately, you get the same entry if you search on “devil worship”):

…members of the Church of Satan, the most organized Satanic group, reject this common association, as they do not actually believe in a being called “Satan,” and use his name only as a symbolic allusion to certain materialistic and individualistic values. Adherents of the various forms of Satanism recognize Satan as either an archetype, a pre-cosmic force, an actual living entity, and/or some aspect of human nature.

It doesn’t feel appropriate for someone who doesn’t follow any path related to this to try to go into further detail. I encourage folks to do their own research, and for any among us who do know of this through personal experience to speak up.

That said, I for one oppose the blanket banning-before-the-fact of folks by such an ill-defined category, preferring to let everyone stand (or fall) on their own merits. If a follower of the Left-Hand Path can come in here and engage in polite, reasoned discourse about their path, and show courtesy to those who follow other paths, then IMO they have as much right to be here as any of the rest of us heathens ;-).

18 comments

Cookie jar (4.00 / 17)

Hopefully no one thinks I deserve Troll-House Cookies for this one :-).

by Morgan on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 08:54:11 PDT

Well, I certainly don’t (4.00 / 12)

and I’m with you about pre-emptively banning groups. Surely in as individualistic society as ours we ought to give individuals a chance to suck in person, to be blunt about it. And if we’re so sure they will, then let them and troll rate them into oblivion then. Innocent until…something or other.

“There is room for things to mean more than they literally mean.” –Neil Gaiman

by appleblossombeck on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 09:03:09 PDT

That really (4.00 / 12)

sums it up perfectly.  My fellow Americans, I will fight for your right to suck in person and I hope you will do the same.

“As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats.”
– horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

by lonespark on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 09:07:03 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 8)

I’m behind you on this one.

I’m in an “weird” situation locally… When the left-hand path folk are more rational and good natured — and less “highschool-clique-gone-wild” — than most of the newbie/fluffbunny “nice” pagans in the neighborhood, you get used to dealing with each person individually and not pre-judging by the labels.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson

by rune on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 10:38:35 PDT

Werewolf Cookie ! (4.00 / 2)

Chomp !

Loud ‘n’ proud member of species Propheticus lycanthroponica since his “turning” circa 1684 C.E.

by The Werewolf Prophet on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 22:04:27 PDT

Does a cookie… (none / 1)

bitten by a werewolf, turn into a Were-cookie??  

Is this something we should be concerned about here on the Street?!

Of course, I guess there’d have to be something left of the cookie to determine the potential hazards.  Fat chance.  😉

by Austin in PA on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:16:25 PDT

ROLFM*T*O (none / 1)

That’s Rolling On Floor Laughing My (canine) Tail Off …

Werewolf cookies are harmless, an artifact of the progress Lycanthropia Labs has made in discovering how modern lycans can control their dual nature. For example, I now shape-shift at will, and am no longer slave to the rising of the Full Moon (though it still makes me – well, twitchy!)

But everything has a price, and the cost of transformanageability is that I personally CANNOT resist biting ANY cookie in my sight. A single bite of any given cookie is sufficient, though NO cookie will remain unbitten. Hence, werewolf cookies.

P.S.

The Lyco-prion, cause of lycanthrope, instantly oxidizes to harmless dust in the presence of air, so no risk of cookie communicability. You have to be well and thoroughly chewed on to catch it.

Loud ‘n’ proud member of species Propheticus lycanthroponica since his “turning” circa 1684 C.E.

by The Werewolf Prophet on Sat Jun 24th, 2006 at 01:07:42 PDT

Well said (4.00 / 8)

I agree.  

So… what is 1138?
Read My Left Wing

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 09:04:59 PDT

At the risk of hijacking my own thread (4.00 / 7)

Am I a total geek that when I hear that number, I expect to see THX in front of it, or think of “Prisoner transfer from cell block 1138,” or some other such Lucas reference? 🙂

by Morgan on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 09:12:17 PDT

yep 🙂 (4.00 / 6)

So… what is 1138?
Read My Left Wing

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 09:14:48 PDT

Nicely put, Morgann/t (4.00 / 7)

“If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe; but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe.”–Søren Kierkegaard

by Mahanoy on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 10:09:14 PDT

I Heartily Concurr! (4.00 / 13)

The moment we, as a group, arbitrarily exclude an entire faith group on theological, rather than behavioural, grounds, that is the moment that the ecumenical experiment known as Street Prophets can safely be deemed a failure.

Blessed Be

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
Taliesin’s Witchcraft Page

by Taliesin on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 11:37:01 PDT

Yup… (4.00 / 7)

I mean, it’s nice to have a community where even a nondenominational free-form spiritual pilgrim like me, who doesn’t subscribe to a particular God and sometimes isn’t entirely sure there IS a God, can still feel free to come and share and talk and read and see what’s going on.

If you’re gonna ban someone based on their religion, then my lack of religion would be grounds for banning as well.  🙁

by Vagrarian on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 12:49:10 PDT

relavancy? (4.00 / 3)

Has this ever actully come up on StreetProphets? Have there been any Satanists among us? Just curious.

As for pre-emptively banning them, well, on principle I’d have to agree. That’s the best I can muster though.

by valleycat on Thu Jun 22nd, 2006 at 12:34:11 PDT

Re: has this ever actually come up? (none / 1)

Only (so far) as a strawmen and tools for assuming the conclusion.

by mik on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 07:31:22 PDT

My thinking (4.00 / 2)

is that Satanists would have no interest in mingling with people of other religons, particulary a forum predominantly Christian. ( I don’t know if SP is predominantly Christian, but it seems so to me). The whole point of their belief system is to negate another belief system — profaning Christian symbols. (My opinion) Don’t see how there’s too much room for dialogue around that.

So, in principle, I support their right to join us, just as I support the right of Nazi’s to gather in the public square. I appreciate the diarists sympathy for this issue representing a pagan POV. They  have often been mislabeled as “devil worshipers,” and that is wrong. In essence, it’s Christianity AND Satanism that has debased pagan symbols — equating them with evil and Satan.

I would ask the diarist this: How do you feel about the co-opting of the pentacle and inversion of it? Do you feel that this profanes one of your sacred symbols, and is in fact responsible for a lot of the confussion and mislabeling between pagans and satanists?

by valleycat on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 07:54:48 PDT

Inversion… (none / 1)

But the inverted pentacle has/had a legit use in many pagan traditions. It’s not like the inversion of the cross. We just don’t talk about it much, because that’s the version that freaks people out.

It has to do with what the points represent — one point up represents mastery of spirit over matter (i.e., the elements and other four points — earth, air, fire, water).

One point down represents mastery of matter/elements — it’s not evil in and of itself, but you can see why groups who “worship earthly things” would use it.

That’s the explanation, but how I feel about it is probably how Asatru/Heathens and Hindus feel about Nazi corruption of the swastika, which was a perfectly lovely representation of the sun cycle before it was abused.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” — Hunter S. Thompson

by rune on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 10:35:03 PDT

The pentacle isn’t exclusively ours… (none / 1)

The Christians have used it as well (look in cathedrals) Five is the number of earthly balance with spirit.

The inversion is not in and of itself evil; it’s used in several traditions to indicate mastery to a certain level of knowledge/understanding. But I wouldn’t wear one. That, however, has to do with my own personal parameters of practice, and I don’t consider them prescriptive to other pagans any more than I consider other pagans’ practices prescriptive to me.

The greater the circle, the more the love grows.

by Alexandra Lynch on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 22:33:07 PDT

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