Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Keystone Satanism

Satanism ranks up there with Glasgow take-away curry for its lack of substance. The division within its ranks makes the baptists look cohesive, and for a religion intending to challenge the hegemony of Christianity, it sure relies on the enemy's scriptures and mythology. 

Having read the Satanic Bible some years ago, I was impressed by its intentions to justify itself not as evil but individualistic: there's a touch of Rand's egotism, plenty of self-evident truths and a pinch of Nietzsche (stripped of his wit and ambiguity). Anton LaVey was a showman, and while he had an admirable skill for looking all sinister on TV, he was hardly the religious leader necessary for a lasting philosophy. Consequently, as 'the year in satanism' demonstrates, the religion has ended up like a Keystone Cops version of protest.

1. Setting up a statue to Baphomet
This caper began as a protest against the Ten Commandments being set up outside an American courthouse. It was a witty response, until they designed it, and ended up with one of the originators of the idea realising that it was offensive. He pulled away from the project, everyone started shouting (it's 'Merica, okay), and a deranged evangelist drove his car into the Ten Commandments, making the whole thing moot.

2. Supernatural bullshit
My lack of sympathy for atheism plus notwithstanding, at least they have the dignity not to invoke the metaphysics of the religion they claim to be attacking. Worshipping Satan as an expression of commitment to rationality is a leap. Fortunately, there is a 'tea party' branch who believe Satan is real. They aren't having any of this scientism, and get angry with the humanists...

3. It's capitalism
Stress on the individual? Check? Self-reliance over compassion? Check? The ideal of the powerful man who can overcome slave morality? Check. Forgive me for laughing at anything that could describe Richard Branson as a hero.

4. It's self-defeating
Religion causes problems. The answer is another religion. That can't go wrong. 

5. It's joyless
Winding up the Catholic Church is one thing. Wanting no nativity scenes at Christmas is another. Every time I read satanic articles, I am left feeling... bored. At least call yourself gnostics and dig out some old heresy: the church got really pissed at them, and they had some hilarious cosmologies. Including ones that gave Satan a good role, if you like him so much. The one you currently worship is a fall-guy out of medieval morality plays.

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