Archive for the 'Theistic Satanist interfaith discussion' Category

Deities and element correspondences?

April 2, 2011

In Lilith: Queen of the Desert, Anya Kless says that Lilith is one of the few deities she associates with all four elements.

Personally, I’m inclined to believe that most deities have associations with all four elements — at least if we dig deeply enough into their lore — and that relatively few of them are truly specialized by element.

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Some of my history of challenging prejudice (mainly anti-Satanism by Pagans)

March 19, 2011

Lately, challenging people’s prejudices has gotten much harder than it used to be. Once it was easy and fun. Over the years it became much more difficult. Lately, it often seems to have become almost impossible. For whatever reasons, it seems that most people today are a lot less willing to consider new ideas than most people were, say, back in the 1970’s.

Nevertheless, even today it is still possible to make progress in counteracting specific prejudices, if one is willing to be persistent about it.

Here’s a brief history of some of my major successes and failures at challenging people’s prejudices over the past few decades:

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On being “God-owned”: “spiritual orientation” vs. divine “rape”?

March 15, 2011

Another post by Anya Kless has called my attention to the following: (1) Fun Facts For the Deity-Owned by Laura Patsouris, Patheos, January 26, 2011, and (2) God-Owned: Humans as Pets by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, January 26, 2011.

I can relate to the experience of being “God-owned,” although I’ve tended to use different terminology to describe it.

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Lilith and Samael, according to Anya Kless

March 13, 2011

Anya Kless, author of Lilith: Queen of the Desert, has written a very interesting blog post titled Samael: God of the Left Hand. Among other things, she confesses:

I don’t know if I’m ready to say that anyone who works with Satan is actually working with Samael (or one of His faces), but it seems quite possible. Considering the eye-rolling I used to do about Satanism, it’s actually rather ironic that, if the Satanists are right, I’m working with Him. Gods are funny that way.

I am, of course, relieved to see that past-tense “used to.” She also references a website called “Severity of God” (about Samael) by a LaVeyan Satanist who is also an Aztec reconstructionist.

Anyhow, Anya Kless’s post is an interesting compilation of lore about Samael, plus a brief account of some of her own personal spiritual experiences involving Samael.

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Reply to meowmixeater on my theological views

April 28, 2009

In the general feedback thread, meowmixeater asked me one of the usual questions that Christians commonly ask theistic Satanists: “Do you believe that satan is actually more powerful than God? If so why?”

My answers to that question can be found here:

If you have further questions, feel free to post them as a comment here.

History of European witchhunts: Jenny Gibbons, and a response to Beastrabban

May 16, 2008

I highly recommend the excellent article Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt by Jenny Gibbons.

Too many modern Pagan writers still cling to outdated ideas about the European witchhunts. Jenny Gibbons shows where many of those wrong ideas came from and how they were eventually corrected.

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Refutations of some classic libels against Jews

April 27, 2008

Recently, there seems to have been revival of classic libels against Jews, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and ye olde blood libel, in many parts of the world.

I’m not Jewish, but I have a personal interest in this topic, as a member of another, much smaller religious minority which has frequently been a target of what can best be described as warmed-over anti-Jewish propaganda. Also, I live in New York and have had quite a few Jewish friends.

Below, I’ll discuss some classic anti-Jewish claims, with links to sites refuting them.

I do question whether these beliefs have become quite as widespread as some folks claim. Pro-Israel hawks have seized upon the promulgation of anti-Jewish libels as a justification for their own intransigance, which makes me wonder whether some of them might be exaggerating just a tad. Nevertheless, the revival of traditional anti-Jewish nonsense does indeed seem to be a real and growing menace.

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“Voodoo, black magic or Satanism, call it what you like” – No!

April 26, 2008

In a news story from the Tenerife Canary Islands in Spain, Gruesome goings-on in Arona’s cemetery, Fortnightly Tenerife News, Spain – Mar 27, 2008, the first sentence says:

Voodoo, black magic or Satanism, call it what you like, the gruesomely shocking results have scandalized the residents of Arona and have angered and horrified the relatives of those whose bodies have been desecrated by some profoundly unbalanced individuals.

No, don’t “call it what you like.” Find out what it is. Don’t just go randomly slurring nonmainstream religions.
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African witchhunts

April 14, 2008

Here on WordPress, I just now came across a blog with some fascinating, very informative, and disturbing posts about today’s African witchhunts:

They pretty much confirm what I already knew, but provide more historical details. The author is apparently South African and a believer in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

P.S.: I just now came across an old post on Marie Ravensoul’s blog, Christian Rapper Calls for the Killing of Witches and the Slaying of Demons. It seems that the song is paralleling real-life trends, alas.

More bad history by a Pagan Witch

June 8, 2007

Yet another Pagan Witch public relations piece containing the same old historical nonsense: So…Your Friend Is a Witch?. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Consider that you’re spending time with a good friend over a nice meal, some good wine, and friendly conversation. Your friend tells you that she is Pagan. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s a practicing Witch. What does this mean to you?
[…]
It is also likely that some part of you was at least a little frightened by the word.
[…]
In the simplest of terms, your newly found (no matter how fleeting) doubt about your friend is the result of a centuries long media assault on the Pagan way of life.

No, it’s the result of 20th-century neo-Pagans deliberately choosing to refer to themselves by a scary label like “witch.” Once again, the theory that the post-Renaissance European witchhunts were primarily about persecuting an underground pagan cult of the “Horned God” has long since been discredited among reputable historians. (For more up-to-date scholarly ideas about the witchhunts, see Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt by Jenny Gibbons, another copy here.) Furthermore, Christians certainly have no monopoly on witchhunts. There are all-too-many witchhunts going on today in Africa and India, rooted not in Christianity but in local tradition.

The ongoing worldwide spread of the more fanatical forms of Christianity, and their propaganda campaign against all other religions, is indeed a significant worldwide threat to religious freedom. But, in facing that threat, let’s try not to distort history, okay?
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The lack of historical knowledge about the ancient Celts

June 8, 2007

I came across an interesting post here on WordPress about Halloween, with a lot of annoted info about the ancient Celts, the Druids, Samhain, and the evolution of Halloween festivities. Written from a Christian anti-occultist “ex-witch” perspective, but much more scholarly than most. Among other things, this article points out how little is known, historically, about the religion and customs of the ancient Celts. For example, there’s not enough evidence to know for sure whether the ancient Celts practiced human sacrifice, and it’s not even known for sure whether they had a feast day called Samhain.

However, like a lot of other relatively well-informed writings, this article seems to assume that all Satanists are LaVeyans.

Tidying up long posts

May 18, 2007

In the WordPress.com support forum today, I asked how to display only the first part of a long post on one’s front page, with a link that people can click to see the rest of the post. Here is my post there, and the replies I got.

On changing the text of a “more” link: But wait, there’s more

The Catholic Church’s troubles in Brazil

May 9, 2007

I just now came across the following:

This article said some things I expected, such as the following:

Latin America is still predominantly Catholic, but not like it used to be. In Brazil, for example, as evangelical Pentecostalism has spread, the country’s population has gone from being 89 percent Catholic in 1980 to about 64 percent today, according to a survey released this week by the Brazilian polling firm DataFolha.

But there were also some surprises (to me, anyway). In particular:

Young people have shown a greater reluctance to join the clergy, resulting in a priest shortage that is 10 times more severe regionwide than it is in North America or Europe.

“There is a trend here — even among priests — that people should be more free to follow their own conscience, and there’s a growing distance between most Catholics and the church’s hierarchy,” said the Rev. Luiz Roberto Benedetti, a Catholic priest who is a professor of social science at the Catholic University of Campinas, near Sao Paulo. “It’s a trend that goes in the complete opposite direction of the message that the pope wants to send.”

Very interesting, and quite contrary to Philip Jenkins’s characterization of the Catholicism of the southern hemisphere, in general, as a hotbed of Catholic traditionalism and love of hierarchy. (See The Next Christianity by Philip Jenkins, originally published in The Atlantic, Volume 290, No. 3, October, 2002, about the recent explosive growth of the more fanatical forms of Christianity in non-Western countries.)

I would be interested to hear from anyone who can give me solidly sourced information about religious trends in Latin America.

(For more about religious trends in general, see the many articles listed on my page about The growing number of Christians of kinds which inherently fear demons, Satanists, witches, occultists, Pagans, and atheists.)

Welcome, Theistic Satanists (and others)

April 29, 2007

Hi everyone! I’d like to experiment with the idea of using WordPress categories/tags to create a de facto unmoderated forum, as a possible replacement for my Theistic Satanism forums on Yahoo, in the event that I decide to phase out the latter.

For every tag, WordPress.com has a page of all the recent posts on WordPress.com with that tag. So, if a bunch of us regularly use a sufficiently rare tag, that page becomes a defacto forum for all relevant posts by us here on WordPress.com.

Publishing this post with the tag “theistic Satanism” will enable me to find the page for the tag “theistic Satanism.” I’ll then add a comment with a link to that page.

To put a tag on a post the first time, type the tag in the text field under the heading “Categories,” next to the “Add” button, at the top of the side panel of the page where you write a new post, and then click the “Add” button before you publish the post. To add the same tag again to a subsequent post, check the checkbox for that category/tag.

As we can do with the tag “Theistic Satanism,” so some of us can also do with the tags “Black Goat Cabal” and “Church of Azazel.”

To try out another neat feature, let’s experiment with trackback pings. In your post, put a link to this post. (Note: That’s a link to this individual post, NOT to the page for the tag, or to my home page.) Soon afterward, a link back to your post will automatically appear as a comment on my post.

Gwan Garrison, the next Mike Warnke?

April 19, 2007

I recently ran into the following two stories, both on the website of Baptist Press in Tennessee:

Gwan Garrison claims to be an ex-Satanist. Googling “Satanism Gwan Garrison,” I found the following earlier versions of the above two articles, on Christian Index, a Georgia Baptist site:

His bio seemed awfully fishy to me.

I also found some witty and thought-provoking commentary on About.com, on Witchvox, and on J-Walk Blog.

On About.com, in an article titled “Satanic Panic, or ‘I was a Satanic Witch (No, Really, I Could Fly and Everything!)’,” Jennifer Emick sums up Gwan Garrison’s story as follows:

Baptist Pastor Gwan Garrison talks about how much he enjoyed “persecuting Christians,” and he’s sure to mention (with the amount of accuracy typical in these stories) his “Satanic altar” and his “crystals.” It’s light fare compared to some of these stories- no bloody sacrifices, no marriages to Satan- but there is a glowering cat and a high-voltage Satanic bible- and there is, of course, that ever-present character, the tirelessly persistent evangelical whose refusal to stop pestering the ungodly results in his miraculous transformation.

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Satanic panic in Russia?

April 17, 2007

A Russian Orthodox public movement called the “People’s Council” has made some ill-informed, panic-stricken claims about Satanism:

  • “People’s Council urges authorities to equate Satanists to terrorists,” Interfax-Religion, Russia – Apr 2, 2007

It released a statement claiming that “ritual murders” and various other nasty activities are all “characteristic of Satanic organizations.”

The statement is said to mention several ritual murders including the allegedly notorious “murder of three Optino monks killed by a Satanist on Orthodox Easter.” (I found no further information about this crime via Google.)

The statement also says, “There is an enormous number of Satanic organizations and groups acting in Russia today. Many of them are united in a single branchy network.”

Yeah, right.

The statement then goes on the mention the “Church of the Satan” [sic], failing to note that the Church of Satan has been an above-ground organization for over 40 years and does NOT endorse any kind of criminal activity.

I found the following blog entry:

  • “‘Satanists as dangerous as terrorists! World at risk from Satan cults’ claim Russian Orthodox,” Signs of Witness

It closes with the comment, “It could be that Religious Right Hysteria is the real ‘danger to Society…'”