Archive for the 'Bible Belt' Category

On coming out as a theistic Satanist

March 2, 2010

Sergey Olson posted this comment:

Hi, my name is Sergey and I been looking into theistic Satanism for a year now. I consider myself to be a theistic Satanist, but people I know still see me as a Christian. I am trying to smoothly transfer over without being hard on people. Non the less I want to thank you for providing the Church of Azazel online. I have gathered great information since it feels like I’m the only person who is a theistic Satanist, and its great to meet others. Thank you again.

Suggestion: Would it be possible for you to tell people you’ve left Christianity without telling them you’re a Satanist? This might be easier, at first. Or do you live in the sort of place where, if you tell people you’re not Christian, people assume automatically that you’re a Satanist?

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Jerry Falwell has died, but the religious right wing hasn’t – far from it

May 18, 2007

After posting my recent blog entries on same-sex marriage and religious right wing groups here in New York, I clicked on the tags “gay rights” and “same-sex marriage” to see what, if anything, other people on WordPress.com were writing about these topics. Among other things, I came across a few different blogs in which there was some agonizing over whether it was okay to feel good about the death of Jerry Falwell.

I agree with those who say it’s fine to feel good about the death of someone who has caused so much misery for so many people, especially if you yourself happen to be one of those people.

But I do think we should refrain from expressing any such happy feelings in a truly tasteless manner, such as by picketing Falwell’s funeral a la Fred Phelps and his clan.

Guess what? The Phelps clan will be picketing Falwell’s funeral, or so says this news story on 365Gay.com. Apparently Falwell wasn’t homophobic enough for Fred Phelps, who, according to the 354Gay.com article, complains that Falwell “spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like ‘God loves everyone.'” (P.S.: I’ve subsequently confirned this story. The front page of the Phelps clan’s website God Hates America now proclaims their intent to “preach” at Falwell’s funeral.)

Anyhow, I also suspect that some folks may be rejoicing out of a mistaken belief that the death of Falwell was a crippling blow to the religious right wing. That it most definitiely wasn’t. Although he was a kingmaker in the early 1980’s, Falwell has not played nearly as significant role in the religious right wing since then. His “Moral Majority” was soon eclipsed by Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition as the leading religious right wing organization. More recently, the most powerful leader of the religious right wing now seems to be James Dobson.

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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More about school shootings and stereotypes

April 19, 2007

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone would start talking about “Satanism” in connection with school shootings, in the wake of the Virginia Tech murders — even though the killer at VT, Cho Seung-Hui, had no connection with any kind of Satanism, as far as I can tell.
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Virginia Tech shootings — possible scapegoating?

April 17, 2007

When I first heard about the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday, one of my first thoughts was to wonder what minority groups or nonmainstream subcultures the shooter might have belonged to, if any. If he was anything other than a religiously and culturally mainstream heterosexual white male, would this lead to any scapegoating of whatever groups he did belong to, the way the Columbine killings led to scapegoating of the Goth scene and anyone wearing a trenchcoat?

Among other things, I worried about the possibility that the Virginia Tech shooter might have been gay. Virginia seems to be one of the most homophobic states in the country, with one of the most stringent prohibitions on anything resembling same-sex marriage. Might life in Virginia be bad enough to drive at least one gay man crazy enough to go on a shooting spree? And, if so, might that lead to an even worse situation for gays?

Most of all, I worried about the possibility that the killer might have had an interest in Satanism. Might he even have been a member of one of my own Theistic Satanism forums? I sure hoped not. Yikes!

Some early newsreports mentioned that he “wore black.” Might this result in heightened prejudice against kids who wear black? I’ve heard that, in some parts of the South, any kid who wears black is assumed to be a Satanist, and Satanists are assumed to kill cats and eat babies.

So far, I’ve seen no evidence that the Virginia Tech killer was either gay or interested in Satanism. Today we found out that he was from South Korea. Understandably, Koreans are worried, according to various articles I’ve seen today including the following:
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