*Note, if you are offended by this post, I apologize, but I am offended that you would be offended. I consider my blog a place for open minded individuals to learn a little more about the world in which we live… And if you read all the way to the end, it will help you understand a little more about what Ritual Dreams is ultimately about.
In Aislinn Cain’s world there are a couple different forms of Satanic Churches. As I started Ritual Dreams the other day I realized I was using modern fear of the Satanic Temple to craft the plotlines. Here’s the deal… The Church of Satan: which is different from the Satanic Temple, the Satanic Temple is more prone to activism than the Church of Satan which was started by Anton LaVey and is more concerned with nudity and orgies than helping humanity as a whole, and Satanist isn’t what mainstream media makes us believe.
Satanists are pretty much like Christians and I know about half of my audience just scoffed and considered closing this post immediately and possibly unfollowing me. However, stick with me. Seriously. We have some serious misconceptions about Satanists in the United States and I agree with most of their tenets, which is why I use them as often as I do for side stories in the Dreams & Reality Universe.
Their Tenets are as follows:
- One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
- The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
- One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
- The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
- Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
- People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
- Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word
Essentially, Satanism is about Hedonism. You have the right to do what brings you joy as long as you do not harm others. Your basic rights do not actually get to impinge upon the basic rights of others. They believe in a live and let live form of fellowship and humanity. Judgement shall not be passed upon other human beings for any reason, because we humans do not have the right to judge others, we do not live their lives.
See the problem is Devil Worship and Satanism are very different things. Most Satanists don’t worship the Christian concept of the Devil. They worship forgotten deities that have been assimilated as demons in the Christian hierarchy. For those that have read my Brenna Strachan novels, you’ll recognize some of these names: Astroth, Baphomet, Ba’al, Leviathan, and Beelzebub are common minor deities in Satanism, mirroring the Archangels.
Rape, murder, and human sacrifice are strictly forbidden by the Satanic Temple as it impinges on the basic rights of individuals. I grew up during the Satanist scare of the 1980s and 1990s. Every time some drugged up loser killed someone and carved a pentagram on a tree there was a manhunt for a group of devil worshippers or satanic cult that was preying upon the general public.
Most of it turned out to be mass hysteria and aside from a few isolated incidents, particularly Adolpho Costanza who was a Palo Mayombe practitioner priest not a Satanist, there weren’t any crazed devil worshipping cults sacrificing children to the devil.
The very idea of such a thing is repugnant to Satanists. And the official Church of Satan condemns such behaviors. Just as it condemns abuse, abandonment, neglect, or sexual predation of children. It firmly believes that no one under the age of 18 can consent to any sexual liaisons with an adult, but it’s a grey area when two teens consent to have sex meaning statutory rape is considered a moral construct and not worthy of prosecution if both parties consented. This is so ingrained in their belief system that Satanist are often those standing out front calling for child predators to be punished to the full extent of the law.
As a former Baptist and Catholic, neither religion really took for me, I have studied a lot of religions looking for one that I had faith in. Not faith in a deity, I have that without needing a religion, but faith in the tennents of a religion and its teachings. That quest lead me to explore Wiccan and other pagan religions that worshipped nature and omnipotent powers that came from life, but it also caused me to explore alternative religions like satanism, Santeria, Palo Mayombe, voodoo, and several others. What I found is that overall, most religions, even Satanism have the same core beliefs. Do unto others, treat the Earth with respect, do no harm, enjoy life but do not do it at the expense of others. The exception is Hoodoo and Palo Mayombe. Both are black magic religions that do occasionally use human sacrifice in their practices and are inherently dark (evil?) religions.
I once had a fire and brimstone preacher explain to me that religion was about what was in the heart and soul and that Satanists were very much like Christians, they just didn’t accept that Jesus Christ came to Earth to forgive mankind for its sins. This is fundamental in understanding Satanism. To them, Jesus is a catalyst, he came here to forgive us and we humans murdered him for his love so what right do we have to ask for God’s forgiveness now? None. And the only way we can repent is by leading decent lives while pursuing our own happiness… and this is the big thing… we are free to pursue our own happiness as long as it does not cause harm to others. Ironically Satanists frown more heavily on extramarital affairs than even Catholicism and Baptists. Because in Satanism, an extramarital affair causes harm to many people: spouse, children, family, friends, everyone involved with the people having the affair can be hurt by it which goes against one of the basic teachings of Satanism.
I have been asked a few times if Ritual Dreams will involve Satanic Cult type murders. It won’t. Not the way people think it will, because Satanist do not believe, preach, or approve of murder in any form. There has even been debate among the ranks if killing someone in self defense is acceptable and the general consensus is that it’s a moral grey area. The problem is you should protect yourself and your family and your property, but using lethal force to protect it means impinging on the basic rights of others – their right to live. Needless to say there aren’t a lot of Satanists backing the NRA.
However, Satanism is a pragmatic and logical religion, accepting science, and allowing for new science to change the way the church understands their religion and practices their religion. Satanism is also less class and gender based than most mainstream religions. They accept that women are important to keeping the world turning and treat women as equals in all things. A study done a few years ago found that couples that identified themselves as members of the Church of Satan were less likely to get divorced or seek marriage counseling than couples belonging to all other mainstream religions and when researchers probed a little deeper, it’s because women are not expected to just be baby factors who put food on the table for their brood. Household chores as well as time devoted to children was split more evenly among both parents than in other families where the majority of household chores and child rearing duties fell predominantly on women.
Oddly though and here’s the part that you can take offense at if you feel the need to froth and foam at the mouth about; Satanists are pro-choice and pro-death penalty. They believe women should have a right to dictate what happens to their own bodies no explanation necessary. They also believe that capital punishment should be used a little more liberally than it currently is.
Finally, the Church of Satan and the Reformed Church of Satan are strictly against the mixing of State and Religion in the US because the constitution demands that church and state be separated, which is why they tend to protest every time someone tries to erect a shrine at a State building that involves a Christian God (like in Oklahoma with the Ten Commandments). It isn’t personal to Christians, if Muslims were trying to erect monuments to the teachings of Mohammed in front of courthouses or State offices, the Church of Satan would be protesting that too.
Just something to keep in mind for future reference as Ritual Dreams will most likely offend the closed minded individuals who think all Satanists have wild drunken orgies while sacrificing children to Satan. Interestingly, Satanism is dedicated to overthrowing tyranny, whether that is religious, political, or gender roles, and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, and social class… Meaning there is a little bit of everything in Satanism that could be used to better our society as a whole, but because The Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s sullied the reputation of Satanism beyond repair, all of their ideas about tyranny are moot to society. If you want more information, visit the Satanic Temple’s website… and the scary pentagram image is actually the forgotten Baphomet (not the Devil) he is a mashup of other forgotten deities and is really just an idol from bygone days of world history.
This post is posting while I have my gallbladder scanned to see if it is savable or needs to be removed and how quickly we need to get on the removal, which is slightly scary since I and three doctors believe I have CRPS and any surgery could make it spread more than it already has.