Why Satanism? Aren't you just anti-Christian or Atheist?
I point you right away to an article that helped me to understand and formulate my own thoughts on this topic, on For Infernal Use Only called Why I’m a Satanist in Our Abrahamic Cultural Mythology
One of the first steps that I took to recognize that difference between being anti-theism or anti-Christianity, was to separate the ideas of "theism," and "religion," and start using my vocabulary differently. I acknowledge that I have a disdain for theism, and not for religion.
There is some confusion about theism vs religion (please see my previous post here regarding that topic) and there is also confusion about Satanism existing independently outside of being an anti-Christian concept, which I will tell you right now is an aggressive misunderstanding and I will explain why below. You can be anti-theistic & reject the notion of superstition without spreading hate and division.
(* Disclaimer that these opinions are my own ideas and interpretations, based on my own studies).
Modern Satanism is typically non-theistic, but it is a religion in it's own right, and I aim to make that the context of this blog so as to help educate people on this topic, and lead by example. This is an evolving school of thought, and Satanic practice and lifestyle is unique in it's philosophies, values, and individual interpretations.
Satanism does stand alone in it's own right as a religion outside of the context of anti-anything. There is a lot of information out there about the invention of Satanism, and the history of lore and mythology on Satan or Lucifer, which, while perhaps inspired by contrasting viewpoints within judeo-christian faiths, are carried by their own literature and canon. While perhaps our society's rendition of The Others of society, the Adversaries of society, are Satanic in the context of this, the core belief system behind Satanism is one which would adapt to the society which it is in. While one dominant faith may be the current oppressor in society, Satanism is absolutely not anti-Christianity. Satanism encourages benevolence and empathy among all people. It is, however, anti-authoritarianism and anti-theistic, to that end.
While Modern, Romantic Satanism can make this claim it is important to acknowledge where Satanism came from and how it has evolved.
It is fair to argue that Satanism is inherently anti-Christian, because Satan is originally an Abrahamic concept. However, there are many instances of religions evolving philosophically and being born after stemming off from previously existing religions or constructs. This is the nature of religion, and if you want to discuss borrowed symbolism and borrowed mythology, here is a great article which discusses this: Word Magic: Religious Symbols, Blasphemy, and the True Meaning of Christmas
When The Church Of Satan mainstreamed what used to be (until recently) the most publicly understood organization of the Satanic Religion, it was truly a product of it's time. Anton LeVay's ideas formed a foundation for Satanism, however, the focus on blasphemy and against Christian ideas was, to me, like a teenager going through a rebellious (and dangerous, and problematic) phase before finally maturing and realizing how to promote the ideas of Satanism in a harmonic way which expresses empathy and promotes critical thinking, instead of being explicitly anti-Christian. We have simply evolved past those new ideas, and drawn out the positive aspects of this hedonistic philosophy and combined it with enlightenment values.
I would argue that if you believe that Satanism cannot exist outside of Christianity, and that it is is inherently anti-Christian because of it's borrowed mythology, then it could also arguably be just a non-theistic off-shoot of Christianity, such as a contrasting perspective of the same exact mythology. So, is Satanism actually a faction of Christianity? It is Anti-Christianity? I'd vote for neither, and move on. My argument for why is below:
Let me clarify. Satanism does not promote divisiveness, hate, or judgement toward one group of people or another based on their religious identity. This would be counterproductive toward our own goals of fighting for representation and religious rights for our selves. Myself, I do identify as atheist, or, anti-theist. I am aggressively and vocally against and in rejection of all forms of superstitious authoritarianism, which includes most organized theistic religions. This is because I am of the party that believes that theism is inherently dangerous and intellectually offensive. But that's a philosophical problem and a problem that I have with certain oppressive organizations within the school of thought of theism, it is not a problem that I have with any individuals, religions or labels. Where I advocate for plurality and secularism in government, this is in the context of any religion.
Please view these other posts I've written for more clarification and information on this argument:
#1, Sin-Positive, Satanic Lifestyle Blog "What is it?"
Satanism has it's own history of lore and mythology?
Yes. I'm not a scholar and I'm not going to take it upon myself to educate you on the entire topic as it is a continuous learning process, and I will be sharing that journey with you all along the way. There are two books that I think provide the most creative backdrop for the formation of Satanism in a romantic, modern light. These texts, being Revolt Of The Angels by Anatole France and Paradise Lost by John Milton, were some of the first texts to introduce Satan/Lucifer as a sort of hero or protagonist. Many other philosophers, historians, literature scholars and authors have tackled the subject since then, forming a school of thought that romanticizes the character of Satan as being a fallen angel who fight back against a tyrannical authority. Here are a few links to start you on your journey to learn more. You can also find some of these, and other modern artists and works in the Resources page to your left.