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June 4th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Study: How Satanists see death

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - You probably won't hear "Amazing Grace" at a Satanist's funeral, but you just might hear "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. A researcher from Concordia University recently published a journal article with some rare access to high level Satanists exploring what they think about death and dying.

Members in the Church of Satan are traced back to Anton LeVey who in 1966 founded the church in San Fransisco. He is also the author of the canon of sorts for the group, The Satanic Bible first published in 1969. Today, the church is based in New York and membership numbers are hard to come by.

One of the main tenets of the faith is atheism. Not just a disbelief in God but also in the devil or Satan. Satanists believe God is an invention of man and instead deify themselves.

According to the official website of the Church of Satan: "We Satanists are thus our own 'Gods,' and as beneficent 'deities' we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm."

Cimminnee Holt, the author of the journal article explains further:

"Members of the Church of Satan, that is Satanists, assert that they are a life-affirming religion, yet reject the notion of an external mystical dimension and a spiritual afterlife (yet retain a particular understanding of a “worldly” afterlife), while also actively engaging in ritual practices infused with death imagery."

Holt writes that even though the Church of Satan does not believe in a physical afterlife (neither heaven nor hell), their doctrine speaks to a practitioner living on in this world through the life they led.

"By building on their own charismatic display of autonomy and exhibiting mastery in their respective fields, individuals increase the likelihood of more people remembering them after death. Satanists are, literally, creating their own afterlife in the memories of those they have
affected."

After a long back and forth between Holt and two high level clergy in the Church of Satan, the two Satanists agreed to speak as official representatives of the church.

The Satanists gave the researcher unique insights into how they saw death and their own funerals. Holt writes:

Warlock JPL states that a secular ceremony containing no religious elements would be acceptable, but outward signs of his religious affiliation are unnecessary. He would like to be remembered fondly by loved ones and for his life to be celebrated. Similarly, Reverend JR agrees that those whom he knew and loved should attend his funereal. The funerary details are to be decided by family. However, as a “strictly endogamous man”, the Reverend maintains that his funeral would “naturally” be “Satanic in nature if not in strict ritual.”

(snip)

"The memory of the Reverend JR’s father is an example of Satanic afterlife; it was the father’s life that is important, not his death, and the imprint of that life on his loved ones creates a posthumous legacy. The Reverend informs me that his father requested Frank Sinatra’s 'My Way' to play at his funeral. Reverend JR expresses that he felt his father had lived up to the sentiment of the song, a sentiment the Reverend shares in his own life (pers. comm. Oct. 26, 2007)."

The communications between Holt and the Satanists stretched over four years. Holt said she deliberately left out identifying details, like occupation and geographic location, about the two Satanists. The wall of privacy seems to have helped the Satanists to open up about their thoughts on death.

Holt's article appeared in The Journal of Religion and Culture, which is produced by graduate students from the Department of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Death • Satanism

soundoff (1,068 Responses)
  1. Anthony

    How dumb are these people? They just need to accept the existence of the living God and turn to him. Worship God, not themselves.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Uli

      What living god? Can you please show some physical evidence of this "living god"? When I mean physical evidence I mean the actual thing you are calling the "living god".

      June 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Name

      We may find their beliefs crazy, but it does not make them dumb for not believing in God. I believe in him myself and I think that God is only for those that look for him.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Uli

      I know that god/s is/are only an idea in the minds of people that accept it/them as something tied to objective reality.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Name

      Ulli, this is not a troll section. I understand you don't think God is real and it makes no sense, but that is what faith is all about. Our finite minds cannot comprehend everything, especially infinite things. In comparison we have zero understanding. I think faith is just a way of explaining something we can't understand. God is mysterious creator unlike anything we know or could think of.

      Believe in whatever makes you happy, but please don't make fun of others for theirs.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • UncelM

      @Name – faith is simply the name given to the delusion and brainwashing necessary to con the sheep.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • tapuhere

      Your very comment shows that you are either 1) of low intelligence, 2) incapable of applying or understanding logic, 3) completely ignorant of the definitions of most the words you use, or 4) quite the master of sarcasm. If the latter, good show!

      June 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Stevi

      Hello, Anthony. I have a question. Have you ever witnessed an act of God's mercy? Have you seen His will personally? Have you over looked how Religion of any sort has thrown the world into chaos? Sending millions of innocent people to their ends? Or are the Atheists the only ones who plainly see Religion for what it is? Stories told by old men who needed comfort in their last hours. Stories that would lead to the crusades, wide spread panic, endless fighting between people.. Where is God during all of this? If He is real, why doesn't He prove us all wrong and reveal himself? Why make us believe in Faith when there is no active proof? Answer my questions.To end the senseless wars brought by religion.. to save innocent lives.. Your God should reveal himself. Otherwise, we fight these wars for no reason other than words of a book.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Name

      No, we are not blind sheep. We are following what we think is true.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Aneriz

      Oh Uli, I am so sorry. Without faith no one can see God. The problem is not that God does not exists. The problem is that those that want to find Him have to come to Him with a humble heart. Humbleness is such a rare commodity today, don't you think? Still, He loves all of us and gives us every opportunity to seek Him. Peace to you. "Without faith it is impossible to seek God. For those who seek God need to believe that He exist and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" Hebrews 11

      June 5, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Anthony

      You said: "Anthony
      How dumb are these people? They just need to accept the existence of the living God and turn to him. Worship God, not themselves."

      These people are no dumber, no more deluded, than your belief in a living god (or a dead one, for that matter)

      If you believe in a god, I consider you delusional. Should a deluded person give advice to others, on how to become sane?

      The Christian god could think of no other way to deal with original sin, than to seduce a young Jewish girl and have Himself born in human form. Really? The gods always seem to get around to seducing humans. Are we that easy? Are the gods that frisky? Are we just a booty call?

      Why would you want the Satan worshipers to trade one fantasy for another? Physician Heal Thyself.

      Cheers!

      June 5, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • Peace2All

      @David Johnson

      "The Christian god could think of no other way to deal with original sin, than to seduce a young Jewish girl and have Himself born in human form. Really? The gods always seem to get around to seducing humans. Are we that easy? Are the gods that frisky? Are we just a booty call?"

      LMAO !!! 😀

      You are just too damn funny sometimes, my friend.

      Peace...

      June 5, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • LinCA

      Aneriz said:"Without faith it is impossible to seek God. For those who seek God need to believe that He exist and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him"

      That's a closed loop. There's no way in, unless you willfully ignore your disbelief.

      June 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • occultist

      Heh, I should respect xtrians who legislate their morality against me? xtrians have for the most part delcared war on those that do not believe as they do, they are a threat to me and create laws based on their religious tenets rather than common sense and this directly affects my ability to enjoy life to the fullest. The USA is supposed to have seperation between church and state but the church is often influencing legislation, who gets elected and the courts, which is not what I think the founding fathers had in mind. I can imagine Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave if he was here to see what is happening in the USA today.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  2. jayn

    I respect these guys more than other religions. They actually make more sense.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Newyorker

      I agree fully. It makes perfect sense to me.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Name

      I don't understand why you should worship yourself. Its selfish. The true winners of life are the ones that dedicate their lives to helping others and show goodness in all they do.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Stevi

      @Name – I don't worship myself, but I am not worshipping someone that either isn't real, doesn't care, or is cruel enough to let innocent people die for no other reason than "It's God's will." No.. I don't worship myself, I worship TRUE heros.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Aneriz

      it is not so much a bout respect. Respect is earned. It is about choices. They have chosen to not believe in God, that is their prerogative as it is every person's. But like everyone else they will have to live with the consequence of their decision. Here and in the afterlife they have rejected.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • George R

      Aneriz, what if they don't want 72 virgins? Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking about a different afterlife?

      July 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Uli

    Interesting how xtians are the ones on this story with the most hate filled rhetoric as if it has been ingrained in their beliefs towards those who follow satanism.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Kevin

      Agreed. The more devoted the christian, the more hate and bile they heap on their fellow man. Their faith and their hate go hand in hand. I've witnessed it my whole life. Very sad...

      June 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Steve a CHRISTian

      God still loves all of us!!!

      June 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Name

      The people saying that are acting hypocritical and not following God's law. We are supposed to respect others for what they believe.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • MrHand

      Name, tell us why we should respect beliefs that are insane and psychotic.
      Why should I respect the beliefs of a child abuser? Or a murderer?
      Nope, there are just some beliefs that will never ever deserve respect. Ever.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • hurpaderp

      MrHand,
      Like believing in a big guy up in the sky who talks to people through telepathy?
      Riiiiight.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  4. frank

    "One of the main tenets of the faith is atheism. Satanists believe God is an invention of man and instead deify themselves."

    uhhh....

    June 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • George R

      It's called metaphor, dude. You know, that thing you have no trouble with everywhere else? They don't believe they're all-powerful immortal beings, jeez.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  5. jesus saves

    DO NOT Bury these human filth, they don't deserve that kind of decency, these people are the very definition of evil and should suffer forever at god's hands.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Yes, let's just leave them in the open. Not a hazard or anything. Think before you talk you idiot.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Kevin

      That's funny... I've read the Bible several times and God makes it clear that the judgement of man is HIS job and not yours. I am always amazed at the sheer number of christians who so arrogantly make the claim that theycan somehow know the mind of and speak for God. Well done sir! I'm sure God appreciates you helping him out with all that!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • vadieblue

      Did some of you even read the article? You are getting so hung up on the fact that their religion is called "Church of Satan" that you failed to recognize that they do not believe in God nor Satan. They are essentially ego-maniacal atheists. You can quote all the scripture you want but the bottom line is they don't worship the Devil, Satan, demons, etc. They worship themselves.

      Here is a scripture for those holier than thou that are posting that you always seem to forget: Judge not lest ye be judged.

      All judgement is reserved for God, not you. By posting your judgement, you are essentially committing one of the greatest sins.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Newyorker

      The Satanism described here is closer to God and to Jesus' teachings than the beliefs espoused by Fundamentalist Christians like you. I wish God did exist, so that people like you would end up in Hell.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Name

      This is either a troll trying to make Christians look bad or someone who thinks that he is a Christian but really isn't talking like one. Please remember not to judge, it is not our job.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Stevi

      Ah, I was wondering with a member of the Westboro cult would comment!

      June 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Sean

      @Jesus Saves
      Your impotent rage amuses me.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  6. Kevin

    How special. Another idiot who obviously knows nothing about atheism writes an article trying to link atheism to satanism. How predictable and pathetic. Hey Eric, which family member got you that job? It sure wasn't based on talent...

    June 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • The Bony Man

      This article isn't some hack job trying to connect Atheism to Satanism. LaVeyan Satanists are Atheists. It is a simple statement of belief, or lack thereof. It is not a judgment on the relative value of either, it simply is.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • George R

      Kevin, chill out. LaVeyan Satanists are atheists. They actively disbelieve in gods, angels, demons, what have you. The article is pointing out a basic fact of the "religion" (really, a secular guiding philosophy) that you can easily establish for yourself. The fact that you get set off by such a thing indicates to me that you're still suffering from Christian indoctrination, whatever you think you are now.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Someone

    The church of satan shouldn't be called a church. A church is Christian, this is the exact opposite

    June 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • WakeUp

      I consider myself a believer in God. Also a believer in the dictionary: A church is simply the name given of a body of believers. There are churches are satan, and churches of different gods. All of them are going to hell, according the the Bible. Only those who believe in the Gospel will be saved from this realm. the rest will suffer an eternal torment that will never go away.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • vadieblue

      @Wakeup according your your religion and your judgement that is. What will your time in heaven be like since you have sinned by passing judgement? WiIll God thank you for sinning?

      June 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • Newyorker

      @Wakeup: Go to sleep, dunce.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • somethingsomething

      What? I go to the church of Barnes & Noble at least once a week!

      June 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Name

      Nah, if any religion wants to call themselves a church, I don't see the controversy.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • hurpaderp

      wat

      June 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • George R

      The exact opposite? Is it also the exact opposite of Islam and Judaism? That would mean that Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all perfectly identical.

      July 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  8. DB

    Think about it. Man does not want to think that there is nothing after this life. Our body becomes a rotting piece of meat after we leave it. Sure we pump it full of chemicals to try and preserve it but if you have ever seen a body that has been dug up, it's not a pretty or handsome creation like they looked like before. So what do people want to believe in, the soul? What is a soul? Is it your essence? If so, where are you memories, desires, personality? They are gone when you died. If the soul goes to hell or goes to heaven are those places not made up in the minds of man? Even the Bible is a made up story by mankind and was written decades after Christ supposedly died. People back then were not literate and the story got told so many times where do we find the truth. Christ was probably a great person but wishfull thinking is just that. Which is the correct religon out of all the ones that have been made up by man? There are older ones than Christianity, are they correct? Personally I think that there is a Supreme Being that creates usand all living things. The complexity of life is overwhelming to just be by chance so I personally think there is a Supreme Being. When we die, I think we continue to life as long as people remember us, after that we are gone with the ages. It is how we live our lives and what we do now that makes the difference in how we are remembered after we die. There is no after life, that is only a myth.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Steve a CHRISTian

      Heard of Judaism? Oldest belief system in the world.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Name

      I don't feel like a machine of chemicals. If that was true then I would not be controlling me. So yah, I think we all have a soul. I think it goes to be with God when we die, or not with God. The difference is heaven and hell.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Stevi

      @Steve a CHRISTian – Oldest belief system in the world? The Chinese have the oldest civilization in the world, the oldest religion in the world. |:

      June 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • MrHand

      Name, you have no self-control. That is proof that you are wrong. You cannot control yourself, it is a physiological and psychological impossibility.
      Would you say that you can evolve by force of will? You can't.
      Would you say that you can control your thoughts and impulses in your brain? You can't do that either.
      The proof that you are wrong is right in front of your face and in your brain if you'd bother to take a look.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • occultist

      Heh, what a fool. From my research, the oldest belief system approximating religion would be
      Shamanism. Then in more civilized times Zorastrianism, where the concept of dualism became
      part of their religious beliefs.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • George R

      Steve, Judaism isn't even close to being the oldest religion in the world. Just off the top of my head, I know Hinduism is milennia older.

      July 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  9. Legion

    We are amongst the fools as we walk amongst you. You give us your sons and daughters as we bring them into our fold.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Name

      I'm sorry, but wah?

      June 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • MrHand

      Name is one of the massively clueless idiots out there who will probably never understand anything and die ignorant of their own stupidity and the waste of their whole life on stupidity and lies.
      It is seriously sad that such things can happen at all. 😦

      June 5, 2011 at 4:12 am |
    • Dustin

      "Steve a CHRISTian

      Heard of Judaism? Oldest belief system in the world."

      No...No it isn't. There are belief systems that predate Judaism.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  10. Alex

    I learned nothing from this article. Not trying to be rude, just being honest.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • tapuhere

      I didn't learn much at all from your comment. Were you trying to say something of significance to anyone?

      June 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Name

      Maybe your just one of those trolls that just read the headline and comment.

      just maybe...

      June 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  11. MargaretG

    in sour ground

    June 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  12. frank

    I liked when the girl did the voodoo devil dance with the rooster in the movie Angel Heart.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
    • tapuhere

      Okay! With ya on that one, Frank. That was a pretty good movie, over all. I didn't like the shining devil-baby eyes at the end–too hokey–but otherwise, pure entertainment.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  13. Muneef

    What does the Quran say about Satan (The Devil) ;

    [2:35] We said, "O Adam, live with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom generously, as you please, but do not approach this tree, lest you sin."

    [2:36] But the devil duped them, and caused their eviction therefrom. We said, "Go down as enemies of one another. On Earth shall be your habitation and provision for awhile."
    ------–

    Satan Prohibits Lawful Things
    [2:168] O people, eat from the earth's products all that is lawful and good, and do not follow the steps of Satan; he is your most ardent enemy.

    [2:169] He only commands you to commit evil and vice, and to say about GOD what you do not know.
    -------

    [2:208] O you who believe, you shall embrace total submission; do not follow the steps of Satan, for he is your most ardent enemy.
    --------

    [2:268] The devil promises you poverty and commands you to commit evil, while GOD promises you forgiveness from Him and grace. GOD is Bounteous, Omniscient.
    --------

    [2:275] Those who charge us-u-ry are in the same position as those controlled by the devil's influence. This is because they claim that us-u-ry is the same as commerce. However, GOD permits commerce, and prohibits us-u-ry. Thus, whoever heeds this commandment from his Lord, and refrains from us-u-ry, he may keep his past earnings, and his judgment rests with GOD. As for those who persist in us-u-ry, they incur Hell, wherein they abide forever.
    -------–

    [4:38] They give money to charity only to show off, while disbelieving in GOD and the Last Day. If one's companion is the devil, that is the worst companion.
    -------–

    [4:60] Have you noted those who claim that they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, then uphold the unjust laws of their idols? They were commanded to reject such laws. Indeed, it is the devil's wish to lead them far astray.
    -----–

    [4:76] Those who believe are fighting for the cause of GOD, while those who disbelieve are fighting for the cause of tyranny. Therefore, you shall fight the devil's allies; the devil's power is nil.
    -----–

    [5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.

    [5:91] The devil wants to provoke animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and to distract you from remembering GOD, and from observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Will you then refrain?
    ------

    June 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      [7:175] Recite for them the news of one who was given our proofs, but chose to disregard them. Consequently, the devil pursued him, until he became a strayer.

      [7:176] Had we willed, we could have elevated him therewith, but he insisted on sticking to the ground, and pursued his own opinions. Thus, he is like the dog; whether you pet him or scold him, he pants. Such is the example of people who reject our proofs. Narrate these narrations, that they may reflect.

      [7:177] Bad indeed is the example of people who reject our proofs; it is only their own souls that they wrong.

      [7:178] Whomever GOD guides is the truly guided one, and whomever He commits to straying, these are the losers.
      -------

      June 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      [7:200] When the devil whispers to you any whisper, seek refuge in GOD; He is Hearer, Omniscient.

      [7:201] Those who are righteous, whenever the devil approaches them with an idea, they remember, whereupon they become seers.

      [7:202] Their brethren ceaselessly entice them to go astray.
      --------

      [14:22] And the devil will say, after the judgment had been issued, "GOD has promised you the truthful promise, and I promised you, but I broke my promise. I had no power over you; I simply invited you, and you accepted my invitation. Therefore, do not blame me, and blame only yourselves. My complaining cannot help you, nor can your complaining help me. I have disbelieved in your idolizing me. The transgressors have incurred a painful retribution."
      ------–

      June 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Muneef

      [14:22] And the devil will say, after the judgment had been issued, "GOD has promised you the truthful promise, and I promised you, but I broke my promise. I had no power over you; I simply invited you, and you accepted my invitation. Therefore, do not blame me, and blame only yourselves. My complaining cannot help you, nor can your complaining help me. I have disbelieved in your idolizing me. The transgressors have incurred a painful retribution."
      ------–

      [16:63] By GOD, we have sent (messengers) to com-mun-i-ties before you, but the devil adorned their works in their eyes. Consequently, he is now their lord, and they have incurred a painful retribution.

      [16:64] We have revealed this scripture to you, to point out for them what they dispute, and to provide guidance and mercy for people who believe.
      ------–

      [16:98] When you read the Quran, you shall seek refuge in GOD from Satan the rejected.

      [16:99] He has no power over those who believe and trust in their Lord.

      [16:100] His power is limited to those who choose him as their master, those who choose him as their god.
      ------–

      June 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      Although there are still some verses but will qoute only if asked for....

      June 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
    • DoctorFeelGood

      Usury is very prevalent in Islamic countries...and everywhere else.

      June 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Doc.
      You are right because they are secular countries but still they have Islamic banks that are coming up successfully lately...

      June 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Alif

      2:190 Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.

      Start no wars, begin no hostilities, kill no innocents. If you would bring peace you must understand what is underneath conflict.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      (MUST READ) A Modern Culture of Insults
      Some people are disposed to be rude and abrasive. They speak harsh words that show no strength of argument or evidence, but are full of insults and abuse.

      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Those who habitually curse will not be among the intercessors and witnesses on the Day of Judgment." [Sahîh Muslim]

      Likewise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A believer is neither a habitual curser nor a habitual accuser. He is not vile nor is he obscene." [Sunan al-Tirmidhî]

      Anyone who loves the Prophet (peace be upon him) and wishes to be gathered in his company on the Day of Judgment should follow his good example. This means that he should safeguard his tongue from uttering anything other than what is good. The Prophet's advice was that "…whoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day should say something good or remain silent." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

      May Allah have mercy on a person who either says something good and earns a reward or keeps quiet and thereby remains safe.

      There is nothing wrong with people disagreeing and arguing with each other, especially in these troubled and confusing times. However, the way to handle disagreements is with lucid arguments and temperate speech. A person's mode of discussion should show the purity of his intentions, the strength of his intellect, and the nobility of his character.
      More at;
      http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f20/must-read-a-modern-culture-of-insults-10464/

      June 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • John

      No one cares about your stupid religion.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • DB

      Propaganda

      June 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Name

      Propaganda troll

      June 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      Thank you for judging me and for your kind compliments but assure you that I work for no one or organization. Am rather nosy otherwise should be minding my own business and not to waste precious time with unappreciative ghosts...after all you have all the right to say what you are saying since we have the same fears from those who prefer to debate with a sword rather than a pen... America creat the action and we have to pay for the reaction ;
      "Lets be careful with what we sow because we will harvest".(US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton).
      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2CE0fyz4ys)

      June 5, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Muneef

      Yemen's Tribal Showdown
      http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67877/charles-schmitz/yemens-tribal-showdown?page=show

      June 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  14. Jason

    I think it's interesting that this group calls itself "Satanists". Obviously for most people this brings to mind an image of some actual being "Satan", as described in various versions in the Judeo-Christian tradition. But if the Satanists are athiests, then they don't actually believe in the existence of a "Satan" as most people understand that word. I think they should come up with a new name for themselves.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      Think I agree with you that they should change their name if not connected with the Satan we know of in our books otherwise they might fall in to trouble of misunderstanding the name of this non spiritual belief....

      June 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Phil

      The point in calling themselves 'Satanists' serves the purpose of thumbing their nose at people who are religious. Its blatant mocking, condescension and done out of pure spite, in the same way most atheists do things such as suing to prevent religious speech or symbolism from being displayed. Its not enough to just subscribe to their own beliefs, but they always attempt to disparage someone else because of theirs.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Dallas

      Satanists don't believe in literal spirits like God or the Devil, but they do identify with the Christian Satan in such a way that they have church services, rituals (baptism, birth rites, marriage rites) and even magic and spells all in his name. In the Satanic bible, Anton explains exactly why they call themselves "Satanists" instead of something like "secular humanists". I would advise you to read it, but be warned, the entire book is a mockery of Christian thought. It's not a read for the easily offended. There are so few of these folks now I'm not even sure why they warrant an article on CNN. The group is split between NY and California, and both are claiming to be the "legitimate" church of satan.

      June 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Arran Webb

      Satan is cunning. If given the scenario that Satan does exist and has the purpose of destroying God the best tool for Satan to accomplish this is through the denial of all spiritual life. The Satanists are truly the workers of Satan – they definitely do believe in an afterlife with Satan, but the quest to destroy God is served best by denying all spiritual/metaphysical life. Satan is definitely acting through the Satanists and they are or are not consciously aware of this.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Amy

      I agree with you. If they don't believe in Satan, they why call themselves Satanists? A follower of Satan would be someone who seeks to be evil and destructive. An atheist doesn't believe in God, but that doesn't mean that person has an agenda to be malevolent. The atheists I know are all very nice, moral, decent people who put their energies into making the most of their lives and leaving the world a better place. Nothing satanic about that.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • occultist

      Goodgrief, you are talking out of your backside. Satanism as practiced by the Church of Satan, is for the most
      part atheistic, some may believe in a dark force akin to 12 step groups "higher power" but that would be the exent of
      it.. Also if one studies religious history, the devil did not begin with christianity. The devil, satan, etc. have a much
      longer history and there were hedonistic groups in european and us history such as the hellfire club where deviant
      rituals/acts took place. I seem to recall Benjamin Franklin was invloved with such a group.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  15. frank

    @LinCa: thank you, I thought so too.

    June 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  16. Aerocog

    The greatest trick the devil ever planned was making people believe he didn't exist.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • LinCA

      Ah, movies. Always a good source for memorable quotes. I think is was actually:" The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people believe he didn't exist." – The Usual Suspects (1995)

      June 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Jubei

      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, I'm gone!

      June 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Dj

      I agree

      June 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • tapuhere

      One of your own "greatest tricks" there, Aerocog, was making it seem like you same up with that little observation/opinion on your own. Well... one you ALMOST pulled off, anyway.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  17. frank

    Satanists are a bunch of addled attention who.re punks.

    June 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • LinCA

      @frank. Nice post. Courteous and well supported by rational arguments. </sarcasm>

      June 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • GoldenArchesAngel

      frank is very polite, isn't he? What a shining example to the rest of us. Baby Jesus is so proud of him.

      June 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
    • Name

      You are a true example

      June 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Name

      Notice that I'm not saying what you are an example of...

      June 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  18. Fidei Coticula Crux

    Can someone please explain to me what is the differance between a Satanist and Wicca? I know when it comes to death, Wiccans believe the body replenishes the earth, which is the Goddess's wish. Some Wiccans are agnostic about life after death, others believe in reincarnation. Some believe in a wonderful place called Summerland.

    June 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Den

      You don't know how to look things up on the internet?
      Try Google or Wikipedia, O Clueless One.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Den,

      Thanks for your help,

      O Rude One.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • JohnR

      Wiccans and Satanists have almost nothing in common.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      Wiccans and Satanists both practice divination and spell-casting, with most rituals performed in a circle. The differance between the two is Wicca is an occultic "nature religion," while Satanism is not.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Cricket Bat

      @Fidel's Crotch
      Many Christians do things in a circle, and profess to be able to "divine" God's thoughts, intentions, etc., and use prayers to curse and bless – spellcasting anyone?
      So I am not exactly seeing any difference between Christians, Satanists, Wiccans, etc. You are all obviously crazy.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Fidei Coticula Crux

      See what happens when you try to have a simple discussion with an Atheist. They simply can’t do it without insulting you. So to follow Cricket Bat's standard of judgment... You are all obviously filled with hate.

      June 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Free

      Fidei Coticula Crux
      What's the insult? Many prayers to God are asking him to bend the laws of chance in your favor, right? That's basically the same kind of thing as having a lucky rabbit's foot, not changing your socks during the playoffs, or doing some other ritual for good luck. Bending conditions in your favor is the same as bending conditions against someone else's favor so, in that sense, it really isn't much different from wishing someone worse luck than yourself. Some would consider that evil, I suppose. In Christian terms, then, you may want to consider before asking for a personal miracle whether it bends chance away from someone else.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • GoldenArchesAngel

      F-whateverCrux, you don't like being called crazy? Then quit acting like it. Prove to us that you are not insane with your religious delusions.
      The illogical things you say might just be because you are having problems with the English language or in expressing yourself clearly. Why not say something intelligent?
      Go on little fellow. Show us how sane you are. Go on.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • LadyA

      Fidei:

      Wiccans believe in God and Goddess, typically. We see them in many more things than Christians, who are taught that God is in church and it is only there that you can worship him. As a Wiccan Priestess, I see my deities in things around me, from a blade of grass to the smile of my neighbor. Everything is blessed. We DON'T believe in Satan at all. That is a creation of Christians, mainly to control their people from doing what is right. Wiccans follow the Rede, or a code of honor, which is summed up in eight very important words: An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will. We believe that what you do affects everything around you and comes back to you three-fold. So if I went out and slashed my neighbor's tires, bad things would happen to me until I had repaid my debt to the universe. By the same token, if I do good, that also comes back to me three-fold. As for death, many of us believe in reincarnation, that our soul is here during this time to learn specific things, like strength or patience. Then we die and decide what to do during our next lives, or if we will spend our time in the Summerland. Wiccans and Satanists are so very far apart in our thinking, yet we are always lumped together, thanks to the propaganda of Christianity. It's sad.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @LadyA – Given my neo-animist predilections, at least in my heart, if not my mind, I find quite a bit of Wicca appealing. But I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would believe in this "threefold" business. It's empirically untenable, ethically almost as questionable as heaven/hell "payoffs" as the reason for doing right and wrong and just wildly arbitrary. Who decided that the gains and losses must be specifically THREEfold and why??? The first time a Wiccan told me of this particular doctrine, I tried not to laugh. I really did.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • ian

      Though the similarities of satanism and wicca is that they're both inventions of the 20th century. What's more sad is that your average Wiccan think that their hodgepodge/potpourri religion is old.

      June 4, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • LadyA

      @John Richardson: If you look to nature, and many religions, the number three comes up in many ways. For Wiccans, it's the three faces of the Goddess, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. For Christian/Catholics, it's Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Even the lunar worshipers only truly count the three phases they can see, even though they do honor the new moon. Upon doing some research on why the 'three', I could not find a true source of the rule. While I know the current incarnation of Wicca is not much more than a hundred years old, practices of Witchcraft have been handed down in many families for longer than they can recount, and this particular law might have stemmed from one of those familial lines. Much like the Golden Rule of do unto others as you'd have done to you, the Threefold Law serves as a moral compass, guiding us on our path to do what is right.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • LadyA

      @Ian: While the current incarnation of Wicca is barely 100 years old, we pull much of our belief system from older religions, such as those practiced by the ancient Celts, Egyptians, and Nordics. Similarly, we see much of our current basis of ritual in Catholicism, as that particular faith absorbed Pagans in general by changing how they perform rituals to make Pagans more comfortable in conversions. Many Christian holidays are based on old Pagan holidays, such as Eostre became the Christian Easter, absorbing bunnies, eggs, and spring but adding the death of their savior. Christmas was moved from when Christ was reputed to have been born (also in the spring) to December, when Pagans celebrated Yule, or the longest day of the year. While I agree we are a bit of a hodgepodge of a faith system, saying that we are an 'invention' of the 20th Century is not completely accurate.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • LadyA

      That should have been Yule is the SHORTEST day of the year. Sorry about that!

      June 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  19. Muneef

    We learned that satanists practice blackmagic,sorcery so are those by any mean do or believe in doing that?
    Another thing I do not understand how can they believe in Satan but not believe in God or any spiritual issues after death?

    June 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Den

      Good points. The article appears to be lies designed to discredit atheists. Shame on CNN for posting such dreck.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • JohnR

      Anton Zander LeVey used the terms "satanism" and "satanic", made up a bunch of ritual, but was never a "warlock" or devil worshipper as they either were/are or are imagined to be or have been. I have heard that in his later years, he regretted using such a loaded term. Not sure if it's true that he regretted it, but it was a regrettable choice.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • hurpaderp

      Satanists generally don't do any of those things- sorcery, black magic, etc. You may be mixing up "Satanist" with "Satan-worshipper." There is a difference.

      June 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  20. Goodgrief

    @myweightinwords
    You are incorrect in thinking that atheism is required to be a Satanist.
    How you came by such a ridiculous idea is unknown. Maybe you don't even know that you are misinformed.
    I must say it seems very likely that your delusions have led you to accept obviously untrue statements as true.
    Atheism is a lack of belief in any gods.
    No gods equals no belief in any god-related nonsense.
    And you say you know lots of Satanists,etc.
    Well, I am calling BS on you.
    You probably avoid any such people and thus have no basis for knowledge about them in the first place.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Den

      When false information is believed to be true, mixed-up people become even more confused. Simple.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Oso

      As his words have no substance, he must be pretty skinny.

      June 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • occultist

      You are clueless Goodgrief. I do know and have known many Satanists, have met and spoke with one of the heads of
      the Church of Satan, particularly Peter Gilmore... Peggy Namadria being his partner and the other leader of the CoS.

      It's not really ridiculous at all... Satan is a metaphor and as such there is no need to believe in
      God, gods or Satan... this alone would make them similar in beliefs to atheists. I do have a basis for
      what I am speaking of, having personal experience with many Satanists in my travels all over the USA and
      Europe.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.