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Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)
The UK Church of Satan says it supports a variety of views on abortion. But is the church real?
July 9th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really)

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– Are Satanists for or against abortion? Apparently, there's a hot debate.

A group calling itself the "UK Church of Satan" on Twitter says it's open minded, tweeting out "Why Wouldn't Satanism be pro-life?" on July 5.

But the High Priest of the New York-based Church of Satan says it's squarely in the abortion-rights corner.

How to settle this diabolical duel?

Let's back up first.

As Texas legislators debated a law last week that would restrict abortions in the Lone Star State, a group of abortion rights protesters tried to drown out a group of anti-abortion protesters at the state capitol by chanting "Hail Satan!"

The phrase trended on Twitter. Megapastor Rick Warren rapped our wrists (and The Associated Press's, too) for not covering the "Hail Satan" serenade. Actually, pastor, our man Josh Rubin was on the ball.

The UK Church of Satan (assuming it's real) jumped on the trend, tweeting on July 3:

Which raises the question: What does Satanism represent?

We asked the New York-based Church of Satan, and we got an earful.

First of all, Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, told us, there is no "UK Church of Satan."

"I have not authorized any of our UK members to create such a thing claiming to represent our organization, its members and our philosophy," Gilmore said. "So, whoever is behind that feed is committing a fraud."

Gilmore's group, which, unlike the UK church, has a website, also keeps a P.O. Box in New York City. (Radio City Station of all places. Watch out, Rockettes.)

As a matter of policy, the Church of Satan doesn't give out exact membership numbers, the magus said, but it's in the thousands.

"Our organization, founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, is worldwide," Gilmore told CNN in an e-mail, "and we have many members throughout the UK and none of them have heard of any self-proclaimed 'Church of Satan in England.' There was a hoax using a title like this a year or so ago as a political prank."

We put the question to the UK Church of Satan,  who said, "There is no 'UK' Church of Satan. It's worldwide. We represent and connect those followers 'in' the UK."

We've followed up with more questions but haven't heard back yet.

To be sure, the UK Satanists' tweets have been surprisingly unsulfurous.

Take this one, for example:

Or this sweet-natured nugget:

This is a church that worships the Prince of Darkness? And who in hell is JMG?

Getting back to abortion, here's what the supposed UK Church of Satan said:

Yeah, kinda, Gilmore told CNN. But there's much more to it than that.

Many Satanists practice "rational birth control," saith Satanism's high priest, leaving matters of personal morality up to individuals.

"We generally consider the use of abortion to be the purview of the woman whose body is carrying the child," Gilmore said. "We consider sexual experiences to be an indulgence between consenting adults that should be taken seriously, particularly when the possibility of pregnancy is concerned."

But the magus didn't appreciate hearing the name of his lord taken in vain.

"Shouting `Hail Satan!' to abortion protesters is both ludicrous and meaningless," said Gilmore, who's led the Church of Satan since 2001. "Only attention-seeking fools would do so."

Unsurprisingly, Satanists take a strong stand on separation of church and state, believing the government "should be entirely secular."

"So religion should neither force upon nor deny an abortion for any woman, in our thinking," Gilmore said. "Freedom with responsibility is the hallmark of civilized behavior to the Satanist."

Now that that's settled, what's the Satanic stance on gay marriage?

***

In a follow-up email, Gilmore made it clear that Satanists don't actually deify Satan. In fact, they're atheist, he said, and use Satan as a "symbol of pride, liberty and individualism."

"If you chose to mock us, then you should have done so based on what our philosophy actually is, rather than on an assumed `horror film' stereotype," the magus said.

Fair criticism. We'll try to improve our coverage of Satanism.

Oh, one more thing. Gilmore said the Church of Satan does approve of same-sex marriage.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Church and state • Culture wars • Satanism

soundoff (2,331 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Jesus Christ was rightfully crucified for his sins against God and humanity. Jesus pretended to be the son of God, but he was in fact a messenger of the devil. All those that accept Jesus into their hearts are inviting the devil in as well. Reject Jesus, the spawn of Satan!

    July 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • ptneely

      Are you trolling, or do you post the view of an organized religion/cult?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Ted

      Jeff- there's always to two sides to a coin; daytime has nighttime; cold & hot; wet & dry; and good & bad. At the end of life we will be judged, and hopefully by God grace you and your loved ones will continue to be together in the afterlife.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Loki

      Jesus denied the true high god, Odin, and provoked his wrath. Jesus was then nailed to a cross with Mjollnir, the hammer of Thor, as punishment.

      All who forsake Asgard tempt the same fate.

      Repent, drink mead, and give hail to the true gods of the north.

      Ragnarok is coming.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Ted, I am trying to save you from eternal damnation. That is the only thing that the blasphemer Jesus offers. He has created a false cult of peace around his teaches. The God of Abraham would have never allowed his crucifixion if Jesus was his son. The death of Jesus is proof that he was a fake. His resurrection was a fraud. Why do you think so few witnessed it? Why do their accounts vary so much?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Biblical Truth

      What you are saying, Jeff, is a lie perpetrated by the damned. This is what our LORD and Savior Jesus said to satan. "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." – LUKE 4:8 (KJV)

      July 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Biblical Truth

      You are an agent of the devil. You are only trying to damn the innocent with your lies. Jesus deserved what he got.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Giggles McGillicutty

      It's really funny watching two people argue about how their imaginary superbuddy is going to beat the other guy's imaginary superbuddy!

      July 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Find Out the Hard Way

      Repent with your mouth that harbors spiders, snakes, scorpions and filthy demonic lies. Ask for forgiveness now while you are still incarnate or find out the hard way what will ultimately happen to your soul, Jeff. Don't believe this? Try it but know that either way it will be for eternity.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Find Out the Hard Way,
      What if you're wrong and I'm right? Why would you risk eternal damnation?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • No Laughing Matter

      You might think this is a giggling matter, Giggles. I assure you it is not. Both God and satan exist. From the very fact that there are very evil people in the world today who reject God, there you have your proof since evil does not come from God. But if you are not yet convinced then you need go no further than to remember Lucifer, your master, who was cast out of Heaven by God for his disobedience to Him and we all know where he ended up! So, be careful what you say or what you treat as a laugh or imaginary because brother, when you die and you and Jeff have to stand before God and He asks you both why you rejected Him and made fun of Him, What Are You Honestly Going To say To Him! Remember, He knows ALL and you'll have to pay the Eternal price. Laugh some more if you want, in fact, all you want, that is until you both feel the 'heat' of things later on.

      July 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Find Out the Hard Way

      You should not continue blaspheming against the LORD, Jeff. It is not at all good for your soul. You ask what if we're wrong and you're right. I can tell you, unequivocally, that we are right in what we say. Here is what Holy Scripture tells us. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the ONLY begotten Son of God." - JOHN 3:18 (KJV)

      The Only begotten Son of God is Jesus Christ as exemplified by this next Scripture. "Jesus saith unto him, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." - JOHN 14:6 (KJV) That means that by not accepting Jesus, thus, not becoming saved, you cannot enter into Heaven therefore, there is another place reserved for non-Believers. But why should I care about you so much? Because you are spiritually lost right now but I feel that deep down if you only denied what is possessing you to say the things that you do, you would join Jesus and become saved. The bottom line is not that we're the ones that are right, all believers already know that, but what will happen to Your soul since you're the one who is obviously wrong.

      July 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • The Bottom Line

      For those desiring salvation, that is, to become born again in Jesus, even for those who are not quite decided but who nevertheless want to err on the side of caution, say the following Out Loud. After all, your satanist friends who talk tough will not be with you when you pass-on in order to speak to God for you or on your behalf as to why you rejected Him. Therefore, Now is Your Chance To Align With Jesus. It's so simple that the following is all it takes to Guarantee that you will enter into Heaven when you pass-on, according to the Holy Bible.

      Father in Heaven, I come to you with contrite heart as I am a sinner who acknowledges my sins. I am asking you to forgive me. I also come forth to declare that I Believe that Jesus Christ is LORD and the one and only beloved Son of God and I accept Jesus into my life right now. I believe that He was crucified, died, and was buried but arose on the third day through God. I thank you for coming into my life, LORD Jesus Christ, and I will follow you always. Amen.

      July 9, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • ze

      Says Jeff, who does not even know how he got here (earth). Men suppose to know but only Yhwh knows, seek Yahwh in the way He says He can be found (as opposed to how men say He can be found) and find out from the source who He is. You may find that He is indeed who He says He is. Then you oh man will know and not suppose.

      As it stands we have a mortal here speaking about supernatural things when he cannot understand the natural. You are a mere man, the only things we can know about Yhwh (God) are the things He says about Himself, there is no other way for a man to know anything else about God.. which of us can observe Him? Simply put you don't know what you are talking about, but if you seek out your maker and call on Him while He can be found, He may impart some of His wisdom to you. This is the very reason I know your post is a lie.

      July 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • josh

      off topic I think

      July 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • fintastic

      @no laughing matter..... "I assure you it is not. Both God and satan exist. From the very fact that there are very evil people in the world today who reject God, there you have your proof since evil does not come from God."

      What a complete load of crap. How can you "assure me"??.... you got this "feeling"?........ Your statement of "fact" is an out and out lie. Stop confusing mythology with reality....

      July 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  2. Dirk the Daring

    I wonder what the Jedi religion's view is on it?

    July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Darth Steve

      Come over to the dark side... we have cookies.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Cookies you say?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Varth Dader

      There is absolutely no mention in the Bible of cookies in heaven. Lots of sitting around doing nothing but kissing God's ass and telling him how wonderful he is, but do you even get cookies for being a sniveling toady? Nope.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Yoda

      Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no try"

      Yoda: "Make a baby, or do not make a baby. There is no abort."

      July 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jar Jar

      Mesa da poster chid for abbbortton

      July 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  3. MarchingSK

    People think "Satanist" and they think an evil person who worships evil. It's actually quite the opposite as they believe that God is the evil one based upon scriptures. And to paraphrase a poster, "God murdered millions, Satan didn't. God opposed knowledge, Satan did not. God killed his own son" Blah blah blah.

    I'm not a Satanist, but I understand 100% where they're coming from, especially the knowledge thing.

    Satanists are not evil people at all! Pretty normal actually.

    July 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      LEGEND: ASL presented himself as a loving family man.

      REALITY: ASL violently beat his wife Diane throughout their marriage. In 1984 a police report was made describing Diane being strangled into unconsciousness by ASL, who was in such a murderous rage that his daughter Karla had to pull him off Diane and drag her outside the house to save her life. ASL routinely physically beat and abused those of his female disciples with whom he had seex, forcing them into prostiitution as part of his "Satanic counseling" and collecting their earnings. In 1986 ASL was a passive witness to the seexual molestation of his own grandson by a longtime friend who was later convicted of seex crimes with minors. In 1990 ASL informed a mentally-ill stalker of his daughter Zeena of her whereabouts and the time & location of a public appearance she was scheduled to make, deliberately endangering her life.

      SOURCES: San Francisco Police records of ASL attack on Diane LaVey, Zeena LaVey, Diane LaVey, Stanton LaVey.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Yawn

      Now would you care to share the atrocities committed by Catholicism now Bill? I mean, since you are at it, why not point out the inquisitions and wars and oppression and all, which was ever so slightly worse than Levay.

      Go for it.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      From time to time (as in this case) Bill raises a fair point, but the hypocrite never acknowledges when fair points are made against his a priori beliefs, or discusses them rationally, so he just comes of like a willfully ignorant azzhat.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Religion is poison for the mind. There are no gods. There are no devils. There are only silly people who are delusional. Values don't come from the spirit world. They come from thoughtful consideration for your fellow man.

    July 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • jackkilledjill

      If this is your assertion, please explain human's natural instinct to wonder and worship.

      Here is an example of this, which is true 100% of the time for all humans, and which has been observed in many animals, such as primates, elephants, and marine mammals.

      The stages of grieving:

      1. Denial
      2. Anger
      3. Bargaining
      4. Depression
      5. Acceptance

      The key stage here is 3, Bargaining: bargaining with what? It is always god.

      Now, I am not providing this as proof of the existence of the supernatural, but I am illustrating that humans all share an innate concept of god, and need to communicate with it. This makes 100% of us, including you, "delusional".

      Something for you to chew on before you level your un-thought-out, regurgitated, bile on everyone, including yourself.

      Cheers!

      July 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jeff

      Religion improves the survival of your genes. That is why it is so popular. If all you want is survival, then go ahead and pray. You'll see nothing but endless wars.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Lets all be like Madonna and live in a material world!
      Everything is exactly as it appears to me. Human beings are just logical creatures. No need for art, music or beauty. Gathering with like minded people and singing songs to God is crazy. Who gathers in this day and age to sing? Nobody! Unless you are getting drunk and a piano bar or paying $80 to see Lady Gaga, there is no reason to meet and sing. And then the people get together and do "good deeds", you don't have to have a church to organize and help people. You can do it all by yourself.
      Or you can just talk about it on the internet like me. All day long.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Jeff

      Skeptic Al,

      Art, beauty, language, and culture are the products of evolution. Gods have nothing to do with it.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Evolution created us in evolution's image.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @JackkilledJill

      It has to do with the particular evolution of our brains. There are a lot of lessons there about what humans believe and how we act and make decisions. Our minds are basically "puzzle-solvers." Because our minds evolved to solve puzzles (it helps us survive) we think of everything in terms of a puzzle that can be solved; thus, we think of our environment as a puzzle to solve, and we think if we are trying to solve it, somebody must already have solved it; thus, a parent figure like we had when our brains were developing as a child.

      The science of brain states is incredible. I think you would agree that just because the human mind can conceive of something that doesn't mean that it exists. (We can imagine a googolplex, but nothing in the universe can possibly exist in that number). Just because our minds conceive of reality as a puzzle, and just because our minds "locked into" their framework while we were children with parents does not mean that the human race has some caring parent-invisible, sky wizard-daddy who makes stuff by chanting magic spells.

      One question: Your post was civil up until the last (or penultimate?) sentence which was rather demeaning and snarky. Why?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Spock

      Humans are by no stretch of the imagination 'logical'.

      July 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • ME II

      @jackkilledjill,
      "People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example 'Can we still be friends?..' when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it's a matter of life or death."

      Children grieving in divorce
      "Denial – Children feel the need to believe that their parents will get back together, or they will change their mind about the divorce. Example: “Mom or Dad will change their mind.
      Anger – Children feel the need to blame someone for their sadness and loss. Example: 'I hate Mom for leaving us.'
      Bargaining – In this stage, children feel as if they have some say in the situation if they bring a bargain to the table. This helps them keep focused on the positive that the situation might change, and less focused on the negative, the sadness they’ll experience after the divorce. Example: 'If I do all of my chores maybe Mom won’t leave Dad.'"

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model)

      July 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • ze

      "And what if you're wrong?" -The words that kept my brother from suicide.

      You may want to find out from the source (God)... if the God you have so much to say about has anything to say about Himself. In the case that He does you may want to listen, before you spout off at the mouth speaking on things too lofty for you to understand.

      I always say "Wise men say I don't know and shut up"

      See this is the prob.. No man know know that God does not exist.. God would have to tell him, otherwise there is no way to know. Who can search the heavens? the abyss? the outer limits? Who could confirm He is nowhere?

      However we can know that God does exist b/c He can tell us, as in my case I have experienced Him in so many supernatural ways that He would call me a liar to my face if I denied Him, I believe because I have proof.. God is supernatural you must experience Him supernaturally. He tells us the way to do this in His word (call on Him, believe Him, seek His face ect..)

      In the mean while there is no human who has traveled everywhere natural and supernatural that can confirm He is nowhere to be found. So man can never say He does not exist because God is the only being everywhere at all times so it would take God to tell us. Which obviously would not make sense.

      Only fools speak about things they do not understand. Im just saying.

      July 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • ME II

      @ze,
      "Only fools speak about things they do not understand. Im just saying."

      Thanks for the example.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Jernau

      The bargaining stage of grief isn't always associated with god. I've worked with many different people for whom bargaining is associated with, the state, their own bodies, their families, and even their dead loved ones. God is a common one, and in some circles may be exclusive but its certainly not the only one for the vast majority of the population.

      Since we're trying to bring psychology into this this people here presented as chanting hail Satan, did so because they were angry at the crowd. They could have just as easily been chanting, "Hail Flying Spaghetti Monster" or some other ridiculous thing if they thought it would have gotten a stronger reaction. They seem to have been expressing frustration and what they wanted from the opposing group was a reaction. Makes me wonder if this frustrated attempt to get a reaction wasn't the same thing that caused such a ruckus back in Salem.

      July 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • fintastic

      @ZE,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "No man know know that God does not exist.. "

      No man knows that Leprechauns don't exsist......

      July 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  5. Doug

    Satanists don't worship Satan. You should try doing some research before writing these goofy fluff pieces.

    July 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Nunya

      If you do not worship God, then you worship Satan whether you admit it, or not, period.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Which god?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • jazzguitarman

      Well in that case count me on the side of Satan.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Brimstone

      You can't worship something that doesn't exist. That's just downright silly.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Snow

      Nunya.. since you are not worshiping the right god, you are the biggest satanist around.. whether you admit it or not, sadly.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  6. Hotel California - who's in the window?

    Another abortion just occurred, one less satanist in the world today.

    Keep it up and you'll be extinict. Yeah!

    July 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Hmmmmmmmmmmm

      70% of abortions are by women who identify themselves as Christian.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Hotel California - who's in the window?

      Amazing how you are fooled by those stats.

      Try again.

      July 10, 2013 at 7:55 am |
  7. admiralbrown

    Think about it, God wanted to keep Adam and Eve, naked and ignorant living in His garden. All he asked is that you don't eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
    God wanted to keep humans as pets. Sorry Satan cannot be all bad.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Perry Farrell

      We'll make great pets.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Rodboy

      Ad, did you get a vision from God telling you this or just dream it up, while taking drugs? Because the scripture does not say this anywhere.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Rod, actually, it's fairly consistent with scripture. Just with a little paraphrasing. The imaginary god wanted humans to remain stupid.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  8. ptneely

    It would make sense that they would have differing views on this. The Satanist view of liberty is very similar to Libertarianism. As most are aware, the Libertarian movement is totally split down the middle on this topic with individuals defending the individual rights of mother and some child. Again, it goes back to a difference in opinion over when life begins – all within the libertarian movement. The difference should also exist in Satanism.

    What people have trouble understanding is that in both cases (libertarian and Satanism) the argument has NOTHING to do with religion. It is merely a rights vs rights issue. Most pro-choicers have trouble understanding is that for the vast majority of us pro-lifers, this topic has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with religion.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Rodboy

      Well at least it is nice to see there are not comments denying God, because no God no Satan.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Rod, neither of those things exist.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Kianasmum

      You're right – it has nothing to do with religion. It's about a woman's ability to choose what to do with her own body and pro-lifers want to take that right away and give it to the unborn child who cannot survive without the mother's womb. What pro-lifers don't seem to get is that most women do not want to be told what they can and can not do with their bodies. If you take the right to abortion away, these same women will find other means that not only kill the unborn but could also kill themselves in the process. These pro-lifers would rather see 2 lives gone than the 1 who cannot defend themselves. A true pro-lifer would feel the same way for animals, plants and all living hosts such as the oceans, forests and the environment. I would not have an abortion but do not feel it's any of my business to get in the way of someone who does. That unborn child could very well grow up to be another mass murderer, another terrorist, another rapist, etc. because a child who grows up in an unloved home doesn't usually grow up loving those around him/her either. A woman having an abortion could very well be saving multiple lives but we'll never know – all we know is that one group of people want to fight for the unknown and another group that is fighting for those to control their own lives and their own destiny.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  9. Saraswati

    It's funny that he would call people calling "Hail Satan!" attention seekers since that is pretty much the point of belonging to this organization. None of these people believe in practicing evil or in Satan (I have met one self described Satanist, not of this organization, who did). The reason people get involved with a group so named is for shock value plain and simple. If you are looking for a secular materialist belief organization to join and this is all you can come up with you are either lazy, unimmaginitive, or dishonest about your reasons for joining.

    It's a little disappointing that this article doesn't clarify to the readers that the group has nothing at all to do with the Christian Satan. The implied surprise gives the impresssion that they do. After raising the question "What does Satanism represent?" we are not given an answer, despite the fact this information has been public for decades.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Phil

      Nunya and what you believe is be all end all in who's eyes, yours?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Phil

      Sorry wrong reply. People don't become a satanist for shock value. Christian satanism is devil worshipping which Satanism is not. They for the most part follow what satan represents.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Phil, I am well aware of what Satanism is about having lived with a group of Satanists back in the early 1990s. They were all good people with morals, more aligned with wiccans than the Satanists, but that force was not as large back then. I still argue that the only reason to choose to belong to a group called "Satanists", knowing full well what this term means to others, is primarily motivated by shock value and the desire to distance oneself from the mainstream. There are plenty of other organizations with similar beliefs (Scientific Pantheism) for instance, which a person who bothered to do the research could choose. For mature adults who actually can about making a contribution in the world modern Humanism or Unitariansim also offer alternatives, and for those who like the ritual and do belief in the supernatural there are several wiccan traditions. Satanism is something young adults who want to rebel and feel they have a secret knowledge and membership join. Staying a Satanist past 30 I'd take as a sign of developmental issues.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  10. Rynomite

    If you read your bible a few facts become clear:

    God murdered millions. Satan did not.
    God opposed knowledge and wanted man to remain ignorant. Original "Sin" was man gaining knowledge thanks to Satan
    God required all kinds of blood sacrifices, including his own son!

    It is clear that in the Abrahamic religions, Satan is the true hero for rebelling against the monstrosity Yahweh.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • ptneely

      You fail to understand (and it is understandable) that the word Satan in "Satanism" has nothing to do with the Satan or Lucifer in the Christian Bible.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Hmmmmmmmmmmm

      I think that is actually the points that the Church of Satan are making, that the Christian God is actually against freedom and knowledge and other positive things.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Nunya

      Pure ignorance. Complete and utter rubbish.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Rodboy

      Ryno, you are not giving God much credit, when Mao, Stalin and Hitler all beat your number, my God is strong than that.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Observer

      Rodboy,

      Read a Bible. When God got done torturously drowning people, there were only 8 left on the face of the earth.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Rod, hitler was a christian.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • ptneely

      Fluffy, Hitler was not a Christian at all. He mocked them just as you are doing in your posts. ... Not that people haven't done evil things in the name of Christ ... just not Hitler.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  11. Hotel California - who's in the window?

    All those doubters that Satan exist.

    Look closely at the windows on Eagles Hotel California album. The founder of the church of Satan is looking right at you.
    spokey dude.

    Haven't had that spirit here since 1969.

    Do your research on that.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      I never liked that band.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bicycle Guy

      I'm a spokey dude!!

      July 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • The Sad, Floppy, and Stunningly Ineffective Zombie Resurrection of Cluckles the Boneless Chicken

      The last thing I want to research is the Eagles. Second to last. K.C. and the Sunshine Band would be first. Okay, third, after Rush Limbaugh and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, the Eagles . . . oh, and pork rinds. Fourth, after pork rinds, Rush Limbaugh, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, it would definitely be the Eagles. And Abba.

      Oh this is confusing.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Hotel California - who's in the window?

      Fluffy

      Kittens are alligator bait.

      Eagles rock!

      July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • The Dude

      Look, I've had a bad day and I really hate the freaking Eagles.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • ptneely

      It is the back cover not the front cover. It it either the person up on the balcony left of the light or the person in the first window on the right. Some people with too much time on their hands claim that it is Anton La Vey (founder of the First Satanic Church of America). In reality such claims are generated by nutsos. The photo is merely a staged photoshoot taken at the Lido in Hollywood with the band and friends of the band dressed up in a way to spoof then Los Angeles.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  12. sam

    Da fuq??

    July 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  13. The Deist

    Any way you slice it, it's a religion with a belief system. They're all nuts.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Actually

      It really cannot be a religion because the members do not believe in any god or supernatural being. It is really more of a minor philosophy with nifty costumes.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      And we are all sane. And better. Because we say so. Hrmph!

      July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • jackkilledjill

      The author's and every single poster's knowledge of The Church of Satan is laughable. They do not worship nor do they believe in any supernatural forces, include Satan, at least doctrinally, but of course individuals come in all bents, so there are bound to be spiritual Satanists. This is quite troubling, because the author is making quite a few assumptions (and errors) for a national news piece. This goes against all the tenets of basic journalism. I am again left to wonder what the qualification for writers and editors at CNN are?

      July 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • jackkilledjill

      Ahh, I see while I typed that some enlightened folks have indeed arrived. No aspersions cast on those that have done their homework.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Beerist

      A lesson for Satanists: Don't call yourselves the Church of Satan and them complain that people think you worship Satan.

      That is what's laughable, not people's misunderstanding of Satanism . A church implies collective worship. The "Church of Satan" therefore implies worship of satan. Let's face it, the name was chosen for shock value by a attention-seeking derp.

      If they had just called themselves the "Satan's Fan Club" or "Non-Theistic Satanic Philosophical Society", then none of these denials or explanations would be necessary, would they? But they thrive on the attention the name gets them.

      July 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  14. DarkNot

    Funny, the "Church" of Satan has the same problem as the "Church" of Christ ... some nut-job taking your message and using it in messed up ways and then the rest of the world thinks You're "ALL" that way ... welcome to the messed up human culture.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  15. cbtx67

    Every satanist I've ever met, has told me that they do not worship this prince of darkness, that it is more of a theory than a deity they worship. The nine laws apply and they seem more phylisophical than anything else. Most I've met are quiet, peace loving people that have gotten after me for christian bashing. Satanists will respect government "rules" concerning abortion, but not "religious" rules. A fine point. The same govt that votes that you can't have abortions is the same govt that can vote that you have to have abortions, thats why you don't want the government in it. As far as religion in politics, in the 60's some voters were afraid that JFK being a catholic would immediately mean we would be under the directive of the pope....funny how we arn't afraid of religion in everything now....

    July 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Very true, they do not worship Satan. It would be nice if Belief Blog articles could spell out the basics of the belief systems it discusses and make an effort to be informative.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  16. gstlab3

    if you are connected to satan in any way shape or form you are courting death., you will find nothing but damnation and eternal hellfire and the destruction of your soul.,

    worship this fleash and these earthly things all you want., I do not care for them as they are temporary and fleeting unlike your soul which can exist forever.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ooph

      Here is a concept for you: capitalization.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • ed dugan

      Those people follow a fictious individual and call him satan. Christians follow a ficticious individal and call him god. Two groups of loonies, different leader. Or maybe they will elect Pat Robertson as their leader since he never knows what the hell he is talking about.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Fleash? Is that a leash for fleas? Or something else altogether? Please respond.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Truthy

      If you do not worship the fleashes, you will go to Bhell.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • sam

      Before you posted this, did you choose a high horse or a soap box? Did you move your lips while you typed?

      July 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      These people don't even believe in Satan, let alone follow him. I can see this misunderstanding back in the panic of the 1980s, but for goodness sake folks, we have this nifty thing called the internet now that's jam packed with information.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Our Work

      You are correct, gstlab3! Those of us who speak of salvation unto others who blaspheme and who are non-Believers, Scripture addresses in this manner.as to why we do what we do. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." - ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 26:18 (KJV)

      July 9, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  17. t3chsupport

    For those of you who don't know (and most of you have no idea, really), Satanism is one of the very most hilarious 'religions' there are. It even gives Scientology a run for its comedic money.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Loki

      I don't think they take themselves seriously.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jim

      Don't forget Christianity. It's pretty darn ridiculous as well.

      July 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Chuck

      I'm VERY curious to know why you believe it to be so hilarious. Satanists themselves don't even call it a religion. Scientologists believe an alien overlord loaded up the souls of other aliens into cargo planes and flew them into volcanoes and blew them up so that they would infest us and create misery, fear, doubt, and worry.

      Satanists believe that humans are the highest pinnacle of life on this planet, that we are each individually responsible for our own actions, and that we should indulge in what life has to offer us rather than be forced into abstinence.

      What's so funny?

      July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think it's kind of sad-funny. These people don't cause any harm but are more in line with the folks who used to be found playing Dungeons and Dragons in their parents basements.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  18. ryan

    what do the Druids say?

    July 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  19. JimboInPlano

    I suspect all of this Satan stuff has to do with Dallas First Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jeffress declaring that pro-choice supporters are being manipulated by Satan. KDFW TV news has it on videotape.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  20. Mason

    The church of Satan is only named after Satan because he was the first to rebel against god. It has nothing to do with devil worship or alter sacrifices, and more so about doing what you feel is right and not what a book written by a man not a god. The Church of Satan unlike the Church of God accepts all people of all races and life style choices and the Christian Church could take some notes on how to treat people.

    July 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Nunya

      Their acceptance of all is meaningless. They are misguided and not worth listening to at all. They have nothing to say that matters. Their ideas will not be considered.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • lean6

      If you are going to reject God, then why join a church at all...under the premise that you simply haven't acknowledged and enslaved yourself to another god? The "Do what thou wilt" concept is nothing but an illusion of choice and freedom, taking advantage of the laws and standards established by centuries of Judeo-Christian influence in society. The choices that remain after you've carefully avoided breaking the law, are simply standards of morality. So...if the church of satan doesn't exist to worship Satan as a god, then the church of Satan is just the church of no standards. Again, why does anyone need the cover of an organization to feel empowered to lower their own standards? You're either free from religion or you are not.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Yoda

      lean6, the foundations of Western Civilization, including it's concept of laws, citizenship, and ideas of a Republic which the USA is modeled on, were established in the pagan world of Greece and Rome centuries before Jesus was born.

      July 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • lean6

      Yoda, foundations aside, the world that we know...that bounds the Church of Satan, and all of the commandments that we observe are rooted in Christianity. That's where the fear element behind the rapture arises...when all that is of Christ is extracted from the world and it becomes Hell on Earth.

      July 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
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About this blog

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.