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

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.”


"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. Trish

    Hey Guys, will you visit HelpFaye.ORg a friend of mine with 2 babies is figting for her life...... thanks

    June 5, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  2. Beelzebub

    Leave me alone you fools, I'm too busy planking in hell.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • unbeliever

      there is no heaven nor hell . . . you were planking while you were bombed wern't you? a guy fell off a building doin' that . . .

      June 5, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  3. Spockky

    These satanists seem a lot more reasonable and lucid than the christ-ians who believe in some sort of afterlife and an omnipotent, omnipresent, wrathful, supernatural being.

    June 5, 2011 at 3:30 am |
    • Bruce

      Really? LOL. They use the term "Church" and "Reverend" to avoid taxes, while telling everyone that they don't believe in 'anything'. See anything decitful there?

      June 5, 2011 at 4:14 am |
    • julian

      very funny ! Atheism = DENIAL. Before you become an atheist, you need to deny God first which means there is one !
      very funny ! They recognize "love" and "celebrate the life of the one who passed". This is a clear photocopy of Christianity and or other religion or 'of Catholic values' to be exact, is it not? and then , they were trying to create their own afterlife, just to find out that it all leads to the same thing "as believing with 'One' out there..

      June 5, 2011 at 4:15 am |
    • Reason

      Julian, I'm an Atheist. Atheism is a broad "church" (I use the term loosely). Just as not all Christians believe the same thing, not all Atheists believe the same thing. Personally, I believe that reality is what you choose it to be. But your right, some Atheists do deny "god" (whatever that may be for them), but this neither proves nor disproves his/her/it's existence. As a staunch rationalist, I acknowledge that we simply don't know what happens at the point of death, but throwing all Atheists into one anti-religion lump just isn't fair.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  4. chrisrod3300

    I love how they don't believe in Satan and they are called a church and how that person calls themselves a "Rev"...If they don't believe in God or religion, then why name yourself a church after people who believe in God? I'll tell you why... Because Satan is REAL he deceives them and they, in turn us, and Satan has never been original and never will be, he always copies God. If they truly did not believe, then they should make up their own names for "rev" etc. Satanist not believing in Satan is like Christian that doesn't believe in Christ. Come on people, don't tell me you actually believe them. They are just trying to attract people and take away their stigma. It's so obvious.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • clow

      they call it a church and use reverend because it's a joke.... like faith based religion

      June 5, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • cj

      So why bother posting your remarks?

      June 5, 2011 at 3:05 am |
    • David

      Because they knew that the Catholic church would accuse anyone who denounces the belief in God as worshipers of Satan. It was done to prove a point. Religion isn't interested in knowing the truth. It is based on preconceived ideas and beliefs and predjudice. Anton just wanted to demonstrate that. And regardless what you believe he was right. The church automatically assumed they were the work of the devil without ever reading a single charter of their organization.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • ferpla

      The Church of Satan practices what's called "philosophical Satanism". Satan is used as a symbol, to reject more traditional teachings and virtues.

      This is opposed to theistic Satanists, who revere Satan as a deity.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Howard

      People who wear their religion on their sleeves and denounce the beliefs of others are demonstrating their insecurity in their own beliefs. If you're all that certain you're right, then you should be able to calmly and quietly take comfort in that knowledge, and not feel the need to criticize those who do not share your beliefs.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Spockky

      Oh yeah? You love that?

      June 5, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Bruce

      They use the terms 'Church' and 'Reverend' to try to take advantage for Tax status and legal protections under US Law. That in itself, is decitful and contradictory when the claim is that they believe in nothing.

      Yes, there is a real Satan. Fortunately there is a real God. My life, and my families life has been led by God. The holy spirit has come to me in dreams, or strong feelings. I volunteered for Katrina for three months, leaving my nice safe and warm home and taking leave from my Job to help Americans in Western Alabama. I helped thousands of people, and I ended up in the right places at the right times to do so. If you pray, and open yourself up to God, you will get a calling that is very strong. Follow that calling, and act through faith. Take the risk.

      I pray, and I wait for my next calling. I will follow it when I'm guided again. On these boards, you will be harshly derided for having any faith in God at all... this is not the place to explore or grow with God. Find a pastor, of a legitimate church and make a wholehearted attempt to find God. "Seek and you will Find". It's Gods promise. Pray, and leave yourself open to your calling and you will be called upon to do things.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • unbeliever

      you too are a drunken planker . . . no god no heaven and no hell, just grow up now kids . . . there are no ghosts

      June 5, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • asdfgh

      chris... jesus hates you.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:55 am |
  5. Simon

    "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."

    The only point of this ridiculous article is to "demonize" atheists. HEY! We jus't don't "believe" in things for which there is no evidence. Don't try to associate us with these self defined "satanists". They are beneath my contempt.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Bruce

      We couldn't split atoms until this century, so science had to wait a while. You'll get more empirical evidence of God in 30-40 years than you can possibly handle.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • MrHand

      Bruce is obviously completely ignorant of such esoteric things like "evidence", "science", and "God", otherwise he would not write such utterly retarded posts.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:39 am |
    • Bruce

      Actually, "Mr Hand", I have a science degree. Using Science 101, tell me how valid radio carbon 14 dating is, that makes predictions over billions of years, when the known check and actual written concordence, with Egyptian writings only goes back 4000 years. We're in the 'baby stages' with Science. The popular science myth only 300 years ago was that the world was flat, and that sickness could be solved by leeching.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • unbeliever

      Bruce, you drunken planker you!

      June 5, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • Marky doo

      Hey Bruce we've been waiting for that evidence for thousands of years. Just a few more decades, eh? Idiot.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:00 am |
    • dr. button pusher

      cheers Bruce. .. mr. hand, cousin, that's what faith is and how it becomes real....taking a step forward to [at least seek] consideration that God is real and beyond our understanding, hence greater than us mortals who are all born sucking our thumbs.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • dr. button pusher

      marky doo, your insults command obedience. ... same, unbeliever. ... and what's a planker?

      June 5, 2011 at 4:04 am |
  6. Andrea

    I'm just curious as to why they're called a "Church" first of all and why, if they're called the Church of Satan, they don't believe in the devil...

    June 5, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • JLS639

      I have only a layman's understanding of their religion. It is my understanding that there are at least 3 different, overlapping kinds of Satanists: Pan worshipers, atheistic Satanists who believe in neither God nor Satan and Satan worshipers who believe in Satan.

      While these Satanists do not believe in Satan, Satan is still a symbol and identifying themselves as Satanists mocks the Church. The idea is that religions have invented Satan and other being of evil to personify everything that was either against the Church or did not believe the Church had any special moral authority. Anyone who did not worship God must worship Satan, according to some Christians. Since the Satanists do not feel the Church has any special moral authority and are sometimes outright opposed to the worship of a deity, then they are, by the definitions of some Christians, Satan worshipers. Calling themselves Satanists therefore mocks those Christians.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • clow

      "Church" is used ironically and Satan is just a symbol of challenge against christians or other god believers.... satan was not the devil in the Torah. That is christian brain washing that decided satan is the devil. Satanists do not worship anything supernatural. they actually acknowledge the afterlife is not something a living person can know... Jews focus their perspectives on life just as satanists do but jews believe in god... islam and christianity both are obsessed with death and that life must be lived in consideration for what comes in death...

      June 5, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Bruce

      It almost certainly comes down to tax benefits. Calling the perversion of 'Satanism' a church is a method to incorporate, and get the benefits under US law.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • Jack

      Bruce, would you like to know how I know you're a Christian of some type? You have blinders on to all other belief systems. If it isn't based upon a religion centered around a bearded man in the sky that grants wishes and apparently hates gays, you discredit it. Why don't you grow up, put on your big girl panties and accept the world as it is.
      I think they should tax all religions and then your argument goes out the window.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Bruce

      Hello Jack... I don't think I made an 'argument' except to state that my belief that Satanists use the terms of 'Church' and 'Reverend' to form associations that are tax exempt.

      Yes, I'm a Christian. There are several flavors of Christians, from the dancing and chanting ones to Catholics. My personal belief is that since they all accepted Christ and God they are all saved. I do accept other religions to a point, and God decides who is saved, and who isn't. On the other hand... we have clear direction in our Christian bible as to what we need to do... so as for me and my familiy, we'll follow that direction.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • Jack

      Bruce, If churches all got taxed I am sure they would still call themselves the church of satan. And I know a few people that follow the church of satan and they are better people than most the christians I know.
      Also, one comment I saw you said you had a "science degree", I have a degree in Chemistry and have heard the RC Dating complaints over and over again, the fact is your science is wrong when you try to disprove it..
      If you say the earth only a couple thousand years old, then explain why dinosaurs aren't in the bible? And don't give me the, "God is testing us" BS answer. You say the Ancient Egyptian writing only goes back to 4000 years? What? Early Egyptian writing began around 5000 years ago, basically their invention of their record keeping system. You are talking about dynastic writing only going back 4000 years.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • Bruce

      ... I didn't make those statements Jack, your putting words into my mouth. I didn't make a claim to the Earth's age.

      There is significant doubt on RC dating, Scientists have made major adjustments to RC theory and predictions after looking at sedimentary and fossil evidence. Its by no means perfect, and its largely unchecked.

      Some argue that Dinosaurs, etc. are described in Ezekiel (not my contention) There was a flood described in the Bible. Are biblical events, that are laid out through description and written lineage inconsistent with science? Certainly not, even the Romans had records of Jesus and his followers including Paul.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  7. noname

    The focal point of being a Satanist is not the worship of Satan, but the worship of oneself, like the article said. The church uses Satan as a symbol for human tendencies. In Christianity, Satan represents the tempter, dangling luxuries and indulgences above all human heads. Satan represent humans in their basic animalistic nature and all the temptations that come with it. The church of Satan uses Satan as a symbol only, representing the members allegiance to oneself and embracing that animalistic human nature instead of suppressing it.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Bruce

      Satanism is worshiping Satan. Very plain and simple.

      It's easy to see that through rebranding and clever argument many will be deceived, and that is the goal.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • MrHand

      How clueless can you get? You guys are talking out your asses. You don't know a damn thing about any of it.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • Bruce

      It doesen't take a genious to figure out that "Satanism" is not "Aethism". Anyone that believes that worshiping Satan in a church of Satan is the same as a person who seeks scientific proof only, is a fool.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • Jack

      Bruce, stop talking. You have empirically proven that you are an idiot. Satanism is used in jest, you know what jest means right? I know its not in the book of fables you believe in, so you may have to go to school, but I know you didn't do that because you are so ignorant.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • unbeliever

      Bruce you just don't get it. They don't believe in satan . . . you do . . .

      June 5, 2011 at 3:56 am |
    • asdfgh

      bruce... why the fcuk do you even bother posting? Everything you say makes you sound like a complete dick. Go get your "Science degree" and shove your Science 101 straight up your brown eye you douch3

      June 5, 2011 at 4:02 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      Bruce needs to learn to spell Atheism as well. And yes, he is speaking like an idiot.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:07 am |
    • Bruce

      Jack: Satanism is not in jest. Look up stories on animal sacrifice, blood letting... a Google search will tell you differently. There is a church of Satan and whatever the cool, clever argument of the day is (this time, its that they are aligning themselves with science...) ... it's still worshiping Satan.

      asdf or what have you... re-read what I posted, and watch that you are not deceived. The name calling etc, means nothing to me, it's the natural moaning of evil.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:11 am |
    • asdfgh

      I'm so happy you could read what I posted. That really makes me feel better. I'll pray that satan drags you to hell along with the other self righteous as$holes out there. Have fun at church tomorrow...just remember how much of your life is wasted sitting around with hypocrites singing like retards.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • Jack

      Alright Bruce, I'll take your bait on this one. By your reasoning, all Christians are the same, read about the stories of priests molesting children, do a google search.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:23 am |
    • Jack

      I was speaking of the name "Church of Satan" was in jest.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:24 am |
    • Bruce

      ... kind of a cheap shot on the church Jack. There are over a billion Catholics in the world. 1.18B or so. There are hundreds of thousands of priests throughout the world, saving souls, saving lives, feeding the poor.

      If you take reported incidents against this number, statistically, youth are safer with church programs than they are in public school or in the boy scouts.

      The Catholic church is vehemently opposed to any kind of molestation... they are not too good at prosecution (because they are a bunch of priests, etc.) but they are catching up.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:30 am |
  8. lanboodan

    I am dead sure of the existance of God. So as Satan. I have many real stories of Satan.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Matt

      I'm 100% positive there's a god.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Matt

      I felt the holy ghost before I even knew there was such a thing while shaking the hand of a priest at a friends child's baptism

      June 5, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • SKyle

      If there ever was a Creator, he is long dead. Immortality is impossible and if it were possible, the possessor of that eternal life would have used his power to kill himself eons ago. Can you imagine the boredom that must follow omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence? I can... and it might be fun for the first few million years, but eventually, you'd have done everything, known everything and been everywhere. After that, I'd be ready to check out - permanently.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Thomas

      I've read many stories of Santa Claus, Peter Rabbit and Superman. Are they real too?

      June 5, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • TruthSeeker

      You all sound deluded.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "I have many real stories of Satan."

      Hmmm... Such as...?


      You Said: "I'm 100% positive there's a god."

      I respect your right to 'believe' this. And, having a feeling of certainty, does not necessarily = actual (fact in reality).

      I am curious as to how 'you' have come to 'believe' this so strongly...?

      You Said: "I felt the holy ghost before I even knew there was such a thing while shaking the hand of a priest at a friends child's baptism."

      Again, while respecting your right to believe this, I would ask you how 'specifically' you "felt the holy ghost"...? Or a more pointed question is... How specifically did you come to equate, whatever it was you experienced, (which apparently was a 'feeling'), which *meant* it was the "holy ghost"...?

      In other words, 'why', when you had these feelings did you decide to label them..."holy ghost"...?



      June 5, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • clow

      lanboodon... you are lying

      June 5, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Tao

      Photons do not decay, according to NASA's research with Hubble, looking deep into the Universe's heart. Much of the reference to God is that God is "the light." I am not out to prove God, I have faith, just pointing out obvious correlations. Truth is the most important. Light revels the truth by removing doubt as to what is in the darkness. Think of outer space being dark, and massive gaseous giants illuminating the cosmos. With out our sun we don't exist. Life wouldn't exist without light. Death would prevail.

      Devil is actually a rank in the hiearchy of angels according to ancient Judaic texts. Of that hiearchy, Satan is reputed to be one of 4 Devils. It is also quoted that Satan is the father of the lie. Lucifer, Satan, and Beelzebub are different beings, each being in the "Fallen Angel" box. The 3 are not the same being according to much of the research and texts quoted in Gustav Davidson's "The Dictionary of Angels including the Fallen Angels". None of anything in the article even remotely approaches Lucifer the Light bearer given to be synonymous with the planet Venus the morning star. Notably it was ancient star gazers who noticed that Venus was in the night sky 243 nights of the year. A close proximity to the duration of a pregnant human gestation. Sorry, a bit off topic. Or is it?

      Let no one blow out the light on you seeing the truth. We all seek the truth. It sets us free. You cannot argue with the truth unless you are a devil's advocate.

      God once tested all of the angels to see who would be fit to sit upon the throne of Heaven. All angels served God and had to follow the laws of Heaven. God asked Lucifer, who was at the time complaining that he should lead all the angels as he was the most beautiful angel created, created by The First born son of God. God, asked Lucifer what would he do if he were on the throne of Heaven. Lucifer's reply was along the lines of 'I will go forth, take the glory and make it my own." Not an answer which please God. Then the Angel which was the First, and God's original choice, was asked the same question. His reply was along the lines of, "I will go forth and make the glory God the father's." This pleased God. Sorry I am not quoting ancient texts from which this comes from. But the truth is available for those who seek it.

      Heaven is supposed to be life in the presence of God and being with God. Hell isn't eternal. No where in any Bible is it stated to be eternal. Hell is the absence of God's presence. All one has to do is follow the laws God has laid down and repent from breaking the laws and from the sacrifice of Christ on the crucifix we are forgiven of sin. If you cannot follow God's Laws you will be cast out of his presence. Much the same as many parents explain to their offspring that if the rules of the house cannot be followed then then the kids should get the hell out. Who wants someone in their home disrespecting them and the home which they provide as shelter? Much the reason the angels were cast out of Heaven for not respecting God's choice for captain of the team. King of Heaven. Many angels were bitter and fought to oust the King, hence a war which is still being fought. Light vs. Dark. Truth vs. Lie.

      We are all light. I use infrared photography to demonstrate this point. I use Hubble to demonstrate photons not decaying and therefore with symbolism, faith, and science, God is eternal. We have all been given free will with limits to the physical plane of existence. God's greatest gift to all beings is the option to chose Heaven or Hell. The choose for ourselves what we will see or chose to not see; believe or not believe. Anyone trying to subjugate your free will wants to own your soul.

      Put that in your thoughts and process it. Meditate.

      Peace and Love unto you all. Know thyself.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:35 am |
    • MrHand

      I note in passing that "Tao" is literally insane and move on.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Bruce

      Peace2All.... It was faith in God that led me to leave my home for months and volunteer as an aid worker during Katrina. If you pray, and accept God into your life and listen you will get a strong calling. How to explain this.... well that urge, or calling will keep you up... things that you see during the day will align with what you should do, and doors will open. Even though I was thousands of miles from home, I ended up in the right places to help thousands of people.

      Through my life I was called to aid people in Bosnia, build water wells in Africa, purchase vehicles for the elderly. I don't do this for any one church or group... much of the time no one knew what I was doing until I was flying back home with my roller suitcase.

      The knowlege of God is built into EVERY ONE OF US. You will see people on these boards as rude, or wailing because they are lost and trying to find God or resist that force. It's the central struggle of each of our lives. Throughout the life of a non-believer, they issue will come up over and over and over as God and the Holy Sprit call out to them. Non believers will never really be at rest. "Seek and you will Find". It's God's gaurantee... although as I've stated, this is not the place to affirm ones faith, find a real church and a pastor or a priest that can work with you.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:56 am |
    • unbeliever

      I don't believe in ghosts so you'll have to do better than "stories" . . . prove it.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:58 am |
    • Marky doo

      Matt, it is so funny you say that. Because I am 100% sure my coffee cup is god.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:01 am |
  9. Sharon

    There are lots of gains in believing in God. At least one is sure og going to Heaven after this life.
    But what if someone does not believe in God and discover God exists after death? Then it would be too late to repent.
    I believe that God exists and I believe in Him.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • gadigad

      i thought god taught us to forgive ? i am sure he will forgive atheist after death if he exists. being god, he will judge u on ur actions during ur whole life. god does not like religion, religion is gods worst enemy cause we as humans use religion to draw lines between people that are children of the same god. and i am sure god is aware of what "priests" are doing these days with young boys.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • whoami

      so ur believing in god cause ur worried after u die god might tell u to go to hell ? looool..ur so fake. god will probably tell u to go stand right in front of the line leading to hell cause ur reason to believe in him /her is just so wrong.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • Maxx

      And what if you're wrong about any of the hundreds of religions you aren't practicing? Why not worship all the gods out there just in case? It's not as if Christianity is the only religion that punishes nonbelievers...

      June 5, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Tom

      Believing in God is not enough. (Some would even argue irrelevant). What matters is being a good person to those around you.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "Believing in God is not enough. (Some would even argue irrelevant). What matters is being a good person to those around you."

      So, i'm curious... are you suggesting then, if you are a good person (to those around you), then you won't burn in eternal torment forever, etc...?


      June 5, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • David

      Sharon you are committing a fatal error in logic by assuming there are only two possible outcomes to a situation. Believe in God go to heaven, don't believe in God go to hell. There are many different outcomes it appears you did think through even if there was a god(s).
      1) You prayed to the wrong God. Zeus is very upset.
      2) That it was a reverse test. God being such a highly evolved being respected free thinkers more and dismisses blind followers and wants nothing to do with them.
      3) Their is a God but their is no heaven or hell

      I think you get the point.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Bruce

      Gagidad, forgiveness is only one part of Christian teaching. God gave us the ten commandments. 'Read them over. Honoring and loving God is one of them. God also laid out the steps to being saved. John 10:7-9 John 3:16 look it up yourself, and open yourself up to this. Find a pastor or a priest, and make an honest attempt at understanding this.

      No... don't count on some misplaced logical theory on forgiveness to save your soul.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  10. neeeeext ..........

    Where is the true blog about this subject ? cnn , you realy do suck .

    June 5, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  11. neeeeext ..........

    I once had friends who believed in the religions of the past , They realized on their dying day , what a hoax that was perpetrated on us all . Thanks alot for you're beliefe in those religions & political views people . This is why this planet is in kaos , (allways) . Eventually we will get it , evolve & be the real humans we are supposed to be . No more political or religious scare tactics may be the start . Wake up yall ...........

    June 5, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • Thomas

      Not that don't agree with you (because I really, really do), but in the future, pleeaaaaaase spell check.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • unbeliever

      finally a voice of reason

      June 5, 2011 at 4:00 am |
    • Bruce

      Hmm. You had more than one friend that decided that 'Christianity is just not it' just before they died? I've never heard of that. In any case, if you really don't believe in a religion, and we all just turn to dust in x years, than what difference is it what humans believe?

      I'm a Christian, I've been led through my life on many occasions. ... an example... I saw the condition of Bosnian Muslims on CNN in the 90's and at first I ignored it. Then I prayed about it, and I was awoken at night by a strong calling to do something. I sent a company wide email asking for relief supplies, and I rented a twin-axle truck. Hundreds of people came from their offices at lunch time, and I got 1/2 SEMI full of cloths for Bosnians in about three hours.

      God called me, just as he called me for service as a Katrina volunteer. If you pray, and open yourself up to God, you will be called. As God works through you, your faith will grow and it will become as real to you as breathing.

      Really, none of that happens on a board like this... Find a Priest or Pastor and start to educate yourself and open yourself up to your calling, whatever it is.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:13 am |
  12. Nada

    This is a godless generation that has no fear or respect of God or his Holiness!!! as for me and my house we shall serve the Lord.......END...!

    June 5, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Peter

      But isn't that a good thing? No more fear of made-up all-knowing all-powerful creatures for which there is absolutely no evidence!

      June 5, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • clow

      its a free country... you can live in your lie. I serve only myself and those in need who I can help in reality... not fairy tale gods

      June 5, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Bruce

      Good work clow. Let me suggest though, that as you help people, you will find God eventually.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:34 am |
  13. a slozomby

    im confused. how are you a satanist if you dont believe that satan exists?

    June 5, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Loren

      I was curious about that as well!

      June 5, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • mike

      I was confused when I first learned this too. I assumed they worshiped Satan. Why they would call themselves that if they don't, considering such a negative connotation, is beyond me. They seem just like regular humanists, except they like to dress up and still believe in *some* supernatural stuff, like karma.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Matt

      They're just fools.. The easiest way for satan to deceive others is to first convince them he doesn't exist at all.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • cognus

      Satanist is a word. Church is a word. These words are only tools. They use these words to cause some people to think. There are others who simply judge based on the word used or their definition of it. At that point it becomes obvious to the Satanist who to talk to and who to disregard.

      In other words, they use the words as tools to make their own lives easier.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  14. coder

    Religion divides humans. Belief unites humans. I often wonder, How proud mohammed, moses, and jesus must be of the thousands of years of murder – in their name – humans have done. To me, through 40 years of research – I've found that religion itself has become blasphemy. Politics, is just an extension of religion. Without either, governments can not maintain control – of humans. I worry for my children – I wonder when humanity will act as one race and not a virus.

    June 5, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • cognus

      My 40 years are probably similar! Something did occur to me the other day on this line of reasoning: There have been many times in the past that I wished I could "fix" the problems in the world. Each of those times my idea about the problems and the solutions were a little bit different. At this point, I'm glad I didn't have the authority or ability to implement any of those fixes then!


      June 5, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • MrHand

      This is the sound of one hand clapping.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:50 am |
    • unbeliever

      Acting together as one is more virus like than expressing our joy in diversity. We will only survive as a species if this diversity can be expressed to the benefit of all mankind . . . I fear Mother Nature's immune system is about to kick in to heal her and make the earth healthy once more . . .

      June 5, 2011 at 4:10 am |
    • Bruce

      'Religion' in the Christian sense started with Jesus' instructions Paul. Paul was told to create the Church, and to send deciples to ALL people (even peoples that were persecuting Christians). So 'Religion' and Faith and God are not separable.

      I'm a bit older as well, and although you have used up 40 years searching and got no where... it's not too late to get somewhere, you are still alive brother. FInd a priest or a pastor, and make a concerted effort to find God, and you will.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:53 am |
  15. trixen

    I suddenly feel the urge to set a kitten on fire.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • callie

      So, is this supposed to be funny or investigative reporting? Get a clue idiots

      June 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  16. frank


    June 5, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • trixen


      June 5, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • faeriegirl

      I think that's what the whack job Richard Ramirez said. Hmmm

      June 5, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  17. Randoms

    The wasted lives in arguing over who's god is better...and now satan. IMO, you live, you die – you rot – game over. I have outstanding moral and social ethics, and I don't fear dying with no alternative. But hey, If you need comfort – enjoy. Just don't tell everyone it is the ONLY way to live.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Bruce

      There is only one God. There are several ways to worship God. A knowlege of God is built into every one of us, so it's a theme that non-believers will never be able to put down.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  18. JMM

    It's sad that people waste all this time and energy worrying about some angry, invisible, magical deity that created them as "sinners" and then threatens to punish them for being that way, when they could be living their lives to the fullest and making the world a better place.

    As for me, I'm not an atheist. I'm not anything. I've taken myself out of this ridiculous religion-based labeling system. I'm me. A human being, and probably the happiest one I know. 🙂 No theism here, anti or otherwise.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Scarmas

      And you came here to comment because you're so free of all that. Riiight.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Jihad Joe - Arabian Hero

      II don't believe you. I think the very fact you clicked on the link shows that you're searching... wandering, just like everyone else.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:09 am |
    • dsvo

      man "It's sad that people waste all this time and energy worrying about some angry, invisible, magical deity that created them as "sinners" and then threatens to punish them for being that way....." i dunno what happened....but that isnt what God is all about. Its about love... It isnt about being threatened... Sin? all the things that are sin prevent us from "when they could be living their lives to the fullest and making the world a better place." that... God is love. God knows who we are and how we work. So he created a plan.. A rather good one i might add. However, we are quite good at missing the mark i must say... Free will as it goes though, is still a beautiful gift. To really love we must be able to die to ourselves, yes that means getting rid of temporal "sins" that craft selfishness... Living the good life so to speak is all about being able to love more fully... Jesus is so good and so wonderful. Everything he speaks about can be summed up into a lesson on learning how to love fully in the here and now... God isnt just this magical deity trying to control our lives... If you can give up your idea of control though, love of the neighbor and the love of God becomes the center... what possibilities

      June 5, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • faeriegirl

      Makes lots of sense. Well said.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • Bill Sargent

      If you were not an atheist which by the way isn't religion, its just a word defining people who don't believe in any gods or support any religion... but if you were not an atheist, you wouldn't be clicking links to stories about Christianity and religion and writing how you don't believe. You're an atheist. Plain and simple. And I am happy for you. But you need to own up to how you feel about religion and God instead of trying to be a Mr. Goody Two Shoes better than everyone. You're a closet atheist who is afraid to say that word because of how society treats atheists and how society misunderstands the word. And apparently you misunderstand it as well. I'm a proud atheist.

      June 5, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Bruce

      You are really mischaractorizing Christians with some very old stereotypes. While I'm sure that some believe out of fear, most Christians in the day to day sense believe out of Faith.

      Faith comes through prayer. For me, my faith was greatly strenghtened when I was called to do volunteer service. As God works through you, a lot of the questions are answered or become unimportant. If you are called to help someone in another country, and you find yourself on a Jet or out in the field for 10 weeks in the mission field... you'll look back and realize that it was prayer and faith that got you there, and that points to God.

      Arm chair theorizing won't bring you closer to God. Only prayer and an actual attempt to seek God.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:44 am |
  19. Nacho1

    Bru.......ha....ha.....ha.........your blood goes rushing to my head..............bru....ha....ha....ha...........

    June 5, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  20. Shannon

    If these people do not beleive in heaven nor hell and or any god or gods... why do they call themselves "satanist"?

    June 5, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • JP0

      Probably just to annoy religious folks.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Rod C. Venger

      Shannon, quite simply, they are lying. No surprise there. I knew a satanist back in the early 80's. He carried a copy of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible. I thumbed through it a few times and it very openly spoke about God, Satan, and the all-important aspect of attempting to call forth Satan. My "friend" would often talk about casting spells, albeit not in the specific, as well as bring back Satan to rule the Earth. I can only guess that they've upped the ante over the years and are attempting to paint a picture of themselves as harmless humanists, which leads me to believe that they are trying harder than ever to call forth Satan. In painting themselves as harmless humanists they likely hope to gain more recruitsm naive people who think they're simply going to be practicing humanism with no harm done. I doubt if they can ever call forth Satan but what they can do is lead people astray and away from Christ, which means whether Satan is standing in the room or rotting in hell, he wins souls. This Satanism 2.0 is probably more dangerous than the one with people standing around chanting incantations.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • JD

      That's what I was trying to figure out.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • callie

      Its' just the religious ones are so easy to annoy-I'd say bury them upside down so the christians can kiss their asses?

      June 5, 2011 at 1:04 am |
    • Christopher L. G.

      Shannon, Satanists use the name Satan as a reference to the character in the Torah who was not the Devil (capital D) but was the adversary, the questioner, the challenger. Satan is somewhat of a force within, I guess you could call it your spirit or your core or your soul - it is your essence, not in a metaphysical sense, not something you can hold in your hand but that intangible part of you that is your essence. The Satanists use magickal rituals and reference Satan and demons during them to tap into pieces of ourselves that we normally can't touch; we recognize that while there is nothing beyond this world, there are primal energies and pieces of our Will that just aren't accessible through rational thought. Much as prayer focuses an individual's energy to achieve a result, magick that makes use of tangible characters and stories allows our minds to focus that same energy. We use the perversion of Christian symbols because it makes a powerful statement, both to ourselves and to outsiders.
      Christianity is a wonderful thing. It keeps the stupid in line. People like Rod will keep looking for demons but smart people will realize that there is no God to control them, they will focus on unlocking the power of Satan for themselves so they can forge their own paths.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rod C. Venger

      You Said: "I can only guess that they've upped the ante over the years and are attempting to paint a picture of themselves as harmless humanists, which leads me to believe that they are trying harder than ever to call forth Satan. In painting themselves as harmless humanists they likely hope to gain more recruitsm naive people who think they're simply going to be practicing humanism with no harm done. I doubt if they can ever call forth Satan but what they can do is lead people astray and away from Christ, which means whether Satan is standing in the room or rotting in hell, he wins souls. This Satanism 2.0 is probably more dangerous than the one with people standing around chanting incantations."

      I respect your right to believe. And, did you decide to believe this...?


      June 5, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Rod C. Venger

      My Apologies...

      *( And, "how" did you decide to believe this...?)


      June 5, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • cognus

      You can read the book yourself if you'd like: http://www.thesatanicbiblefree.com/files/Download/The%20Satanic%20Bible%20Ebook.pdf

      BTW, Rod, I had a friend who was Christian once. I thumbed through the bible and it said "An eye for an eye." Back at ya.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:28 am |
    • David

      Rod..it's people like you for why the organization was given it's name. Anton knew that people of faith would spew all kinds of lies and prejudice based solely on the name. Without ever taking the time to learn what the organization stood for. As someone has posted a link to the Satanic Bible, please find me these references you speak of. What is most ironic about Anton's little experiment is it exposed what most atheist have always known, that most Christians are nothing more than liars and cheats hiding behind a veil of religion to hide their true nature.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:38 am |
    • Bruce

      because they are trying to deceive you.

      Wrapping satan worshippers up as Aetheists is merely the latest attempt at deception.

      June 5, 2011 at 5:46 am |
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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.