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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 Religion Editor

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

soundoff (2,331 Responses)
  1. Agnostickids

    If moonlight is technically sunlight...

    why doesn't it kill vampires?

    July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Probably due to the moonlight's weak intensity.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Hmmm....you may be right.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Because it is only weakly reflected sunlight and not direct sunlight...and depending on the mythology you're using, sunlight doesn't necessarily kill them. At least not right away. Of course, sometimes within the mythology there are differing rules too. For example, in Buffy/Angel, most of the time sunlight resulted in a flame that one could recover from if one got out of direct sunlight quickly enough...but sometimes, it took only a stray sunbeam to incinerate a vampire.

      In Ann Rice's mythology, sunlight didn't necessarily kill a vampire unless they were very young, say Claudia and the woman Louie made for her. But, in the books, when the oldest vampires were exposed to sun, their skin only darkened some. The assumption there is that if they were left to the sun long enough they would eventually burn.

      We won't even talk about that abomination of a vampire series in which it's vampires only sparkle in the sunlight.

      And yes...I do spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about vampires.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Because, like Satan, it isn't really light from the source.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Maybe vampires can handle weak light that is diffused and reflected? Dunno. They can't see themselves in a mirror, so there's gotta be something there with reflected light, I think.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • ME II

      I think @myweightinwords is on the right track, however, I would also suggest that a possible in-myth explanation is that the Moon actually doesn't reflect the UV spectrum as well as the visible. If I'm reading this article's abstract correctly, that is: (http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1974Moon....9..295C/0000295.000.html)

      July 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • myweightinwords

      ME II, that's as good a theory as any I've seen.

      I think this is part of the way each author works at making the story their own. There are some "givens" that are a part of the "common knowledge" that authors can play with and "fix" to suit their story/mythology.

      July 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  2. Agnostickids

    Why tip 18% when you tip your church only 10%?

    Because your waitress actually exists...

    July 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  3. john smith

    facetious article about an organisation that seems to have more sense than the republican party

    July 10, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Agnostickids

      Well MOST anybody or anything has more sense than the republican party...

      July 10, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  4. Agnostickids

    What happens if you get scared half to death...twice?

    July 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • ME II

      "The wages of sin is death.... but after taxes, it's more of a tired feeling." – Paula Poundstone

      July 10, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  5. Really?

    Oh goody. I will found the first "episcopal church of grilled cheese" in honor of my love for the food. What's next, people? Are these folks even aware of what satan stood for? The human race is getting dumber by the day.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      He stood for freedom. He stood as opposition to Yahweh's tyranny.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Shiogami

      "He stood for freedom. He stood as opposition to Yahweh's tyranny."

      Like saying Hitler stood for Prosperity. Well done, Sorry.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Shiogami

      How many people did Yahweh murder? Millions. Who ruled Heaven and Earth as a tyrant? Yahweh. Hitler and Yahweh are virtually identical. Satan is a freedom fighter.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Some people say they want freedom. What they really mean is they want irresponsibility. What Satan offers is the illusion of freedom, presented as lack of consequences, which leads to enslavement. People from as diverse places as martial arts experts, Hindu yogis, Christian mystics to even the sci-fi icon Frank Herbert and real republican Barry Goldwater tell us that true freedom comes from discipline.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Jim

      I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that
      The creator did not murder one person. Man did that.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Bill Deacon

      The fascist definition of freedom.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Jim

      I'm specifically referring to the Biblical god, who both murdered and ordered the murders of millions. Obviously, I don't actually believe Yahweh murdered anybody as I'm an atheist.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Shiogami

      Oh, Bill. This is no place for your kind of talk. We're here to make broad, sweeping generalizations about others.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes Dave, satanic freedom = fascism

      July 10, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Jim

      Then you know the bible was written by man and it is possible they wrote/edited it to further their own agenda. I hope the religious folks realize this.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I wonder what the big book is called that Bill uses to define words. It can't be a dictionary, because I have about seven of those within arms reach, and according to them, Bill's sentences are just pure gibberish.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Shiogami

      Bill, you are Obviously getting under people's skin...

      July 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Cpt. Obvious

      Probably The Fascist Guide to Doublespeak.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  6. Satan

    Long live me!!!!

    July 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • jerryab

      How is that possible (for you to live)? You are NOT alive !! Doesn't that make you a zombie?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Erasmus

      Interesting name, just trying to figure out which Book you read to get it? Let me guess, that Book atheists so vehemently deny as true? Well good to see your a believer in the Book.

      July 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Jim

    Satan does not exist. There is a creator but "evil" is a human idea. Nobody goes to hell.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Who is this creator?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Jim

      I have no idea, I never met him. But there is life after death and all religions speak of a creator.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      So you have no proof of your assertion?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh please, you have no idea if there is "life after death." When you make an assumption with ZERO facts, you should state that.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Jim

      A piece of material proof that I can show you? No, nothing at all.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • CRay

      Which idiot told you no one goes to Hell? Was it the same idiot that told you there was no God and you didn't have to accept His Son to be able to go to Heaven? I'm sorry to have to tell you this but there is a Heaven & a Hell it is your free will to decide where you wish to spend eternity.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Jim

      Cray
      I am not an athiest. But I do agree with them on one point. An all loving god does not torture souls.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God is evil for allowing hell as an option to "choose." If you come to my house and I offer you cookies or a steak knife in the eye, am I really being nice? –especially if I give you no proof of my own existence, the existence of the cookies, or the existence of the steak knife?

      Christianity: The belief that a big invisible sky wizard chanted magic spells to make the universe and then had to sacrifice himself to himself to save us from a punishment he made himself by exploiting a loop hole in a plan he made himself so he doesn't have to torture you forever and ever in his torture pit. stupid.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jim, why do you say that there is life after death if you have no proof? Shouldn't you say, "I believe that..." ?

      July 10, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Jim

      Capt.

      Example: If you had a dream last night about driving a red car and I asked to prove it.
      Because you can't does that mean it never happened?

      July 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, Jim, it doesn't.

      Do you know why that is a terrible comparison to the claim you are making? Hint: think of where the "thing" occurs and who it involves.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Jim

      I do not doubt you had a dream. I just don't believe you drove a red car.
      But why would I lie? You may ask. There is the problem. I cannot prove to you what I say. So guess we are at an inpass.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, Jim, we aren't. You didn't think about my question very much and I gave you two excellent hints. I can give you the answer, but I think it will have more of an impact if you can come up with it on your own.

      What is the main difference between my claim about the subject of my dream and your claim about the nature of reality? (Boy, that's a pretty big hint!)

      July 10, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Jim

      I am not to argue my only purpose here in your words:

      my goal is not to change anyone's opinion. My goal is to change the way people process information. I want people (atheists and believers) to think much, much more critically about information provided to them.

      What I experienced was as real as sitting at this computer. If you chose not to believe me that is your right. Nothing I say will change your opinion and nothing you say can change mine. I just hope you follow your own words.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jim, I don't forget my own philosophy and morals, and when I change them I know why.

      Why are you ignoring my questions? Are you really so unconcerned with proper reasoning that you'd rather excuse flawed logic than correct it? I'm trying to help you to understand a really key concept but like the apostle Paul, you're "kicking against the pr!cks." This issue isn't difficult. Let's work together. What do you say?

      July 10, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Here's another hint, Jim (Maybe the fifth, now?).

      I do not doubt any person's experience, but that does not mean that I believe their experience is necessarily a "truth" about the nature of reality.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  8. Judas Priest

    Satanists, whether "big S" or "little s", are a joke. LaVeyan satanists doubly so. I find it hilariously ironic that their top two sins are stupidity and pretentiousness. A pity, really.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Perhaps you should take another run at the definition of "irony?"

      July 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Judas Priest

      Well well. Didn't mean to bruise anyone's all-important ego. I've had quite a bit of experience with self-proclaimed satanists, and while two of them were not actually stupid, to a one they were all pretentious. The irony comes from those being the top two sins in laVey's teachings. A large part of that stupidity is summed up in the name itself, which ties them securely to traditional christian duotheism while they proclaim to be nontheistic/atheistic. It's like modeling your life after Roger Daltrey and having all the Who's albums while saying all along how much you hate rock and roll.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Mblack

      Good post. I would have voted "up" for your post but they took the voting off.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh, sorry. I didn't know that you knew three or four satanists and are therefore qualified to speak about the entire group and every individual around the world. I know a handful of bird watchers, and they all happen to have brown hair, so I guess I should rant about how all bird watchers have brown hair. And of course, that's stupid, I mean, why would bird watchers only allow brown-haired people into their club. Dumb bird watchers.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cpt is making the point that he would never marginalize an entire group because of the flaws of some of its members aren't you Cpt?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill is obviously being intentionally stupid since it is obvious that I was giving an example of the generalization Judas Priest was using, and I was making no claims about myself. Or was it intentional?

      Bill, how many lies are you going to tell today on the blog for your god? Boy, let's really hope your god is okay with that!

      July 10, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So, if I understand you correctly, the double standard you wish to employ is that Judas cannot draw conclusions from his experience with, how many satanists you do not know, but you are free to draw whatever conclusions you wish from your self accepted data base.

      Do I hear you correctly?

      July 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, Bill, you're just as confused now as you always are. I could explain it to you so that everybody else would understand, but I'm afraid you'd be just as confused as you are now. I'd tell you try reading the posts again, but chances are you'd just presume the same obviously incorrect stupidity because that's just what you do.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Erasmus

      You talk about Satanist (with their big S or little s), and your pseudo name is JUDAS PRIEST..............................according to websters , your a HYPROCRITE..........with all big letters.

      July 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      @Erasmus,

      You're equating a band name, or the epithet it's based on (used instead of "Jesus Christ" by people who are trying not to take the name in vain) with SsSsSSsssatanism?

      July 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Erasmus

      Who doesn't know that band, sticking to the subject at hand, if you are a true atheist, your name is a misnomer, and its hypoctical. What kind of true athiest would use a name with Biblical inuendos? Two smurfs meet, one says to the other, whats your name, oh it's Gargamel..., the other smurf responds.......no really, whats your name?

      July 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      "What kind of true atheist would use a name with Biblical inuendos?"
      The kind that enjoys taking the p!ss out of people.
      Your first mistake, however, was assuming I am an atheist. Correction; second. Your first mistake is making assumptions.

      July 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Blackm

      Again, Judas Priest, I like your continuing comments but it doesn't have the vote up arrows. I am an evangelical Xtian and know what you are saying. I know every time I post my belief system I am attacked on CNN but that's okay, I am not going to respond to attacks today. Just wanted you to know I like the comments.

      July 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Erasmus

      Point taken, never assume. With that being said, God forbid your a Christian, in a forum on Satanist using the name Judas and trying to "tak the **** out of people" (what ever that means). It's bad for a Satanist to make fun of Bible names, but for a Christian (If you are) ??????

      July 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  9. Erasmus

    Talk about an oxymoron, i mean, "IF" the Bible is not true, then how did the "Church of S....................actually, now that i think about it, Satan wouldn't even exist. I'm not asking for any explanation o this, just pointing out an outright contradiction: Athiest (per se) that believe in Satan. I marvel!

    July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Judas Priest

      We must have been moved by the same thought at the same time. See my post above.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I marvel that you didn't spend 45 seconds reading the article or looking into the actual beliefs of the group. Do you often grossly mis-assume and lodge your foot completely and securely in your mouth?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Coherency is golden.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • snowboarder

      i don't know any atheists that believe in satan.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Al

      I think this particular organization is set up as a bit of a tongue in cheek flip off to religion in general. Atheists don't believe in Satan in more than they believe in God. Some people simply enjoy fanning the flames, so to speak. I don't see much value in it personally. I think it just serves to confuse people even more than they already are. Atheists have enough PR issues without being linked to some "Church of Satan," which anyone with a clue could see is contrary to their belief system. Some folks will do anything for a little attention. It's better to actually have something worth saying when you finally get the spotlight.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Judas Priest

      @Al,
      that is certainly how it was founded. LaVey played up the Satan angle for exposure and infamy, and never took that aspect of it seriously. However, as we've seen in this thread, all too many of his followers do.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      There are LaVey followers on this thread? Really? Which ones?

      July 10, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Erasmus

      to: snowboarder
      you said "i don't know any atheists that believe in satan"

      You realize the article above it states:
      "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."

      Seems Satanist need to resolve this with atheists.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • snowboarder

      @erasmus, my response was simply to your comment about atheists and their belief in satan. not only would they not deify satan, they would not believe in him as a god any more than any other god.

      July 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Erasmus

      to: Al and Judas Priest

      Whens the rally/protest? who's printing up the signs? Is it soon, don't want to miss it?................you know.............the Million Athiest March to the Church of Satans HQ's to request they change there name or stop calling themselves Atheist (it's bad PR). But before this happens, riddle me this, why is it so late, surely this BAD PR has been around for ages?

      Question for Judas Priest (assuming your an Atheist), is your name a PR stunt as well? And your against the Church of Satan's misnomer? whats up with all this Atheist Christian inuendo's, is this subterfuge?

      July 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      @Erasmus,

      What you saw me agreeing with Al on is that the CoS was founded as a "tongue in cheek flip off to religion in general". Curiously, any outrage against misidentification of athiests or anything else is strangely absent from that post.

      July 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      Addendum @ Erasmus,

      Also absent is anything like disapproval of anyone's PR or image management. If you want to pick nits, it's something that everyone does every day to a lesser or greater extent.

      July 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  10. Reality

    Satan? Give us a break !!

    Now for some facts:

    ACTUAL FIRST-YEAR CONTRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES – Guttmacher Inst-itute

    Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy

    Method……………..Typical %

    Pill……… 8.7 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the Pill was not taken daily was the major reason for the high failure rate)

    Male condom ……….17.4 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the condom was available but was not used is the major reason for the high failure rate)

    All the numbers are posted on line by Guttmacher if you want to run the calculations.

    So again we see the BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY!!!!

    July 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  11. Shiogami

    Atheists with issues. Sounds like a great group to be around.

    Great story CNN.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      The booty is better, the chicks are thinner and the drugs are of a higher purity.

      Think a Grateful Dead concert being held in a head shop with Goth chicks

      Have fun, but Wrap The Rascal!

      July 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      1. Can you name a group without "issues?" (What a v.a.gue and useless term in such a general sentence as this!)
      2. What issues are you talking about?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  12. Ryan

    Satanists tend to be Libertarians for the most part. I don't mean that as a slam against libertarians, since I have no beef with the Church of Satan. Just pointing out what I've observed.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • William Demuth

      Libertarian?

      That term seems to be shifting to the right (Tea Party, Evangelicals and similar groups use the term the most often)

      Most I suspect are Liberals in the old school definition

      July 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Libertine libertarians would be a fairly accurate assessment of the Church of Satan.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I've never met a Tea Partyer or Evangelical who could be accurately referred to as libertarian. Somebody who wants to impose a fascist theocracy is not a libertarian.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      Or maybe liberal libertine libertarians.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Liberian liberal libertine libertarians.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Sbentjies

      Really? How do you get that? Don't confuse Libertarians' individual freedom from government interference with a blatantly carnal pagan philosophy that exists. I'm a Libertarian and NOT a Satanist.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      He didn't say libertarians were Satanist, he said Satanists were generally libertarian.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • ME II

      " In Europe and North America, classical liberalism became less popular and gave way to social liberalism,[11][12] the latter of which is commonly identified with the liberal socialism and social democracy[13] in Europe."

      Modern conservatives claim to be for small government but not so small as to allow individual liberty in such areas as same-se.x marriage, stem cell research, science in science class, a woman's right to her own body, etc.

      Conservative vs. liberal by definition depends on the current situation.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      ME II

      Not all modern conservatives, generally just those on the Christian right and/or affiliated with the Republicans.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • ME II

      @I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that,

      Good point. Excuse the hasty generalization.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      ME II

      It's understandable. They are unfortunately in the majority and are very vocal.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  13. Aloha

    "I have not authorized any of our UK members to create such a thing claiming to represent our organization," Um....wouldn't that be, um....Mr. Satan's call? It is a he right?

    July 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • richunix

      Is God willing to prevent evil, but is not able?
      Then he is not omnipotent.

      Is he able, but not willing?
      Then he is malevolent.

      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?

      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why is he called GOD?

      -Epicurus 33 CE

      July 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      They don't believe in satan. So, no.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Judas Priest

      Satan's just the brand name on the door, baybeh.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  14. Agnostickids

    If god's love is unconditional, then why does hell exist?

    July 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Why does god tell us to love our enemies but he tortures his for eternity in his own private torture chamber?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • LateForLunch

      Not all Christians believe in Hell – see Emmanuel Swedenborg's writings. Hell to mystics is something like "Eternal damnation for awhile" but it's not eternal forever. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but as Thomas Edison said, "Contradictions are the bain of small minds."

      July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Well, we can't really be expected to account for all the different sorts of things Christians believe. After all, there's only about 300,000 different versions/cults/denominations/sects of the religion who all believe different things because none of them can demonstrate that their interpretation is better than the interpretation that says you've got to sacrifice 48 frogs by 11:15 every morning with a half a stale crouton on a angled rock facing away from the sun.

      Besides, Jesus discussed hell far more than he discussed heaven, and most Christian do believe it because the bible discusses it as a real place for real people on real pages in real scripture verses. So.....

      July 10, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • John Stone

      It's because God is into S&M and B&D.....you know, as a way to relax ! Can't you see it God all in leather with a whip and riding crop

      July 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  15. William Demuth

    Hey, if Elliot Spitzer gets a second chance why not Satan?

    I would support Satan as a supreme court nominee.

    A nice counter balance to all the religious sycophants we currently have

    July 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  16. Thoth

    ok....I'll mock them for being ridiculous. Why would atheists form a church at all? And how childish is it to use something like 'Satanism' to attract attention to Atheism? Atheism for me is simply the rejection of religious dogma, and man's conjecture about gods and goddesses. Crap like this diminishes the efforts of rational thinkers because it plays right into the religious folks prejudices surrounding atheism.

    July 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Unegen

      You've got it backward. Atheists aren't using Satanism to get attention–atheists aren't Satanists. Satanists are atheistic. Make sense now?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Thoth

      @Unegen

      Per the article: "Gilmore made it clear that Satanists don't actually deify Satan. In fact, they're atheist...."

      No, your post does not make sense. Atheism is the rejection of religious dogma. To use a portion of that dogma (satan) which represents 'evil' to the believer, is just plain dumb; period.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Judas Priest

      @William Demuth –
      +1

      July 10, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The truth is most "Satanists" are atheists. Yes, they indulge in some ritual and yes they dress in provocative and goth clothing (well, some of them do...not all of them) and yes they gather together and they have a "church"...but they do not deify the devil and yes, they are atheists.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  17. Agnostickids

    For god so loved the world, that he drowned everyone on it....

    July 10, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  18. Indra

    What a crock! To say they are misunderstood is nothing short of amusing. Satan represents evil, destruction, and the opposite of everything good and positive in this world. Like saying my church is very misunderstood with a name like The Church of Evil or The Church of The Prince of Darkness. Good luck with your quest guys! I stand with Christ. Kind of like what he stands for a lot better! Enjoy the firey inferno your big man is promising....

    July 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • William Demuth

      You stand alone

      Choosing between God or Satan is like choosing between Batman or Thor.

      It is a goof, ONLY if you realize none of them actually exist.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • snowboarder

      if satan actually existed i would suggest that he has been the victim of a smear campaign in the bible. if anything he is the freedom fighter against a megalomaniac that would enslave mankind, regularly committing genocide and slaughter.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Compare Yahweh and Satan's Biblical death tolls. Who's really the evil one?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      If god were good he would destroy hell rather than enjoy the eternal torture forever and ever. Your god is evil which you would easily and quickly recognize had you not been brainwashed and deceived. Satan tells the truth in the bible and only kills a handful of people; god murders entire planet-fulls in floods and with earthquakes and fires and genocide-by-Hebrew-clan.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ Indra...WOW, can we say, OVERACTING a little bit?

      What's up with the whole fire thing with christians? I mean, why would you believe in a god that sets his children on fire if they are naughty? Would you do the same thing to your children? Would you?

      Think about it.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • richunix

      The only thing we can certain about Jesus, is he died under Roman rule for seditious treasons against the state. Pretty much like the modern day David Koresh and who said misadventure doesn’t gain some sort of immortality. Indra, sorry dude you best read about the history of the time not the stories in the Bible that created the myth you believe today.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Agnostickids

      @ Indra, did you know: Indra, also known as Śakra in the Vedas, is the leader of the Devas or gods and the lord of Svargaloka or heaven in the Hindu religion....

      July 10, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Actually

      There is a vast difference between Satanists and Satan Worshippers. LaVey used 'Satan' as a figurehead for individuality and independence from christian dogma–and it stuck. LaVey was extremely anti-christian; so much so that it borders on ridiculous. So, his 'Black Masses' and the name of his 'church' (it's a philosophy, really, as opposed to a religion) were satirical in nature–to the extreme. They were used to mock the conservative christian viewpoint, not diefy the devil.

      Look it up sometime.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Dave acts like death is a bad thing. Must not believe in incremental evolution and propagation of the species.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Good morning Indra,

      Don't you just want to disembowel those atheists who are seemingly closer to Satanism then to Christendom? One must not forget that the scriptures tell tales of satanic crowds rising above our folds' Christian constabularies and in their controlled leveraging, they set the word's stage up for unifications of villainous servitudes all waging for totalitarianism values at the behest of an anti-Christian "demonocracies" we know to be as democracies.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  19. richunix

    The Church of Satan is no difference than the Church of Jesus Christ, both are myths.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    July 10, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      They are very different. Contemporary Satanism is mostly non-theistic.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      You should read up on what satanism is. These people don't believe in satan.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • richunix

      @@ Both you are missing the "point" They are Myths, created by men.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      No, you are missing the point. Most Satanists neither believe in nor worship Satan, unlike Christianity and Jesus/Yahweh. Comparing them is ridiculous. Christianity is a theistic religion, whereas Satanism is basically a celebration of a libertine lifestyle.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Fluffy Kittens and Puppies Are Gosh Darned Adorable

      "Apples are equal to oranges!"

      No. They're not the same thing.

      "You're missing the point!"

      Thank you for your poetic observation of nothingness.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  20. Rediranch

    I find it interesting and surprising that CNN showed their hand on this.

    They will print a story to defend (or let themselves defend) the Church of Satan, but they only stories they print of Christian churches (WBC not being one of these) is negative.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Wow, obviously this is your first time on the CNN Belief Blogs. You are completely wrong in your assertion.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Sophia

      You are mistaken. Sorely mistake. Are you new to reading CNN?

      July 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • CMFJ

      This article was not a defense, it was just unbiased reporting. They did not condemn them, which you seem to have expected, but that would not have been reporting, it would have editorializing.

      I have read a lot of CNN stories they are always unbiased with regard to religion. Covering some religious people that say crazy things is not condemning religion, it is covering a nutjob being a nutjob. They never report nor imply that said person represents all religious people.

      If you want positive opinions of religion, about and by religious people, CNN has that, as well – it is called The Belief Blog.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • William Demuth

      Idiotic

      So now CNN prefers a different imaginary Sky Fairy from the same nonsensical cult?

      What world class Christian malarkey.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I find it interesting and surprising that Rediranch showed his hand on this.

      Rather than simply read the article, a scant few inches up the page, a few finger-flicks of a scroll wheel, he demonstrates that he would rather assume and blame a news organization for something that did not occur.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • richunix

      @CMFJ, good reply, well spoken

      July 10, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • peridot2

      Rediranch, these are the CNN BELIEF BLOGS. They are OPINION pieces, and represent what would normally be called editorials if they were not on the subject of religion. Your personal bias is showing by your claim.

      These are EVERYONE'S beliefs, not just yours. If you can't be open-minded here, then go to your own place of worship. You won't find only your personal beliefs posted here; that's not what CNN is about. This forum contains other opinions. If you want rubber stamps for your own opinions and feelings, you'll find them where you worship. That's what the place is for: you and yours.

      There are 30,000 different forms of Christianity. That's right. Do you believe that yours is the only one that's the right path? Well, 29,999 other groups disagree. That's why we can't have religion in government. There's no agreement in Christianity and then what about Judaism? The Muslim faith? What about Mormons?

      No freaking way will religion be allowed in government.

      July 10, 2013 at 10:12 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.