By Vexen Crabtree 2003
Faith - this is one of the most reviled and shunned words in Satanism. Occasionally a newcomer will say something like "I wish to share my faith with others who are similar...", or, "our faith is strong...", and they will be reprimanded and verbally warned that it is not appropriate to use such a word to describe Satanism. I am not entirely sure why this word in particular, above others, is disliked.
Satanism much of the time does not refer to itself in religious terms. Especially religious terms that imply something illogical like "faith", "spiritual", "holy". It is more likely to describe itself as "unholy" on account of this rejection of superstition and the irrational aspects of other religions.
Religious elements that are kept, including dogmatic and ritualistic elements, are heavily intellectualized and understood to be trickery and psychology, so that most Satanists would not consider any element of the religion to contain anything that is anti-intellectual or submissive to any unknown or inhuman forces.
The word "faith" is perhaps most representative of the intellectually limiting aspects of religion. Where there is "faith", there is less need for intellectualism. And where there is less intellectualism, there is less mental freedom, imagination, and more of an acceptance to follow the herd into whatever pen the leaders of the religion are putting them into.
No, in Satanism there is no "faith", intellectually or emotionally, in the beliefs, in the Church of Satan or its leaders or in anything else. Stupidity is the greatest challenge to the future of mankind, trust must be earned, intellectually accounted for, and be emotionally natural and clear, in short, "faith" is a bad word to use to describe the emotions or beliefs of realists.
The way we treat Satanic texts, even those written by those who we respect such as Anton LaVey is not as a sheep would follow a herder. Therefore we do not call them "scriptures" and referring to Satanic books and text as such a term normally causes lips to curl! Buddhists, Christians and Muslims have scriptures, not Satanists.
“The Satanist shuns terms such as "hope" and "prayer" as they are indicative of apprehension. If we hope and pray for something to come about, we will not act in a positive way which will make it happen. The Satanist, realizing that anything he gets is of his own doing, takes command of the situation instead of praying[...]. Positive thinking and positive action add up to results.”
I would add a disclaimer that I use the word "hope" in its normal English usage, it is only "religious hope" that I feel is avoided by Satanists. So, Satan does not 'give us hope'... Satan represents death of everything living, there is no hope in life other than in ourselves and in love and friendship. We use the word hope in its English sense, not in a transcendental, eternal or divine sense.
“Hope is a secular prayer, and prayers are not our tools. It is not our business to wish water into wine. If we have lemons, we make lemonade.”
Jack D. Malebranche.
In Rule Satannia, Issue 3 (2003 Halloween)
So I can say, "I hope you understand me...", but I would not say, "There is always something that gives me Hope", unless of course it was clear I was making it sure that such a thing was a trustworthy loved one or myself, and at the same time didn't capitalize the "H". Hope is not an absolute, but Death may well be!
The comments on prayer are obvious. A Satanist can't pray in the same way that a Jew can't do the sign of the cross and confess to Jesus: Even if they did so, it would be an act, a pretence, and therefore not actually praying at all. There is nothing to pray to, nothing to confess to, and nothing that will solve the problems in your life except yourself, or friends whose help you have earned through your own existence.
“Pagan has become for many a loaded word meaning [...] 'irreligious because unchristian', rather than its literal meaning of 'rural' (pagus, Latin for 'from the countryside'). According to The Oxford English Dictionary 'pagan' in late middle English comes from the Latin paganus meaning 'civilian' as opposed to 'soldier', meaning those who were not Christian since the Christians called themselves the enrolled soldiers of Christ. [...] The recent negative connotations with 'pagan' thus have to do [with] history in which anyone who did not follow the Christian religion was looked down upon as godless.”
Satanists are not Pagans-with-a-capital-P in any sense of the word. Pagans and Satanists are generally very quick to separate themselves from each other. Nearly all introductory texts to Paganism include a disclaimer that they are not Satanists. Many Satanists' testimonies include a note on how they differ from Pagans and Wiccans. Both groups would reject and possibly be insulted to be confused with the other.
"Pagan" with a lower case p is more correct in that it is frequently used to mean non-Abrahamic and this is its late-historical usage. Although for a long time it first meant "not Christian and not Jew", nowadays its meaning is closer to "not a member of a world religion" as even Christians are unlikely to refer to Buddhists and Hindus as "pagans", although of course historically they did name them as such.
Current edition: 2003 Apr 01
Last Modified: 2016 Nov 17
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
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Harvey, Graham & Hardman, Charlotte
(1995) Pagan Pathways. Paperback book. 2000 edition. Originally published 1995. Current version published by Thorsons.