By Vexen Crabtree 2001
Within Satanism it is expected that disagreements will occur amongst adherents. As a Left Hand Path religion, Satanism puts a large emphasis on the individual, thinking for yourself and breaking with conventions. It is expected that Satanists will disagree on things. If it was that Satanists agreed on everything then we would become weak and dogmatic, simply following the herd. It is not at all like that.
“A word to the wise: since Satanism is a philosophy which holds individualism as one of its main values, we don´t expect all of our members to agree on everything, or even to “get along” with each other. Thus, you are cautioned that you might find some differences of opinion in these discussions. Satanism, by definition, is a philosophy in which you won´t find group hugs as part of the repertoire.”
Mature adults can have disagreements and remain 'friends' with the other person. If you find yourself in an argument make sure the other person knows that you are a not trying to attack them personally (and don't). Victory not vengeance: Set out to learn from disagreements, not to fight destructively.
I refer you to two excellent essays by two Priests of the Church of Satan which cover this topic - these two essays are utterly essential to anyone in contact with other Satanists!
The Church of Satan is comprised of such individualistic people that consensus is always rare - Satanism is the purest and most animated expression of left-hand-path freethinking religion. I came across the term "loyal dissent" - although I suspect most Christian traditionalists scoff at the very idea:
“Gerald Arbuckle, a member of a Roman Catholic religious order, writing with feeling about the struggles in his own church, has coined the useful phrase "loyal dissent". Dissent, says Arbuckle, is vital for a living church since it 'proposes alternatives' and it is only by looking at alternatives that a body can evolve creatively.”
Arbuckle's term was employed to describe some individuals within the Church who think differently. The Church of Satan differs in that nearly all its members are of the loyal dissenter type, so much so that it is only ever noted when a person seems to lack this quality, rather than commented on when someone possesses this common Satanic trait. It is taken for granted within Satanism that dissent is a vitality! Compare this to the long tirade of Christian and Muslim traditionalists against 'heretics'! Satanism's approach to freethought and dissent is superior to that of every other religion.
Current edition: 2001 Jul 16
Last Modified: 2010 Aug 30
Parent page: Satanists and Satanic Community: How many are there and what are they like?
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(2000) The C of E: The State It's In. Paperback book. paperback first edition, 2000. Originally published in UK in 2000 by Stoughton.