posted on 1/11/2019 by the Salt City Sinner
“So…why Satan?” he asked me.
It was a reasonable question – albeit a personal one. I am,after all, a Satanist. I’m not an evangelist, however, and people in the United States are socially conditioned to think of religion as an inherently expansionist, conquering influence. For example: even though Christians are instructed to “enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray” (Matthew 6:6) those rascals are obsessed with the spotlight – grabbing it, keeping it, brightening it. It’s why Evangelical Christians erect giant stonemonuments to their god on public land, why they want to make your mind up for you on any number of subjects, because look at them (please, won’t you?), how good they are, don’t they know best?
Even when I was a Christian, I was a Catholic. While Catholicism is certainly a public-facing faith that has no problem whatsoever exerting political pressure on the saved and unsaved alike, the exercise of power by Catholics (like that exercised by Mormons) tends to be less flashy, less overt, subtler. A product of whispered conversations between powerful men in quiet rooms more than a freak-show of bright, clownish exhortation.
So why Satan? Why a literary, romantic Satan (not a material one, but a symbol of rebellion and liberty)? Why not take the atheistic path of the formal, the solemn, and the serious? Or, if mockery of our priestly rulers is the strategy of the day (and oh brothers and sisters, it most certainly is), why not pay obeisance to the slimy tendrils of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
“Do you remember,” I asked in reply, “why Batman chose to become a bat? I mean, Bruce Wayne isn’t just prowling Gotham by night wearing all black, or dressed like a solider. He wanted something theatrical. Why?”
“Well,” he replied, “bats scare Bruce Wayne, right?”
“That’s true, but only secondarily in my opinion.” In my defense, this was by far the neck-beardiest conversation I would have that day. Or week. “The real key was the line about criminals. That they are ‘a cowardly and superstitious lot,’ remember?” He did.
“So,” I said, “consider theocrats and agents of totalitarian religious control. Can you think of a more cowardly or superstitious lot?”
I think he started to understand. I’m not overly worried about it. As I’ve stated already, I’m a lot of things – but an evangelist, I am not.