A Sacred Cow That Has Not Yet Been Slaughtered

In recent weeks I have began noticing what strikes me as an odd trend among Satanists. Many Satanists I respect have a tendency to talk about their issues with religious people, religious organizations, and the influence of religion in society. They talk about the evils of religion, and how the world would be a better place without it. All of these people have one sacred cow they have yet to slaughter, and I too have been guilty of it from time to time. That sacred cow is the word “religious.”

I am not one to quote our texts as some sort of sacred and perfect text, but I think a passage from The Book of Satan (Fire) does well to illustrate my thoughts on this matter, and it is devilishly fun to reference it like the bible, first phase as it may be. Satan 1:7 reads “No hoary falsehood shall be a truth to me; no stifling dogma shall encamp my pen!” and the word religious as it is used by Satanists is in fact a falsehood, a stifling dogma encramping the pen. Oxford dictionary defines “religious” as  simply “relating to or believing in a religion.” My blog is then a religious blog, Raising Hell is a religious parenting podcast, and Satanists are religious people. See the issue?

It is high time we call it as we see it. When Satanists say “religious” we are in doing so just swallowing and regurgitating a euphemism in the interest of not challenging that which we mean to challenge when we reference religion. We would be more accurate if we said “theist,” and even more accurate most times if we simply said “Abrahamic” or “Christian.” I think it decreases our credibility and the impact of what we are trying to say simply because it always allows for the recipient to ask “wait, you said Satanism is a religion. . . so is it?” We then have to go through the rather annoying practice of justifying Satanism as a religion if we ever want to establish our point to those who are not Satanists if we ever want to continue with our discussion. Granted, one always has the option of just letting it go and moving on, and often that the best idea. Call me solipsistic, but it seems to me that I am not the only Satanist with a vested interest in talking about the influence of theism in areas where there should be no influence.

Satanists are often held to a level of scrutiny that is hard to match. We naturally hold ourselves to a high level of scrutiny, but I think we all fall short here. This is a Sacred Cow that is small and yet it is an important one to lead to the slaughter. Stop letting that haloed bovine encramp your pen, say what you mean to say!

One thought on “A Sacred Cow That Has Not Yet Been Slaughtered

  1. As a personal anecdote, I had a harder time accepting the term ‘religious’ than ‘Satanist’ to describe myself when I did finally read TSB. But this is absolutely a religion, and as one who chooses to practice Greater Magic, that may even make me a…(takes a deep breath) ‘fundamentalist’! (Yow!) It still feels odd at times.

    I think you’ve made good points here, and definitely being mindful of specifics when explaining ourselves (or criticizing others) is crucial when representing ourselves as Satanists or defending our religion.


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