I’m going to go there. I’m going to endorse the 9 Satanic Statements, as written in 1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey. Below are the 9 Satanic Statements in all their glory in italics, and my comments are directly below each statement.
1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!
Satan may very well represent indulgence in lieu of abstinence. However, indulgence isn’t a good plan either. Abstinence is a good thing if you are doing it for health reasons. I abstain from drug use and excessive sexual partners. Not so much the latter lately, but we’ll keep going and pretend I didn’t say anything about that. The point being that moderation is probably far more valuable to a healthy, happy, balanced life than abstinence or indulgence.
2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
I would agree that vital existence is far more desirable to me than spiritual pipe dreams. The atheist (or agnostic, in many cases) will agree that coming to grips with the truth is by far the more satisfying route to go. Being immersed in truth, reason, honor, and logic is much more fun. Self-delusion about the spirit realm is deflating at best.
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
Again, much like the last, undefiled wisdom is far more gratifying than self-deceit. The religious mind desperately clings to self-deceit to justify and cope with the egregious claims they’re expected to believe.
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!
At first, #4 reads as a little harsh. But it’s not suggesting violence against “ingrates”. Instead, it recommends that we should treat people in kind. I am not an advocate for being rude or mean to others, but I am all for treating people the way they treat others. It’s eye-opening and educational for them, and you avoid lying to yourself about how much better you are for taking the “high road”.
5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!
Jesus instructed his disciples to “turn the other cheek” if someone was aggressive to them. I know a lot of atheists today tend to like that about Jesus. They think that the story of a man who did not retaliate against people that were violent to him serves as a good lesson for humans today. I agree with that, even though I may sound in my previous comments that retribution is sweet. (It is very sweet, but not always the best route!)
6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!
This is as good as dirty talk to me. I’m all juiced up. Responsibility to responsible people. How brilliant! The whole notion of a religious attitude to place, shift, or add blame to your life is absolutely absurd, incredibly burdensome, and totally unnecessary. Responsibility to the responsible means a lot of things to me, like being honest and truthful to people despite how it implicates you. You’re responsible! And being responsible instead of having concern for psychic vampires is just such a beautiful idea. There is no evidence to suggest that any supernatural behavior-monitoring mechanism will rain down punishment on us. Silly theists!
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!
Here is where LaVey gets into the evolution of it all. Without getting into the whole discussion, he puts man in his proverbial place. We are all animals. We eat, sleep, drink, shit, and fuck. Just like my cat Sting. Just like the tigers in the San Francisco Zoo. The only difference is that we evolved in a different way, and developed efficient communication, self-awareness, and currency. The list doesn’t end there, but the point is, without those things, we’d be walking around looking for a ham sandwich just like my neighbor’s dog. Instead, we’re doing slip-and-falls in Walmart so we can buy beer and pot for the rest of our lives.
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
Sins are interesting because they categorize harmless behavior and harmful behavior. I would not disagree that it is a “sin” to commit theft or murder, but it is upsetting when I’m told that I cannot lust after women. Guess what? I lust after women, and so does your fucking pastor. The point is, in the case of sex or getting drunk, or a little overindulgence, it’s not going to kill anyone. In fact, doing such things in moderation can actually make your life a bit more fulfilling!
9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!
This is a really unique statement, but probably true. The church has given Satan both a character and a metaphor in society. The overwhelming negative influences we have on our lives cause some of us to race into a church on Sunday morning to repent, fill the collection plate, and lie to ourselves a little bit longer.
When I knew less about Anton LaVey – which I happen to think he’s a phoney – I thought that the 9 Satanic Statements were instructions to make others’ lives miserable and to sacrifice and eat babies. I really didn’t realize that the Satanic movement is more of a metaphor for a healthy, happy, fulfilled life. Okay – maybe I’m going too far. In honesty, I can’t embrace Satanic dogma. It is as hard for me to embrace as Christian dogma with a few exceptions, because it seems to create a deity out of personal liberty, when in fact personal liberty should just be acknowledged as a birthright.
LaVeyan Satanism is a pretty interesting proposition because it encourages people to embrace liberty and do what they want. It seems more like Individualism than anything else; instead of worshiping a god, you tend toward hedonism and self-satisfaction without worrying about “psychic vampires”.
Whoever is participating in this actively is only slightly less deluded than the religious nutjobs plaguing the nation today. Why do we need to “worship” anything? Who says?
I have never knowingly met a Satanist. If I did, I think we could have a very interesting conversation.