Some years back I started participating in Q&A forums. These are internet forums specifically set up to post and answer specific questions, as opposed message boards or chat rooms set up for full interactive discussion and dialog. I used to post to Answerology, but now a days I stick to Yahoo Answers. I've been answering a number of questions there regarding Satanism.

Before I get into that, here's a little background info about this site. Ideally, this is how they're supposed to work:

1) Somebody posts a question.
2) Other people read the question and, each post their individual answer to that question. The answers show up under the particular question being answered.
3) Readers can give individual answers a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating.
4) In the end, a "Best Answer" is chosen from the lot personally by the person who posted the question. If he or she doesn't chose one, it's left up to anonymous voting.

You lose a few points when you post a question. You gain a few points when you answer a question or vote on existing answers. The more points you get, the more you can reach levels that allow you to post more questions in one day, or allow you to post more answers in one day, etc.

It's understandable why these sorts of sites are popular. There are people who are too stupid or lazy to use a search engine to find the answers they want, and expect another human to tell them. And people who fancy themselves experts on a subject get an ego boost from giving their advice to people.

I originally went to Yahoo Answers to just answer questions in the mathematics section, mainly to brush up on my teaching skills (I've been considering doing some teaching or tutoring on the side). I'm proud to say that I'm among the top 10 ranked answerers there.

But for amusement, I also like to go to the "religion & spirituality" section. Now I've been on all sorts of multi-faith forums over the years because I do sincerely like religion as a topic. I've always been fascinated by it from a sociological and cultural point of view. I can answer questions about numerous world religions. But while religious people tend to be dumb-witted in general, this particular forum is simply the bottom of the barrel. It makes The View look like an Oxford University lecture.

As you can probably imagine, more people use sites like Yahoo Answers not for knowledge, but for a bogus sense of support. They'll post a loaded, rhetorical question. Then "Best Answer" simply goes out to "Who agrees with me the most". This is especially true when it comes to the section for questions on politics, and the section for religion/spirituality questions.

Still, the Satanism questions come up. And I answer them when I see them, as do the so many Jesus freaks and teenagers who get all of their Satanism information from church propaganda and tacky horror movies. But I've been happily surprised to see lots of non-Satanists there even correctly saying "No, Satanism is NOT about devil worship or sacrificing babies, it's about...[etc.]".

On the rare occasion that a question seems sincere, I'll answer politely. But if a question is completely loaded and posted by a total moron, I don't hold back on the insults.

Here's a more recent example of a question and my answer, all spelling mistakes unaltered:

What lies does the satanic bible say?

[question] is only for the ex santics [sic] who came to know christ

None that I know of. It's a book that describes a non-theistic, carnal-based philosophy that utilizes esoteric symbolism and ritual for psychological purposes, written in plain modern English.

Unlike some other "Bibles" I could mention, it's not a re-re-re-re-translation of after-the-fact oral traditions, doesn't claim to be handed down from a supernatural being, doesn't make natural instincts out to be irrationally shameful things, and doesn't make any bogus historical claims about things like the formation of the earth or where languages come from.

It's not for everybody, but for those of us who see our personalities reflected in the philosophy, it has become a very significant book.

And "santics" isn't a word. For that matter, "Satanic" is an adjective, not a noun. After you get off daddy's computer, go grab a dictionary.

A priest of the Church of Satan (the organization formed by the author of the Satanic Bible)
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