Originally Posted By: Zeviander
@ Janina & Bill regarding redundancy: I was not aware of this. I only used the term as I had not looked into what was described on Wikipedia as "Theistic Satanism" and the other "heretical" schools that stemmed from LaVey's original. I just assumed there were other types, heh. Surprising, that despite having a degree in the field, I know so little about this religion.

I certainly understand why there's common confusion on this topic, since unfortunately over the last several decades a lot of misinformation about Satanists and Satanism has been spread by the media, sensationalist talk shows, Christian fundamentalists, and Hollywood. Even though the Church of Satan has been making media appearances for close to 50 years, there's a lot of ignorance to fight.

In my experience, the terms "Theistic Satanism" and "LaVeyan Satanism" seem to be primarily used by two particular types of people: 1) Theists who practice some other religion with macabre overtones, but want to take the label of "Satanism" which LaVey worked hard to establish and erroneously apply it to themselves, and 2) journalists who are disappointed to find out that Satanists don't do the nasty things described in Christian propaganda tracts and tacky horror movies, so they'll dig up some random nut from the internet who does. Both groups are desperately trying to maintain the idea that Satanism is something that it's not, whether it's for a false sense of establishment or to just sell more newspapers.

Some might ask "Well isn't this like how Catholics and Protestants both claim to be the 'true Christians'?", but I think this is a bad analogy. Indeed, Catholics and Protestants are two different denominations of the same religion, Christianity. That's because despite the differences that distinguish the two, they both believe in the same deity, both ultimately base their beliefs on the same book, both emphasize Jesus and the resurrection, both have the 10 commandments (even if the indexing is slightly different), etc. The same can't be said about people whose views are reflected by the Satanic Bible, and people whose views run contradictory to it on just about every level.

Also, the Satanic Bible was written in the 20th century by one single author in straight-forward English, and the body of the text is identical to its first printing. So unlike Christianity and the ancient re-re-re-re-translated compilation of scriptures known as the Holy Bible, there's no need to create different denominations on Satanism based on different "interpretations" of Satanic Bible "passages", or emphasis of one line over another.

Sorry if this seemed like a long rant. It's not all directed to you personally. But it's a topic that comes up here now and then, and I feel needs to be addressed on occasion.
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Reverend Bill M.

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