IT is a popular misconception that the Satanist does not believe in God. The concept of "God", as interpreted by man, has been so varied throughout the ages, that the Satanist simply accepts the definition which suits him best. Man has always created his gods, rather than his gods creating him. God is, to some, benign - to others, terrifying. To the Satanist "God" - by whatever name he is called, or by no name at all - is seen as the balancing factor in nature, and not as being concerned with suffering. This powerful force which permeates and balances the universe is far too impersonal to care about the happiness or misery of flesh-and-blood creatures on this ball of dirt upon which we live.
Anyone who thinks of Satan as evil should consider all the men, women, children, and animals who have died because it was "God's will". Certainly a person grieving the untimely loss of a loved one whould much rather have their loved one with them than in God's hands! Instead, they are unctuously consoled by their clergyman who says, "It was God's will, my dear"; or "He is in God's hands now, my son." Such phrases have been a convenient way for religionists to condone or excuse the mercilessness of God. But if God is in complete control and as benign as he is supposed to be, why does He allow these things to happen? Too long have religionists been falling back on their bibles and rulebooks to prove or disprove, justify, condemn, or interpret.
The Satanist realizes that man, and the action and reaction of the universe, is responsible for everything, and doesn't mislead himself into thinking that someone cares. No longer will we sit back and accept "fate" without doing anything about it, just because it says so in Chapter such and such, Psalm so and so - and that's that! The Satanist knows that praying does absolutely no good - in fact, it actually lessens the chance of success, for the devoutly religious too often sit back complacently and pray for a situation which, if they were to do something about it on their own, could be accomplished much quicker!
The Satanist shuns terms such as "hope" and "prayer" as they are indicative of apprehension. If we hope and pray for something to come about, we will not act in a positive way which will make it happen. The Satanist, realizing that anything he gets is of his own doing, takes command of the situation instead of praying to God for it to happen. Positive thinking and positive action add up to results.
Just as the Satanist does not pray to God for assistance, he does not pray for forgiveness for his wrong doings. In other religions, when one commits a wrong he either prays to God for forgiveness, or confesses to an intermediary and asks him to pray to God for forgiveness for his sins. The Satanist knows that praying does no good, confessing to another human being, like himself, accomplishes even less - and is, furthermore, degrading.
When a Satanist commits a wrong, he realizes that it is natural to make a mistake - and if he is truly sorry about what he has done, he will learn from it and take care not to do the same thing again. If he is not honestly sorry about what he has done, and knows he will do the same thing over and over, he has no business confessing and asking forgiveness in the first place. But this is exactly what happens. People confess their sins so that they can clear their consciences - and be free to go out and sin again, usually the same sin.
There are many diferent interpretations of God, in the usual sense of the word, as there are types of people. The images run from a belief in a god who is some vague sort of "universal cosmic mind" to an anthropomorphic deity with a long white beard and sandals who keeps track of every action of each individual.
Even within the confines of a given religion, the personal interpretations of God differ greatly. Some religions actually go so far as to label anyone who belongs to a religious sect other than their own a heretic, even though the overall doctrines and impressions of godliness are nearly the same. For example: The Catholics believe that the Protestants are doomed to Hell simply because they do not belong to the Catholic Church. In the same way, many splinter groups of the Christian faith, such as the evangelical or revivalist churches, believe that the Catholics are heathens who worship graven images. (Christ is depicted in the image that is most psychologically akin to the individual worshipping him, and yet the Chrisitans criticize "heathens" for the worship of graven images.) And the Jews have always been given the Devil's name.
Even though the god in all of these religions is basically the same, each regards the way chosen by the others as reprehensible, and to top it all, religionists actually PRAY for one another! They have scorn for the brothers of the right-hand path because their religions carry different labels, and somehow this animosity must be released. What better way than through "prayer"! What a simperingly polite way of saying: "I hate your guts," is the thinly disguised device known as praying for your enemy! Praying for one's own enemy is nothing more than bargain-basement anger, and of a decidedly shoddy and inferior quality!
If there has been so much violent discrepancy as to the proper way in which to worship God, how many different interpretations of God can there be - and who is right?
All devout "white-lighters" are concerned with pleasing God so that they might have the "Pearly Gates" opened for them when they die. Nevertheless, if a man has not lived his life in accordance with the regulations of his faith, he can at the last minute call a clergyman to his deathbed for a final absolution. The priest or minister will then come running on the double, to "make everything right" with God and see to it that his passport to the Heavenly Realm is in order. (The Yezidis, a sect of Devil worshippers, take a different viewpoint. They believe that God is all-powerful, but also all-forgiving, and so accordingly feel that it is the Devil whom they must please, as he is the one who rules their lives while here on earth. They believe so strongly that God will forgive all of their sins once they have been given the last rites, that they feel no need to concern themselves with the opinion God may hold of them while they live.)
With all of the contradictions in the Christian scriptures, many people currently cannot rationally accept Christianity the way it has been practiced in the past. Great numbers of people are beginning to doubt the existence of God, in the established Christian sense of the word. So, they have taken to calling themselves "Christian Atheists". True, the Christian Bible is a mass of contradictions; but what could be more contradictory than the term "Christian Atheist"?
If prominent leaders of the Christian faith are rejecting the past interpretations of God, how then can their followers be expected to adhere to previous religious tradition?
With all the debates about whether or not God is dead, if he isn't he had better have MEDICARE!
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|Copyright ©1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey - All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this material or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books, Inc.|