Posts Tagged ‘Satanism’

My initial reason for leaving Mormonism was because it conflicted with Christianity (at least the way I understood Christianity). So somewhat naturally, my assumption on the way out of Mormonism was that really finding God was just a matter of figuring out which Christian denomination I belonged in. The questions I was asking and trying to figure out were still sort of narrow Christian theological questions about soteriology, ecclesiology, and so on: what points of Christian doctrine were non-negotiable for me, and what points were less important. I spent about a half a year investigating different flavors of Christianity without feeling that “click”–that sense of coming home that I was waiting for.  Something more than an intellectual affinity that would enable me to adopt a new identity as a Christian. Christianity as a religion held a lot of appeal (and still does!), but there was something deeply visceral that I needed but that was just missing. There was a sense of “aha!–this is it!” that just was not happening with Christianity. Eventually, I started to question whether Christianity was the right direction for me at all, and I started looking elsewhere.

For the most part, that’s been the story of my post-Mormon life: back and forth between Christianity and “vaguely searching.” I like Christian liturgy, Christian prayer, I like theology, hymns, churches and cathedrals, Christian philosophy, the Bible, the whole nine yards. But it just doesn’t click. I’m not sure what’s actually supposed to happen that makes me say “there, that’s it; now I am a Christian,” but it never happens. Its like there’s a Christianity neuron in my brain that just isn’t firing. I like Christianity a lot, but I neither believe Christianity nor am able to commit to Christianity. That’s the thing. So I dive into Christianity again and again–at least in my head–hoping that this time that click in my head will happen and I will realize what it feels like to be a Christian, but it keeps not happening.  So I look around in, at, and under other things: Hinduism, New Age gobbledygook, Atheism, LaVeyan Satanism, Zen, Revival Druidry, Asatru, whatever. But the click doesn’t happen in those places either, and then I can’t shake Christianity’s powerful hold on me, so I wander back and throw myself in, but the click still doesn’t happen.

I understand Christianity conceptually. I have read the Bible. But it just isn’t relevant to me on the deep, personal level that I feel like it should, like I need it to in order to get me to a place where I am willing to say “I am a Christian; this I believe.”  The Bible connects to me as a cultural relic, a powerful one even, that is fundamental to the history of western civilization.  But as God’s Word, it just doesn’t resonate the right way.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my wife about religion and our different outlooks on the universe, and I told her that I really wish I could somehow make Christianity work for me, because it would be so much easier. And she said, simply but incisively, “but it doesn’t.” And there it was. No matter how much I like Christianity, no matter how much I love every word C. S. Lewis wrote, no matter how much I like Episcopal services and liturgy, no matter how much I think the Bible is amazing, Christianity just doesn’t work for me. The click I need to happen just… doesn’t happen.

Read Full Post »

Today I am reading about Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan.  They don’t actually worship Satan, by the way, or even belive that he exists (and before you go quoting Verbal Kent on me, I’ve heard it before).  Instead, they revere what he represents: indomitable will and ultimate freedom.

I think that LaVeyan Satanism actually has a lot to commend it, and I wouldn’t mind reading the Satanic Bible to see what he has to say (in more detail than a Wikipedia article at least), but I’m not sure that the kind of cutthroat all-against-all (or as my dad would put it, “Hooray for me and screw everyone else”) world that it envisions would really be a very nice one.   Too much like law school.  I guess the Satanist answer would be that they’re not trying to create a utopia; they’re simply reflecting and accepting the world for what it is (reflective rather than aspirational).

There’s no reason a Satanist can’t be nice to other people, if being nice to other people pleases and fulfills him, but he recognizes that ultimately he’s doing it out of self interest (Remember the argument between Joey and Phoebe about there being no completely selfless act? This is kind of like that).

But it also looks like LaVeyan Satanism owes a lot to Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand (with a veneer of probably worthless occultism), and I have historically thought their ideas were dumb.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: