Sacred Tension: The Satanic Temple vs. Church of Satan, feat. Priest Penemue

In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by Priest Penemue — a Satanic content creator and director of ministry at The Satanic Temple. We discuss the differences between Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple, and why those differences matter.

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Sacred Tension: Debunking Conspiracy Theories with Logic and Respect feat. Mick West

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with professional conspiracy theory debunker Mick West about cognitive biases, aliens, real conspiracies, and much more. 

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On Satanic Practice

I recently received this question from a listener and reader in response to my post On Satanism and Atheism:

For your average follower, Satanism is the epitome of being a troll religion, almost as bad, if not perhaps worse than Pastafarianism. What practices define you as a Satanist? Not beliefs. Practices.”

As always, I’m grateful for these questions from bemused readers.

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On Satanism and Atheism

I recently wrote an article titled On Forfeiting the Word Atheist in which I explored how using the word “atheist” predisposes people to having the least charitable view of me. I’ve gotten so exasperated explaining again and again what the word “atheist” means that I’ve opted for the word “nontheist,” just because it has a different connotation and isn’t as poisoned by anti-atheist propaganda.

To be clear, I like the word atheist, and I see it as identical to the word nontheist. I don’t care if other people use the word atheist, I just find the word a stumbling block when I try to have productive conversations with theists. I have limited patience, and I personally find it more expedient to not use the word.

Along these lines, a reader sent me this question:

“Why then would you self-identify as a satanist when it seems (from your writings at least) that THAT label is also widely misunderstood?”

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On Forfeiting the Word “Atheist”

Since my Christian deconstruction I’ve started to try on various labels for size. Among these labels have been: post-Christian, nontheistic Christian, esoteric Christian, nontheist, Satanist, and, of course, atheist.

(Some annoying hippie in the back will, at this point, ask “why do you have to have a label, man? Why can’t you just be yourself?” Suffice it to say, I like identities, and I am pro-label. That other people are less comfortable with that is fine.)

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Satanism as a Counter-Myth: a Correspondence With Priest Penemue

Several weeks ago, a fellow named Elijah left a comment on my post Why Satan? The comment addresses concerns about Satanism which I think many people share. I was planning to write a full response, but I find that I just don’t have enough energy for that right now. I ended up corresponding with Satanic Temple Director of Ministry Priest Penemue on the subject. We had a lively discussion. Instead of writing a full response to the article, I will simply post the comment (it’s tedious, I’m sorry) followed by my correspondence with Penemue.

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