Sacred Tension: Getting Sober with Satan feat. Ministers Joe Dee and Jon Eldritch

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with Ministers of Satan Joe Dee and Jon Eldritch about the new Satanic Temple campaign Sober Faction. We discuss recovery culture, theistic and nontheistic recovery programs, the 7 rituals of Sober Faction, and more. 

Find Sober Faction here.

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Meditation as Uncreation

Growing up in the evangelical world, a central lesson I learned about reality was that there were necessary and normative divisions. These divisions began at the moment of creation itself: God separating light from dark, land from water, sky from earth, and, most relevant to me, woman from man. The first 27 verses of the book of Genesis describe this process of creation by way of division, from an earth “formless and void.”

As a gay child, I was raised to believe that the sin of my homosexuality blurred these foundational distinctions established at the dawn of time. Homosexuality, by its very nature, violated the metaphysics of man and woman. It was therefore understood as an act of Uncreation: a terrifying unraveling of the created order, a returning to an earth formless and void. 

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Guest Post: Satan in the Red Light District

This is a guest post by S, a reader of the blog and listener of Sacred Tension. If you would like to write a guest post for the blog, please send submissions via my contact page.

There is a strip club in the red light district of Amsterdam called the Banana Bar. 

At first glance it looks like any other sex business in the crowded tapestry of bright advertisements, with its illuminated signs of bananas and naked girls riding them. If you look more closely, you will notice that the windows are covered with tasteful art nouveau style nude paintings, and that the facade is completely black. The unusual appearance of the building, as well as the banana-gimmick for which the club is famous, belong to the legacy of a convent that used to house here: the Walburga Abbey of the Dutch Church of Satan, or Kerk van Satan

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Living as Satan

I’ve discussed in great detail the ways in which Satanism works for me. I’ve explained that I see self-aware, non theistic religion as healthier and more enlightened than theistic and un-self-aware religion. I’ve explained that Satan is not a real figure, but a metaphor for the unbowed will and icon of the outsider, and that my Satanism is not necessarily anti-Christian, but rather a positive and separate post-Christian concoction.

And yet, I realized recently that one of the most crucial aspects of my Satanism, and religious life in general, has been neglected in these explanations.

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In Defense of Satan

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It’s probably slipped out now that I’m a member of the Satanic Temple. When I first made the choice to join, I decided that it would be a very quiet, personal decision, which I would share only with my most intimate friends. I’m very bad at keeping secrets, however, and by now I’ve spoken about it with friends of the less intimate variety, on my podcast, and I’ve voiced my admiration for the temple on social media.

Because of this, it’s probably time I start explaining why I would make the choice to join such a notorious organization.

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