The Satanic Temple is a Church for Imperfect People

I recently co-authored a piece with Murphy Fawkes for Free Inquiry responding to some common criticisms of the Temple.

The Satanic Temple is far from perfect. It is made up of human beings and is therefore a profoundly flawed institution. But, as we argue in the article, that’s also the point. TST has enshrined imperfection and growth in the 6th Tenet, which reads, “people are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to resolve any harm that might have been caused.”

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My Satanism Is the Test of Your Commitment to Religious Freedom

If there is one thing I find myself continually communicating about my Satanism, it is this: my Satanism isn’t about you. You might feel such a unique revulsion at my practice, or you might be so flummoxed by the religion that you can only assume that it is about deliberately provoking you.

This all assumes that you, the offended, are at the center of my religion. But my Satanism isn’t about you. You, the offended, don’t figure into 99.9% of my religious practice. It isn’t about offending, hurting, or provoking you. My Satanism is about me — my catharsis, my fulfillment, and how I choose to practice compassion toward all other creatures. That it offends you is incidental.

But offense, even if that is not my Satanism’s primary goal, does have its utility, and it is this: my Satanism is the test of your commitment to religious liberty.

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Varieties of Satanic Blasphemy

Of all the challenging aspects of Satanism, blasphemy is perhaps at the top. I have known people to literally weep with horror when they first encounter the concept of the Black Mass, and others to simply shut down and say, “I can’t do this,” when they are confronted with the full breadth of Satanic blasphemy. 

Blasphemy can be an important part of Satanism. But there are many different types of blasphemy, and I believe that understanding them might help outsiders better engage in inter-religious dialogue with the Satanic community. (It’s also important to note that there are many Satanists who don’t connect deeply with the notion of blasphemy at all.)

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