Sacred Tension: Ministers of Satan with Penemue

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with Penemue, Director of Ministry for The Satanic Temple. We take questions from the audience about the Temple’s new ordination program and discuss weddings, the role of pastors in society, the future of the ordination program, and much more. You can learn more about The Satanic Temple’s ordination program at https://ordained.satanicministry.com/

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On Solitary Satanism

I’m intensely social in the Satanic community, mostly online. I have an active Discord server, I regularly interview members of the Satanic Temple community, and I serve on Ordination Council for Satanic Ministry. I do a lot of very social Sataning.

As someone who’s been burned again and again by religious community, this does cause some anxiety. There is trepidation in giving my heart over to fellow fallible, neurotic, and disorganized human beings. It’s inevitable that someone within the Satanic community will leave me feeling deeply wounded, and I will have to confront the difficult emotional challenge of navigating how much of that hurt has to do with Satanism itself or just specific individuals within Satanism.

As I’ve reflected on this dynamic I’ve come to realize that a paradox lies at the heart of my Satanism: I’m able to engage publicly in Satanism because, at its most fundamental root, my Satanism is solitary.

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Guest Post: Reinforcing Evangelical Fear

This is a guest post by Warden Sif. Warden Sif has been interested in religion his whole life, and obtained a degree in history and theology. He has identified as a Christian, Deist, Agnostic, Atheist, Apistevist and, at this point, a Satanist. He began following TST’s efforts in 2015 and officially joined a few years later. His Twitter can be found here. He can also be found on BaphoNet Antisocial Network, its associated Discord server and the Sacred Tension Discord server.

After reading Mr. Morehead’s guest post titled “Why Are Evangelicals So Afraid of Halloween?” I was inspired to write further on something he touched on at the end of his article. I’ve tried in the past to emphasize his final point, but I consistently get push back from a fair number of other Satanists:

But understanding the psychological underpinnings of Evangelical prejudices and stances in popular culture toward others is helpful in formulating appropriate responses. Responding in-kind with fear, prejudice and alienation will only exacerbate our tensions in an extremely polarized environment. If you’re angry with Evangelicals over any number of things, including their stereotypes of Satanists, I get it. But I think we need to try to understand their fears rather than reinforce them.

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Satan Has Always Been My Home

I understand how, to many onlookers, my conversion to Satanism could seem like an extraordinary escalation. For years I was a committed Christian, dedicated to the church and to following Christ. My mission in life as a Christian was simply to be normal, included, at home: I wanted a place in the church as a gay person. As such, I was generally a very well-behaved gay, and my faith was everything to me even when I wished it wasn’t.

How, then, did I find myself as a Satanist? When looked through the lens of my previous religious life, nothing can seem more scandalous and overly dramatic than my Satanism.

The truth is that my leap from Christianity to Satanism was not a large one at all. It was simple, obvious, and intuitive.

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Sacred Tension: Christmas With Belial the Demon

In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by Belial, Hell’s cutest demon and second in command to Satan himself. We discuss Hell’s Christmas plans, the finer points of possessing a nun, reptilian overlords, and much more. Watch Belial’s show on TST TV here, and use my code SACREDTENSION at checkout to get one month free.

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Guest Post: The Seven Tenets Are Not a Sword

This is a guest post by Greg Stevens. Greg Stevens is a longtime leader in The Satanic Temple, and currently acts as Director of Ministry and Executive Producer of TST TV.

I thoroughly enjoy the passion I see in members of The Satanic Temple when they are unraveling the finer points and applications of The Seven Tenets. These tenets express strong core ethical priorities, while at the same time being general enough to allow each individual to develop and explore their own interpretation. For some people, the phrase “compassion and empathy toward all creatures” in Tenet I resonates naturally with their choice of veganism. For them, veganism is a part of their Satanism. But people may also interpret Tenet I differently, and many Satanists are not Vegan. So it goes with other moral questions, as well: from addiction intervention to euthenasia. It fills me with joy when Satanists talk through scenarios, often making discoveries: not only about the way other people interpret and balance the tenets, but oftentimes also about their own, often unconscious, assumptions and priorities.

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