Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Satanists Are Just Heretical Christians; Plus, Let's Start Our Own Branch!

I was inspired to post this by a recent story about everyone's favorite crazy uncle with a radio show, Bryan Fischer, who argued that the first amendment of the U.S. constitution only applies to Christians. He in turn was inspired by the Satanist demand in Oklahoma City for their own holiday installation. (And as long as we're engaged in the silliness of governments putting up holiday decorations, they have every right.)

What's interesting about Fischer's statement is not that he's a dill-munch (which is, of course, clearly the case) but rather his claim that Satanism is not Christianity. It clearly is a form of Christianity, or at least Yahweh-anity, something which many an atheist has realized. Christian Satanists recognize the same deities - they're playing the same ballgame - they just follow a different team. When traditional Christians say that Satanists aren't Christians, that's like a Vikings fan saying that the Packers aren't in the NFL. (What the Satanists think they're accomplishing with their lives I'm not sure, but it doesn't seem like a good deal. Hey guys, let's buy into the same mind-clouding dogma as our sworn enemies the Christians, let's even cooperate with them on the symbolism, but not even get political power and social networking out of the deal! Somehow following Cthulhu actually seems less ridiculous to me. If Satanism seems just as silly to you, check out this video about a Satanic church from parody heavy metal cartoon Metalocalypse.[1])

So what to do?

Above: my deity. Come on, doesn't he look cooler than the Flying Spaghetti Monster? And he for sure looks cooler than that naked Santa Claus poster on the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Plus Christians already believe in this guy! They just don't realize that Michael is #1 and Yahweh is the assistant coach. (Christians, you might not believe in the literal reality of angels - fair enough - but the book that you're living your life by very clearly does. If I were you I'd be asking some hard, grown-up questions about the foundations of my values.)

Alternative theology alert! (I think of it as similar to alternate history.) Alternative theology is always a fun critical thinking exercise (what if Buddhism had made it to pre-Christian Europe, what if there was no God but there is an afterlife, etc. etc.

In this case, Satanists are really just like heretical Christians, like the old Nestorians or Arianists who went extinct without descendants. (In fact there's a lot of evidence that all religions, including Abrahamic ones, were polytheistic and gradually their Zeuses got so powerful as to relegate the other gods to observer status, e.g. angels, fallen or otherwise. (For instance, when Genesis was written down, the God*S* were still plural.) So what if we start a Flying Spaghetti Monster-like cult to follow the pleasantly-named archangel Michael (or it could be Gabriel if you think I'm being self-serving. That's what the movie The Prophecy was about, with Christopher Walken as Gabriel no less.) But I like using Michael, who other Yahweh-followers already believe is #2, and was promoted to executive VP after Satan was kicked out. Fine, Gabriel has the horn, but I think Michael could create more shareholder value, what with the flaming sword and all.

So I'm going to start Michaelanity. At least it might make Christians think if I ask them why it's wrong. They don't even believe Michael is a bad guy! And after all, they and I believe in the same dieties, I just think all these Yahweh-followers have the order wrong.

Fortunately Michael is merciful. But only if you place the flaming sword on your wall to show your loyalty.

Never mind the Norse runes; in future generations we can claim that was added later by evil Yahwehists to deceive us. From the Warhammer 40k wiki.

[1] For the stout of heart, Metalocalypse made fun of atheist churches before there were any such things. This link is funny; if you haven't been, I assure you Sunday Assembly is nothing like this. I thought the South Park episode making fun of atheists was more spot-on. When you become the target of parody, that means you've arrived, and be thankful for the low price of living in a free society!

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