What sort of religion is "Satanism"? The concept of Satan comes from the Bible, and Satan is described in both the old and new testaments. In Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, God created Lucifer (Morning Star) to be beautiful, perfect and all wise. However, Lucifer developed conceit and deceit, and was banished from the mountain of God. He became Satan, and he plotted to rise above God. He recruited angels, some 1/3 of Heaven's angels, and the spiritual war began. Satan was present in the Garden of Eden. Satan tempted Jesus. But prophesy says that Satan will lose and be thrown into the "lake of fire".
A Missouri woman who is an adherent of the Satanic Temple won a victory in court last week in her quest to show that state abortion law violates her religious beliefs.Since Satan didn't write any of the Bible, what is the source of Satanic "religious beliefs"?
The Western District Court of Appeals ruled in her favor Tuesday, writing that her constitutional challenge — rare for its basis in religion — presented “a contested matter of right that involves fair doubt and reasonable room for disagreement.”
The woman, identified as Mary Doe in court documents, argued that her religion does not adhere to the idea that life begins at conception, and, because of that, the prerequisites for an abortion in Missouri are unconstitutionally violating her freedom of religion protected by the First Amendment.
The court ordered a transfer of the woman’s case to the Missouri Supreme Court.
The suit names Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Josh Hawley and others as defendants.
Her claims were originally rejected by the Cole County Circuit Court, but she appealed the decision.
There are several sources, none of which claim to be revealed as far as I can tell.
The Eleven Satanic Rules of the EarthThis document from the Church of Satan is copyrighted to LaVey, so its claim must be that LaVey wrote it. Whether LaVey is Satan is not mentioned in the document itself. However under the heading "Theory and Practice", also by LaVey, it is clearly stated that:
by Anton Szandor LaVey
Satanism demands study, not worship.This would indicate that Satanism is a philosophy of sorts, not a religion. In fact, it might not even be a philosophy, based on this statement:
The essays, interviews and statements should provoke thought, they should give you a more complete understanding of Satanism while inspiring critical insight required for Self-Actualization.Self-Actualization. That sounds more like New Age self-help. Nonetheless, the Satanic principles of Magic and Glowering evil looks still prevail; here's LaVey:
Over at the Seattle Satanist Temple, the claim is for both total agnosticsm on the one hand, and "demonstrable truth" on the other hand (i.e., Solipsism modified by Scientism, as convenient):
"Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations. Let us reason our solutions with agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of One or All. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. It is Done. Hail Satan."
And this "canon":
Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France
Ultimately a meditation on the corruption of power, Anatole France’s Revolt of the Angels (1914) utilizes the theological metaphor of Satan as a force favoring free inquiry, the War in Heaven a metaphysical battle against universal tyranny.
Arcade, an angel who has strayed from Heaven to study Philosophy and History on Earth seeks to re-assemble Lucifer’s legion to overthrow the detached and intolerant God of Heaven. Finally, Satan, after contemplating His probable victory concludes:
“No, let us not conquer the heavens. It is enough to have the power to do so. War engenders war, and victory defeat. God, conquered, will become Satan; Satan, conquering, will become God. May the fates spare me this terrible lot!”
So this branch of Satanists get their canon from a different source than the Church of Satan, and in fact explicitly rejects the LaVeyan Satanism:
HOW DOES TST’S SATANISM DIFFER FROM LAVEYAN SATANISM?So whatever Satanism actually is seems to be endemic to individual notions, not to an overall concept, and certainly without any revelation from Satan himself.
TST has its own guiding principles and tenets, distinct from the LaVeyan school, that we feel represents a natural evolution in Satanic thought. The overriding principle calls for utilizing the best scientific evidence available to make the most rational real world decisions. To that end, we reject LaVeyan social Darwinist rhetoric that fails to agree with what is currently known regarding social evolution, specifically as it relates to research in evolutionary biology, game theory, reciprocal altruism, cognitive science, etc.
TST also strongly rejects the LaVeyan fetishization of authoritarianism. We believe this is antithetical to Satanic notions of individual sovereignty. Further, while LaVeyan Satanism is atheistic — in that it rejects the notion that Satan is a conscious entity — it is still supernaturalist. TST does not forward supernatural theories of the universe and finds little value in LaVeyan edicts such as those that instruct one to “acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.” (From the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, Anton LaVey)
Thus the principles and ethical pronouncements are obviously ad hoc (just like Atheism) and the field is open to any other "guru" who wants to join in the fray. It doesn't take revelations, it just takes a new set of pronouncements and a web site to promote them. Thus, as a coherent religion, Satanism fails.
Anti-God is not a religion; it is the religion of Self which is the religion that derives from such things.