A recent split within the ranks of Satanists demonstrates clearly that no matter what the religion is, there will be differences among the various factions as to the proper methods of worship and what it is the church stands for.
The Satanic Temple based in New York began a Detroit chapter this month, raising the ire of the Reverend Tom Erik Raspotnik. The 49-year-old leader of the Temples of Satan, a sect with 200 members nationwide, says that the Satanic Temple has adopted a leftist agenda which makes them atheists.
Raspotnik says that his religion worships the God Satan and that it is a pro-life religion that practices animal sacrifice. The Satanic Temple he says is pro-choice and supports other “leftist” causes such as gay marriage.
It is rather amusing that worshipers of the enemy of the Christian God would align themselves with the views of Christians so closely while condemning others who worship their God’s enemy. Logic would suggest that they would hold opposing views on these topics.
“I would be like a tea party Satanist,” Raspotnik said, admitting that he has taken part in Tea Party events, although he did not make his religious affiliation known to his Tea Party compatriots.
The upstart Satanic Temple boasts only 20 members so far in the Detroit chapter and the parent organization’s Facebook page has 10,000 likes. It is the organization behind the campaign to erect a statue of Baphomet with two children seated on his knees on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol.
Raspotnik’s fiancée, Cindy Fleming, told the Free Press that she didn’t understand how a Satanist could support such atheistic views as the right to choose or the rights of gays to marry. Satanism, she said, was not atheism.
“An atheist is what?” Fleming said. “They don’t believe in anything, any religion — so why are they using a religion to do it? That is hypocritical, it’s an oxymoron and it’s not even credible.”
Jesper Aagaard Petersen, an expert on Satanism and associate professor of religious education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway, said that all who call themselves Satanists share certain common beliefs, but that the Satanic Temple has adopted a course that confuses other Satanists.
“You have to understand, though, that the Satanic Temple is really underplaying the Satan angle and focusing on the atheist and free speech/religion issues in general, which has garnered a lot of support,” he said.
h/t: Detroit Free Press