As someone who finds either brand of satanist to be mostly annoying, I’m going to enjoy watching two groups of satanists in Michigan battle it out. It’s the Satanic Temple vs the Temples of Satan in a fight over who is the most authentic satanists. And I had no idea there was such a thing as a Tea Party satanist.
The Rev. Tom Erik Raspotnik, 49, of Oxford decries the Satanic Temple’s atheism and progressive ideals. He said his Temples of Satan honors the deity of Satan, and he and others with him are pro-life and believe in animal sacrifices.
“I would be like a tea party Satanist,” Raspotnik said, adding that he has participated in tea party events, but that people at the events might not have known he worships Satan.
So the Temples of Satan are actual Satanists, believing that there is a deity called Satan and worshiping him. The Satanic Temple are just atheists whose parents didn’t get upset enough when they told them they were atheists, so they decided to wear pentagrams and play pretend to get the attention they wanted. And then there’s the Church of Satan, which doesn’t recognize any other group:
Even the Church of Satan, claiming thousands of members worldwide, is quick to distance itself from the Satanic Temple, despite agreement on atheism, individualism and affinity for pentagrams.
“We see nothing of value in the actions of this handful of individuals,” High Priest Magus Peter Gilmore of the Church of Satan said in an e-mail.
He also said the Church of Satan only applies the term “Satanist” to itself; the others are called “devil worshipers or demonolators, not Satanists,” Gilmore said in the e-mail.
Personally, I have little use for any of them. If you actually worship a deity you call Satan, you’re just another religion. If you’re an atheist, calling yourself a satanist is just an annoying plea for attention. Just be an atheist, for crying out loud. So I’m just gonna pop the popcorn and watch them lob verbal bombs at each other.