Belief in Satan without God?

Belief in Satan without God? March 14, 2024

Belief in Satan without God?

A notable feature of contemporary American culture (I won’t speak about any other culture) is a common and growing belief in Satan without any corresponding belief in God. How can that be? The rational mind spins.

Popular literature and TV and film show it. Yes, yes, I know. Someone will say “But that’s all imaginary.” True, but why is this meme so prevalent in popular culture? I suppose it may be that people don’t actually BELIEVE in Satan but only enjoy watching and reading stories that feature Satan without God. But I suspect that “enjoy” filters into many people’s minds.

Apparently, it is okay in popular fiction, both written and broadcast or portrayed in film, to feature Satan or a Satan-like reality but not God or a God-like reality. No secular person that I know is offended by Halloween portrayals of Satan and demons and witches, etc. But many are obviously offended by in-public portrayals of God.

A few years ago I was asked by a group of Christian parents of junior high school children to talk to the school board about Wicca as a real religion because a teacher was requiring students to participate a role-playing game where they took on the roles of witches, warlocks, wizards, etc. They didn’t want their kids to be required to pretend to be those. It was clear to them and to me that IF a teacher in a public school, theirs included, required children to pretend to be disciples, apostles, priests, missionaries, etc., there would be hell to pay (pun intended). I made that point to the school board but they unanimously overlooked the point and simply treated me and the parents like religious nuts trying to censor the teacher.

I am a big fan of Stephen King who I regard as a literary genius. But he is hardly the only writer of popular fiction who specializes in writing about evil without any serious mention of God. Some of the evil in his novels is quite obviously dependent on the idea of Satan although that name is rarely, if ever, used.

My point is that IF a novel or TV show or movie makes God a central character, it’s either a Christian product OR is panned by secular critics as “cheesy” if not offensive. However, if a novel or TV show or movie makes Satan or a Satan-like being a central character, it’s fine. Note the streaming service limited series “Midnight Mass.” Also the recent TV show “Evil.” These represent a whole genre of films and shows that focus on a Satan-like power with no corresponding God-like power. In the episodes of “Evil” that I have watched so far God is hardly ever mentioned, even by the priest-in-training whose job it is to debunk claims of demonic possession or obsession. (The show leaves us thinking there is such an evil power.)

I can think of only a few artifacts of popular culture in recent times that included God. One that I especially enjoyed was “Joan of Arcadia,” a short-lived series about a girl who heard from God. (“Touched by an Angel” was similar but not enjoyable.)

Again, my point put another way. It seems that secular Americans are almost obsessed with a quasi-personal power of evil that is Satan-like if not Satan but not with a power of good that is God or God-like.

I wonder why? Could it be that they don’t want to be accountable to a good power that is God or God-like? What is so offensive to them about God but not about Satan (or a Satan-like power of evil)? Yes, I can only conclude that they don’t want there to be a God because if there is they would have to change. Satan doesn’t call for them to change.

*Note: If you choose to comment, make sure your comment is relatively brief (no more than 100 words), on topic, addressed to me, civil and respectful (not hostile or argumentative), and devoid of pictures or links.*

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