Podcasts/Sacred Tension-I Won t Leave the Church Because I m a Satanist
I_Won_t_Leave_the_Church_Because_I_m_a_Satanist SUMMARY KEYWORDS satanism, christianity, satan, non theism, symbol, satanists, baphomet, podcast, satanist, false, christians, reject, representing, religious, fun, christian, steven, objective reality, community, undue SPEAKERS Stephen Bradford Long
Stephen Bradford Long 00:16 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the spiritual discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and you can find the full transcript of this mini episode at Steven Bradford long.com. Despite myself identification of Satanist, I don't leave the church. Many of my dearest friends are devout Christians. I still enter view Christians, I still review Christian books, and I still work at a church, which shall remain nameless so they don't get hate mail about me. Why? First a caveat. I speak only for myself, not other Satanists, or the Satanic Temple. I don't see my Satanism as anti Christian. Rather I see my Satanism as post Christian. It is a derivative of Christianity, but not necessarily opposed to it. I see myself as opposed to unjust and undue authority and there is plenty of that within Christianity and without this allows plenty of room within healthy Christianity for me to explore and have community I understand that this is hard for many Christians to understand why take on the label of satanist if you are not opposed to the metaphorical Christ and all his works The answer is because quite simply not everything is about you. The label of satanist is by and large not for the religious conservatives to get furious over. But it is for us the satanists we have our own communities, our own potlucks, our own picnics, our own podcasts, our own places of ritual with no Christians present. I'm a Satanist because I love the symbolic representation of Satan as the unbowed will and icon of the outsider, not because I love pissing off Christians because I reject false binaries, as I've already been screeching about for months now, religion versus atheism is a needless and painful false binary. I want to encourage all religious communities to be more open to non theism because I think it is how the deeply religious like myself will more readily embrace skepticism. This holds true for Christianity, and I see no reason why I can't be a non theist who occasionally enjoys going to church. I also think my presence there can encourage more openness towards non theism rejecting false binaries is a central practice of my Satanism. One of my favorites satanic images is that of Baphomet originally illustrated by the occultist Eliphas Levi. In this illustration, we see a Western occult representation of the yin and yang, the union and reconciliation of opposites. Within the image. We have masculine and feminine features angelic and demonic and the mudra pointing up and down. This symbol is a reminder to me to reject the false binary of Christendom versus outsider DME, I still cherish much of my Christian heritage even as I reject its horrific abuses. Satanism helps me embrace the full complexity of my Christian experience helping me understand that I need not throw the baby out with the bathwater the snake did, after all, offer Adam and Eve knowledge of good and evil, therefore I must acknowledge good and evil wherever I see it. Satan is also the great trespasser. And in this way, I too am trespassing. I consider it sacred to trespass societal boundaries, while others will no doubt see it as a defilement. In my satanic practice, I choose to remain within Christian community because this is how I embrace my own life as Baphomet, representing within my very being, the reconciliation of opposites. Because it is healthy to flow between different symbolic structures. Religious words and symbols are not absolute. They don't correspond to any objective reality. The symbol of Satan within modern Satanism is a radically different being from the Satan of Christianity. So too, with God, church and any other religious word or symbol rather than get trapped within a single, brittle symbolic framework. I find it healthy and challenging to move fluidly between different constructs. The Satan of Christianity is the representation of all evil and horror The God of Christianity is the ground of being ultimate reality. Satan within modern Satanism is a symbol with no objective reality, who represents the neverending struggle for justice and enlightenment against undue authority, God and this orchestration is not the ground of being but the despotic tyrant, representing unjust authority on earth, the two symbolic structures could not be more different and one is not more true than the other. It is a fun exercise and mental flexibility to move between communities who hold opposing views of the same symbols. Because we need each other Christians need Satanists, and society needs heretics, and more to the point, I need you to point out my blind spots to break down false boundaries, to choose to overcome your and my prejudices, to fight for a better world. Because it's fun. Here is I think, the primary reason i and just about everyone else engages in healthy religious practice. It's fun. I think it's fun to be what I am. It's fun to learn from others, explore religious symbolism and be an ecumenical sloth. And Satanism is the most fun of all. And why is that not in itself sufficient excuse I love my work and want to support it. Please go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long and for $1 A month or $5 a month, you will get a patrons only podcast and we'll ensure the long life of this podcast. And as usual, thanks for listening.