religion Things You Never Knew About Satanism  

Will Gish
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List Rules Vote up the most surprising and unexpected factoid about Satanism on this list

Satanism - it conjures images of darkness, violence, esotericism, ritualistic sacrifice, blood-fueled orgies, and generally undesirable anti-social behavior. But what is the religion really about? How do we define Satanism? What do Satanists actually believe? Is Satanism really the same thing as devil worship? Is that kid in a Behemoth shirt actually gonna go home, kill a pig, and drink its blood? Answers to most of these questions, and many more WTF facts - including the Catholic Church's involvement in the creation of Satanism - appear in this brain-tingling list examining the many facets of Satanism.
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Satanism Advocates Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State

Satanism Advocates Freedom of ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Things You Never Knew About Satanism
Photo:  Eliphas Lévi

When Oklahoma put a statue of the 10 Commandments outside its federal courthouse, the Satanic Temple, a religious organization that exists to combat the hegemony of Christianity by promoting other options and taking advantage of religious-based loopholes and freedom of speech laws, commissioned an enormous statue of Satanic figure Baphomet sitting on a throne, flanked by children, to sit alongside the commandments. Alas, the piece was rejected by Oklahoma and resides in Detroit, though the state also took down the 10 Commandments in the wake of the controversy.   

In 2017, the Satanic Temple commissioned a Satanic Veterans Memorial to stand alongside a similarly themed Christian memorial in a so-called "free speech zone" located in a park in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. Eventually, plans for both memorials were scrapped due to the controversy created by the Satanic one. 

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Satanists See Lucifer as a Symbolic Liberator

Satanists See Lucifer as a Sym... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Things You Never Knew About Satanism
Photo:  Gustave Doré

Satanists see Lucifer, the historical Satan, as a hero who rejected God to live beyond the bounds of control. Lucifer is a metaphor for every person who chooses a path of freedom above assimilation or subjugation to a system like capitalism, democracy, or, most extreme, fascism. Satanism holds this belief in tandem with Gnosticism, an ancient religion.

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Satanism Doesn't Advocate Violence

Satanism Doesn't Advocate Viol... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Things You Never Knew About Satanism
Photo: Andrea di BonaiutoPublic Domain

Contrary to popular belief, Satanism doesn't advocate violence. In fact, by and large, regardless of the branch, Satanism teaches individuals to focus on the self and allow others to be as they are. This belief ties into the foundational Satanist notion that Satan rejected God in order to live free from his tyranny (you can see this literally or metaphorically); everyone who isn't infringing upon the freedoms of other should be free to do as she wishes.

There's one exception to the rule–revenge. To quote The Satanic Bible, “When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.”

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There Are Two Major Types of Satanism

There Are Two Major Types of S... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Things You Never Knew About Satanism
Photo: Illustrator UnknownPublic Domain

Satanism is kind of like Buddism – while some Buddhists believe Buddha is a god, others see him as a mortal man with great ideas. The same is true of Satanism. Theistic Satanists believe in Satan as a deity, and worship him. Atheistic Satanists see Satanism as a philosophical school of thought, and try to practice the moral and ethical teachings of that philosophy.