Everyday people have misconceptions about many different subjects, ideas and notions. One seemingly universal misconception has to do with Satanism. Many people are confused over what makes a person a Satanist. Most people believe it is primarily about worshipping the devil. Some believe that anyone who believes in a religion different than their own is worshipping Satan, while others think that any religion other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam is Satanism. The truth is that true Satanists are none of these.
Modern Satanism was started by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1966 when he founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco. Satanists have a completely different vision of Satan than Christian do. For instance, they believe that Satan does not live in or rule Hell, he doesn’t have horns, hooves or a tail, and he is not evil. Satanists do not worship him; they use him purely as a symbolic figure. Satanists don’t believe in the existence of any Gods or Devils. In the simplest term, Satanism is the religion of self; it is the belief that the individual and his own needs come before anything else. To prove this point even stronger, the holiest day for a Satanist is his or her own birthday. The main ideas of Satanism are found in the Nine Satanic Statements, written by LaVey in his book The Satanic Bible. Because Satanism is all about the individual, it is not necessary to believe or follow all of the statements, it is a religion where the individual rules and because of this the beliefs vary from one Satanist to the next.
Not many people realize that Satanism is just as legitimate a religion as any other in the world today; the United States Army includes Satanism in its pamphlet, Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Select Groups. High Priest, Peter Gilmore of the Church of Satan states that “Satanism begins with atheism. We begin with the universe and say, “It’s indifferent. There’s no God, there’s no Devil. No one cares!” Gilmore...