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Job's Satan not Devil

From: Raven 
Subject: Job's Satan not Devil
Date:        Thu, 06 Oct 94 16:55:14 CST

|>But this mixture equates "Satan" with "the devil", which is precisely
|>the equation being disputed.  Satan is NOT the devil in the Book of Job.
|Really?  How interesting.  I applaud your argument and hope to see more.

It's nothing I haven't said before, Tyagi.  My "What You Wanted to Know
About Witches" flyer made the same point, and I'll quote my online copy:

    Second, Satan is a figure in Judeo-Christian beliefs -- originally
    not even an opponent of Yahweh, but more like his prosecuting
    attorney (as in the Book of Job).  Those who do worship Satan  ***
    actually accept the later Christian theology, with Satan as
    Yahweh's opponent, but choose to support Satan's side of the
    battle.  We are not Christians or Satanists, and do not accept
    their theology or worldview, so we would no more worship Satan
    than, for instance, Christians would worship the Aztec God
    Quetzalcoatl; he simply has no place in our beliefs.

***  This is referring to those who "worship" Satan, the ones Bonewits
calls "Gothic Witches", the pre-LaVey "Black Mass" style of Satanists,
the "inverted Christians".  What LaVey and successors do is not so much
"worship" Satan as use him for an archetype of attitude, a religious
version of Ayn Rand's "The Virtue of Selfishness", and I would question
whether "Satanist" is even an accurate term for them; the name seems to
have been chosen for shock value more than for factual descriptiveness.
(But then I have been known to question the Wiccan use of "Witch"....)

I also addressed the common religious slanders against pagans:

Q.  Then why do I hear those things about you?

A.  "Devil-worship", baby-killing, cannibalism and all that?  These
    are typical accusations made by one religion against another.
    The Syrians accused the Jews of ritual murders long before Christ;
    then the Romans accused the Christians (who at least claimed to be
    eating someone's body and blood every week); then the Christians
    accused the Jews and Muslims and every other religion; today
    different Christian denominations even accuse each other.  Making
    wild accusations not only sells newspapers, and books, and movies;
    it helps drum up support for the Religion Of Your Choice.  This is
    a cynical use of hate, fear, and ignorance, but as long as it works,
    it will be used. (And there will always be psychotics willing to
    live up to the image -- then claim "the Devil made me do it.")

-- Raven (JSingle@Music.Lib.MATC.Edu).  [All standard disclaimers apply]

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