Our paths to modern Satanism are varied. Why Satan is our ongoing blog series where we tell about our individual journies in our own voices. We are hoping that these stories provide inspiration and comfort to those taking this path less traveled. If you would like to participate and share your story, you may email your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you prefer, fill out our form.
*Submissions may be slightly edited for length and clarity.
I was raised as a Christian (unique, I know) from two wonderful parents who are still a part of the church I grew up in (they are deacons now I think). Despite many Satanists, I’m actually proud of the way I was raised. Church gave me a weekly routine, and even though I HATED getting up in the morning, I enjoyed the kids in my Sunday school classes. Still friends with some of them even. The church taught me to respect authority and to trust my parents. When I started playing drums I played for the local churches. I was told my position was to “lead” worship. I was a “leader” in the church.
Fast forward a few years…I’ve drifted farther and farther from my childhood beliefs. I’m still playing drums for church though. I am still a “leader”. My musicianship allows me to compartmentalize putting on a show during worship and how I actually feel. I think the people I went to church with deep down knew I had all but lost faith. I felt shunned. My fellow musicians smiled, said hi, engaged in the mandatory small talk for the appropriate amount of time, but none of them tried to be a part of my life.
The final straw, the moment I knew I wasn’t a christian any more happened at a “revival concert” in Sacramento. Thousands of people showed up to sing, dance, hear the word of god, all with the plan of leaving and spreading that feeling they had that weekend. A longtime friend of mine invited me and I jumped at the opportunity to experience god again. I was surrounded by a new set of friendly faces and all of them were so pumped on god. I was stoked. The first day of the revival we go inside and the lights go down, the worship (read: god themed concert, right down to the smoke, lasers, chants, etc) begins and within minutes people are falling to their knees crying. I’m just excited to watch a live drummer.
At the end of the day we had listened to people talk (I wouldn’t be able to tell you what anymore), listened to a bunch of music, and did “the altar call”-I’ll spare you the details of that, I’m long-winded enough. We walked back to our hotel and when I suggested we get a drink or two and go over the day’s events. These people looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead. No alcohol tonight apparently.
The next day went the same way…music, talking, etc. This time though among all the passion, energy, fervor, ya boy was just focusing on not falling asleep. I felt nothing anymore. I was frustrated that everyone had their experiences and not me. I was annoyed that they wanted to keep singing when I wanted to just go back to sleep. I was hungry, tired, miserable, and was already being ostracized. It was then that I realized this wasn’t for me. If this hugely religious ceremony at peak emotions didn’t stir anything in me, then nothing would. Atheism, here I come.
The next few years was me awkwardly avoiding conversations with church friends about what church I went to, or how my faith was. Awkwardly skirting conversations regarding religion with my parents. Awkwardly stumbling over my words talking with acquaintances or coworkers when they discuss religious themes. This all went on until a (christian) friend reposted an article about The Satanic Temple on Facebook. The article discussed TST’s fight for church and state separation, which by now I was all in for. The article did TST the service of mentioning that they don’t sacrifice babies, they don’t believe in ANY god, and they disprove of pseudoscience. Color me interested.
After a few weeks of following TST on social media, asking around on the now-defunct Facebook forum, and doing my own independent research of googling TST, I decided to make the plunge. The act in and of itself wasn’t very exciting. Remember I’m used to hour-long sessions of people getting plunged in water, ritual bread and grape juice sessions, and I even washed someone else’s foot as a sign of humility. None of that for TST. As far as I was concerned, once I clicked “buy” for my certificate and card that was it for me. I was a Satanist.
People have their testimonials of how church has made their life so much better, gods blessings bestowed upon them, they feel renewed and a totally changed person, so I figure I’ll put mine down too. For all intents and purposes, my life is the same. Financially its no different, emotionally I’m not more happy or sad, I’m not a totally different person.
There are some emotions I dropped since my “conversion”. I’m not scared. I’m not scared of appeasing an angry god. I’m not scared of hoping I did enough. I’m not scared of what my fellow church members are saying behind my back. I’m not scared of putting up good enough appearances. I’m not scared of being pulled into the worship pastor’s office to assure him I’m a good enough christian to be getting a new girlfriend. I’m not terrified if my premarital sex would lead to me being Left Behind (christian fear mongering at it’s finest, in both adult and young adult flavors).
I’m not confused any more either. I don’t need to be doing mental karate to justify in supernatural things like god or a man walking on water. I don’t have to question why animals talk thousands of years ago but don’t anymore.
I’m not embarrassed. I’m not a part of a group of people who pick and chose what their beliefs are, and using those beliefs to oppress others. I know now I’m on the right side of issues like homosexuality, transphobia, church/state separation, etc. My beliefs aren’t based on lessons from Sunday school, but instead are evidence-based, objective truths, with the ability to change if new evidence comes out.
I’m confident in my choice to be a Satanist. I’m confident that we can make positive changes without blind fervor in an ancient text. I’m relieved I don’t have to obey an angry, impulsive, and abusive Father who historically lays out the “I hit because I love you” line over and over again. I’m a Satanist and it’s going to take a hell of a lot to get me to renounce it.
Would you like to read more stories about our personal journies to Modern Satanism? There’s more here…