Satanist Asks Consent to Start Meeting w/ Satanic Prayer
By Athena Yenko | May 13, 2014 3:42 PM EST
On Monday, Washington Supreme Court ruled that legislative bodies, like city councils, be allowed to start meeting with prayers favouring any religion.
Chaz Stevens, a converted Satanist from being Pabstfestidian, penned a letter to councils at Deerfield Beach asking permission to start a Commission meeting with his Satanic prayer.
"With the recent US Supreme Court ruling allowing "prayer before Commission meetings" and seeking the rights granted to others, I hereby am requesting I be allowed to open a Commission meeting praying for my God, my divine spirit, my Dude in Charge. Be advised, I am a Satanist," wrote Mr Stevens.
He explained that he converted to Satanism because Satan is a cool dude.
"Think of all the people he's in charge of. Do you want to be stuck listening to harp music in the afterlife? Hell no. I want to drink beer and hang with hookers," he said in an interview.
"At Christmas, I was a Pabstfestidian. It's legitimate -- it's based in as much reality as the Catholics. But unlike Catholic priests, we don't rape little boys," he explained about his previous religion.
Shifting to a more serious mood, he explained that as a Satanist he wants an equal footing with the Catholics he described as religion nutjobs.
"I just want equal billing. We allow various religious nutjobs to give a prayer. They pray to Jesus, who is make-believe; God, who is make-believe; why not Satan, who is make-believe? Why discriminate against one make-believe god over another? Satan and I are being circumvented. The City of Deerfield Beach has once again declared war on religion -- and this time it's Satanism."
Satanism is a growing affiliation.
A 2011 census from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that there are 2454 Satanists in the country.
"We live in an era in which there is a religious supermarket and punters pick and choose the religion that corresponds best to their line of thinking. There has been a worldwide increase in new religious or anti-religious communities. The internet has, of course, played an important role in providing the space for the growth of many of these communities. The interesting question for us really is one of why there has been such growth. One reason is popular disenchantment with mainstream religion," Associate Professor Pradip Thomas from the University of Queensland said.
The census revealed other religious affiliations: 16,849 were pagans, 8413 were Wiccan witches,1046 were druids, 1395 pantheists, 2542 Zoroastrians, 2921 follow Jainism, 2161 Scientologists, 1485 into theosophy and 1391 were Rastafarian.
Jennie Dignan, a Wiccan interviewed by The Courier Mail said that other religious affiliation should not be viewed as evil.
"The Sunshine Coast, where I live, is jammed with people who are very spiritual. There is nothing evil about what I do. I know of people who have participated in Satanism and I don't sit in judgment of anyone but I'm not interested in that world. I believe everything is here because it is meant to be."
Dignan, 50-year-old at the time of the interview, said that she felt being a witch since she was a child.
"I've always been a bit weird; even as a child I always had a deja vu feeling I was born this way. I don't believe in one god but in an energy and many different aspects of gods and goddesses. I choose to be called a witch because my basic principle is: Do as you will but bring harm to none. You are responsible for all you do, say and I think and you are responsible for empowering yourself."
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