I have a new article up at NewEvangelizers.com.
Some may have taken note of the Satanic goings-on in the world at large. In particular there have been a number of news stories about the large Baphomet (an idol of Satan) statue that was unveiled in Detroit. Is this the beginning of a new trend? Is Satanism gaining hold? What should Catholics do?
My response here is not based on strong sociological research. But I am going to share my anecdotal experiences and insights.
A few years ago at my school, there was a small group of students that were passing around some pro-Devil messages. These weren’t dark incantations or anything like that. They were sarcastic lists and memes from the internet as to why Satan was better than God. The messages said things akin to “Satan never flooded the whole world drowning children.” Or “Satan didn’t murder the first born of a whole country.”
Did these students actually believe in the power of Satan over the power of God? No.
I don’t think they had any real faith in the existence of God or the Devil. So why was there such a fixation on Satan?
Because, as the current practitioners of Satanism believe, the Devil is the ultimate rebel. He is a symbol of turning away from authority, because the authority he defied is Authority Itself. Founded by Anton LaVey (who looks exactly like Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon), the Church of Satan is actually not about communing demonic forces. The trappings of devil worship are there to mock the aesthetics of the Christian faith. In other words (and pardon the crude metaphor), much of modern Satanism in pop culture is simply a way to give the middle finger to Christianity.
Take for example the video on the internet a few years ago at the Texas State Capitol. A group of pro-life demonstrators were singing Amazing Grace. Throughout the song, pro-abortion protestors shouted and booed. And one woman in particular shouted loudly as she tried to disrupt: “Hail Satan!”
Does this woman literally worship the Devil? I would guess not. But knowing how devoted her enemies are to Christ, she said something outrageous to to shock and to upset.
I think that this is the case for many who speak this way about Satan. Are there people who actually commune with demonic forces? Of course. But my experience tells me that most of those involved in things like the Baphomet statue in Detroit are doing so mainly to shock and upset Christians. If you’ve seen pictures of the Baphomet statue, it is very much modeled on Christ the King, only the head is replaced with a goat wearing a Satanic seal on his forehead. This is the equivalent of someone taking a photo of one of your loved ones and drawing a “Hitler mustache” on it.
It is a very adolescent mind-set. The need to rebel in teens can be out of proportion and directed against the wrong things. And some people never outgrow this need to “blow your mind” by how “radical” they are. The Church Satan in Detroit plans to have the statue placed alongside the 10 Commandments displayed in Arkansas. Why? To shock and upset us.
So how should we respond?
You can read the entire article here.