The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice. As Satanists we all should be guided by our conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity.
As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights.
A History of The Satanic Temple
The truth regarding Satanism has been unfortunately obscured by a history of delirious, paranoid conspiracy theories, blood libel, and imaginative inaccuracies. Just as ancient Pagans demonized early Christians, and Christians in turn demonized Pagans and Jews, so too are Satanists popularly demonized as a result of misunderstandings, intolerance, and fear-mongering opportunism.
While underlying causes of witch-hunts — ancient and modern — are generally recognized to have their sociological origins in factors independent of the actual existence of witches or Satanists, evidence nonetheless suggests the regular appearance of Satanic devotees extending far back into Western civilized history. Historical reports of early Satanism are often colored by fears of an anti-human “other”, however, the literary history of Satan — from Milton to Anatole France — suggests that biblical interpretations of a humanistic, benevolent Satan, driving our highest aspirations and encouraging human compassion have resonated for centuries. Though not professed Satanists themselves, we nonetheless consider Milton and France’s works inspired texts that best capture the Satanic archetype as a symbol of revolt against the tyranny of autocracy as well as the tyranny of archaic dogmas… a literary Satan that holds primacy in the corporeal world from which God is permanently detached.
The Satanic cults of conspiracy theory folklore have no basis in historical fact, nor is there any evidence of a single line of Satanic tradition that has persisted, unbroken, parallel, and in opposition to, the openly practiced religions of our Civilization’s history.
Modern Satanisms, defined in the 20th century, have suffered from stagnation, inactivity, and nonexistent political relevance. The Satanic Temple defines Satanism on its own terms, drawing from the powerful aesthetic and metaphor of tyranny’s ultimate adversary, deriving a composite Rebel Angel from the Literary Lucifer, influenced in part by reconstructed rites and the libertine philosophical
underpinnings of the 18th century Medmenham Monks.
To embrace the name “Satan” is to avow skepticism in the face of all things, even — especially — that which is held sacred. To stand forth as a “Satanist” is to rend from the persecutory, affrighted mob a convenient out-group label, demanding that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations.
Satanism is not mindless abandon and depravity, but a philosophy that drives us to lead fruitful and dignified, epicurean lives. Satan, the symbolic force of design that would urge humanity toward refined pleasures of the Arts and Sciences. Satan, who first brought the fruit of knowledge to Humankind that thereafter we might live not as naked brutes in the wild, but develop our cultural splendor into ever more aesthetically and technologically advanced heights. Ours is the Humanistic Satan who would sacrifice His own Heavenly residence so that Humanity might learn to understand and enjoy the physical world they inhabit.
Satanists are often natural aestheticians who revel in the grandeur of human artistic, architectural achievements while also often drawn to the idiosyncratic and bizarre that are all too typically misunderstood, feared, and discarded.
With compassion, the Satanic Temple accepts all who are just and compassionate.
Though we have far to go before public education leads to a mainstream embrace of our Satanic religion, we feel that our own public “coming out” will go a long way toward raising the consciousness of the populace… and the social environment has never yet been better prepared for the welcoming of a new Satanic era.