The next time you’re flipping idly through the Satanic Bible, take a look at the nine Satanic Statements which preface it. As the precepts which outline Satanism’s essential belief structure, the Satanic Statements are curiously unimpressive. Whatever one may make of their substance, certainly their formulation utterly lacks the eminence that one has come to expect from one’s commandments.
The Nine Satanic Statements are as follows:
1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
5. Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
6. Satan represents responsibility to the to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual developments”, has become the most vicious animal of all!
8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
9. Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he had kept it in business all these years!
Surely, when all your commandments require exclamation points, that is a clue that they lack sufficient gravity. And note the overly-colloquial phrasing: “spiritual pipe-dreams”, “wasted on ingrates”, “so-called sins”, “kept it in business”. “Psychic vampires” I will pass over without comment.
Compare the motivational-speaker-amateurishness of “Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!” with “I am the Lord thy God – thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Or “Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!” to “Honor thy father and thy mother”, or even ‘Thou shalt not kill”.
The Satanic Bible was written by Anton Szandor LaVey, an un-majestic former carnie, in 1969, and perhaps he would rejoin that the Satanic Statements are not meant to inspire awe, that the Church of Satan (of which he was the High Priest) celebrated the essential nature of man and did not seek to change him through the imposition of fear. Perhaps, but the nature of man is not without its own grandeur, and commandments, whoever’s they are, might try to speak to that.