'If You're Setting Fire To Churches, You Are Certainly An A**hole, But You're No Satanist'

Norway's Imhotep recently conducted an interview with Reverend David Harris, a member of the Priesthood of Mendes and host of "Satanism Today", about the Church Of Satan and what it’s all about and what it really represents. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Imhotep: It seems many death metal and black metal bands consider themselves Satanists simply because they walk around with upside-down crosses carved into their foreheads or better yet, such as in Scandinavia during the 1990s, there was an influx of black metal bands who wound up burning down local churches. How do you, or the Church Of Satan, feel about these actions?

Harris: "These folks are clearly not practicing Satanism, but are instead practicing devil worship. Most of these 'black metal' musicians that are adorning corpse-paint and setting churches on fire are ACTUALLY Christians that are simply worshiping the representation of evil in that model. These folks are nothing more than kooks that are looking to score points with a devil that doesn't exist. And of course, they are causing destruction of someone else's property, whatever that property may be, which can cause you to be arrested, which certainly does not lead one to an indulgent, productive lifestyle. So make no mistake about it, if you're setting fire to churches, you are certainly an asshole, but you're no Satanist."

Imhotep: It seems during the history of the Church Of Satan that celebrities, maybe even politicians have become involved within the organization throughout the years, such as Sammy Davis Jr., Jayne Mansfield, more recently Marilyn Manson, King Diamond, etc…not naming names, are their more people in the spotlight and entertainment who are members but just secretive about their affiliation?

Harris: "Of course there are. The Church of Satan has members that are involved in careers spanning the workforce, whether it be in politics, entertainment, law enforcement, arts and sciences, computer technology, and the list goes on and on. Many members keep their affiliation a secret because of the obvious stereotypes one would apply to anyone that labels themselves a Satanist. The Church of Satan does not require you to martyr yourself for our cause. We instead encourage our members to adopt a more pragmatic, real-world approach with respect to whom they make their affiliation known."

Read more at Imhotep.

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