Out of the Shadows
It’s always a good thing when there are positive stories in the media about Satanism. One such story was a recent interview done with Church of Satan member, G. Edwin Taylor.
Edwin, a warlock in the Church of Satan for over 20 years, began his journey in Satanism at the age of 17. This was during the end of the era known as the Satanic panic, when people across America believed false news stories about Satanism.
Like many Satanists, Edwin came from a Christian background, but when he was given the Satanic bible by a friend, it opened his eyes and his mind to a whole new world.
Edwin claims to have a philosophical view of Satanism, echoing what many Church of Satan members feel about Satanism in general. He stated that ‘Satanists don’t believe in a god or Satan, there is no heaven there is no hell.. we are our own god’.
Being one’s own god means that you should “play up your strengths”, and work to eliminate your weaknesses, to be the best person that you can be.
For many Satanists the philosophy of Satanism represents pride, individuality and personal liberty. This is a welcome change from Christian beliefs that teach that pride in one’s self is a sin, and that personal enlightenment should be avoided.
Many Satanists just like Edwin believe that you can’t be converted into Satanism, you just realize that it’s something meant for you.
Satanism allows you to be yourself and many people who find Satanism feel that they are Satanists and have no need to be converted. They consider Satanism to be something that you are born into, or something that you are already, and are fortunate enough to find Satanism and fit right in.
This is in opposition to many major religions that require children to be indoctrinated almost from the time of birth, never letting people find their true selves.
For LaVeyans, members of the Church of Satan, the name of Satan has pre-Christian roots, in a symbolic name for ‘opposer’ or accuser. For them, Satan is symbolic and not spiritual.
As an atheist, Edwin admits that there are devil worshiping Satanists but that they believe in a fictional story. During the Satanic Panic, in numerous televised interviews, the Church of Satan distanced itself even further from any connotation that they were spiritual or religious, and insisted that Satan was symbolic and that they were an ‘atheist religion’.
In his interview below, Edwin discusses his role in the church, what the Church of Satan is like, what they believe and don’t believe and who they really are. He also discusses how he handles Satanism with family and friends. This was an honest and insightful interview, and it’s good to see more people becoming aware of what mainstream Satanism is today.
This interview was brought to you by the Chicago Sun Times, and Face to Faith radio show. You can view the supplementary article here. “Fair use” is the right to use portions of copyrighted materials without permission for purposes of education, and commentary. Enjoy this interview with a Satanist!