Anton Szandor LaVey never expected to be the founder of a new religion, but he saw a need for something publicly opposing the stagnation of Christianity, and knew that if he didn’t do it, someone else, probably less qualified, would.
LaVey saw there must be a new representative of justice, someone who understood the torments of being human, who shared our own passions and foibles yet was somehow wiser and stronger. He began to realize that most of our progress in science and philosophy had been achieved by those who rebelled against “God” and the Church, or the dictates of conventional society. We needed a representative for that revolutionary, creative, irrepressible spirit within us. The single figure who fit the bill was clear to LaVey from an early point in his life; a deity whose rebellious, passionate nature had been described, either in awe or fear or both, from the dark beginnings of time.
Satan, by one name or another, haunted mankind, tempting him with sweet delights and enlightening him with blinding secrets intended only for gods. He was one who could be petitioned for powers of retribution and who gave deserved rewards. Instead of creating sins to insure guilty compliance, Satan encouraged indulgence. He was the single deity who could really understand us.
by Blanche Barton ©2003
(condensed from The Church of Satan and with supplemental material by Peter H. Gilmore)