May I obtain a religious exemption as a member of the Church of Satan for refusing a vaccination—or other personal choice issues (clothing, hairstyles, etc.), in my place of employment?
This has become a global political issue, and the Church of Satan is an apolitical organization. We consider public health mandates to be part of the social contract of the governments under which we live. So, if an individual decides that aspects of the social contract under which they are living are not to their tastes or personal beliefs—and Satanists base their beliefs on reason and demonstrable evidence, not faith—it is upon them to become involved in the political system to shape social mandates in ways they find to be personally satisfying.
For example, the Church of Satan does not support religious exemptions from any sort of vaccination, nor do we support religious exemptions from any sort of dress, or hairstyle requirements, from employers who established such things and which people voluntary chose to pursue as means for employment. That would include private businesses as well as joining any military force. It is each individual’s responsibility to note what sort of requirements are in place before making the decision towards becoming part of such means for employment or service.
Religions of faith, like Christian Science, believe that faith is how to solve medical issues, not science and medicine, so they stand against vaccinations, medications, and surgical procedures—and that has lead to the deaths of their adherents who could have otherwise survived. In the United States, and many other nations, health codes have long required vaccinations of children before attending school and of military personnel who might be deployed in areas where diseases are rampant. The Church of Satan does not offer exemptions in either of those situations.
The basic point, while we support an individual having the ability to choose to follow their own self-selected behaviors, that such is mitigated by the rules of the society in which they live. It isn’t “anything goes.” You may not choose to drive down the wrong side of the street, nor disobey parking regulations, nor operate vehicles while intoxicated, nor pursue public nudity in situations wherein you violate standards currently accepted by the community in which you participate and then attempt to use Satanism as an excuse for your rejecting those regulations. Satanism supports you getting involved in your community to evolve reason-based rules for social interaction and rational regulations through the political mechanisms that are available—nothing more or less.
If one is asked to swear an oath in public which requires asking for the help of a god and perhaps putting one’s hand on a bible or other religious book, how would a Satanist handle it?
In situations wherein one is required to take some form of public oath, it is up to each Satanist to decide how open they wish to be about their philosophical perspective. We are rational and thus we do not martyr ourselves, particularly if proclaiming our Satanism might bring hostility, or even worse, our way. Passing for “just one of the crowd” you find yourself in, is always an option.
Since Satanists are atheists, the gods and sacred books of theists have no ethical or moral meaning—they are simply the mythology and historical documents of theistic beliefs. A Satanist might decide to affirm, rather than swear, an oath if that phraseology is available, since saying things like “So help me God” are statements with no impact, with no intrinsic personal meaning demanding a commitment to truth-telling—or anything else. These days, there is growing recognition of the presence of atheists as well as people who are not believers in Christianity, or whatever religion might be locally dominant, so in more enlightened places, affirmation based on one’s personal integrity could be presented and taken with no negative consequences.
But, if no other alternative is offered and religious forms of taking an oath are presented, a Satanist might just view it as a tradition, like a salute, a bow, or a tipping of a hat—thus a Satanist might go along with it. We Satanists are all anthropologists to some degree and can find that not upsetting people who think in such simplistic and erroneous terms of “belief equals goodness and truthfulness” might be worthwhile to smooth the proceedings in which one is involved. Trying to teach them that they are mistaken in such a belief may not be worth one’s efforts. But the choice remains with each Satanist on how to handle such situations.
A Satanist would not request that The Satanic Bible be offered for oath swearing. Even though Magus LaVey’s book is highly regarded as our foundational literature, it doesn’t have that “supernatural, sacred” aspect of being the words of a divine entity, the way theists view their own prime religious writings. Magus LaVey was just a man, though a highly accomplished and insightful one, so swearing on his works would not have the heft of what is generally sought for certifying any sort of binding oath.
I’m a student and would like to start a discussion club in my school about Satanism and want you to sponsor it—how can we make that happen?
Since the Church of Satan only allows those legally of adult age as members, and since we are against all possible forms of proselytizing, we do not sponsor “clubs” in schools.
We encourage intelligent young people who have an interest in Satanism to study our literature, and there is a great deal which can be explored at www.churchofsatan.com in addition to the books we suggest on our site. They may ask questions of us directly should they not understand our principles. We have many responsive spokespersons to handle such queries and a link to a public Facebook page in our “Internet Presence” section of our FAQ pages wherein non-members may ask questions and discuss issues with our members and spokespersons. In general, our written materials are quite straightforward and are without the need for interpretation found in the texts of most religions.
Additionally, we do not support forms of activism which require Satanists to behave like members of other religions who do try to force their ideas on young people. We are strict secularists and individualists, thus we oppose having religion foisted on students via peer pressure or other coercive, intrusive means.
We Are Legion
A Moment In Time
CHURCH OF SATAN!
There are many ways you can support the Church of Satan. Visit our support page to learn how.