Church of Satan Sigil of Baphomet


By Magus Peter H. Gilmore

(excerpts from “Mirror, Mirror”)

The idea of “Satanic Monuments” has been kicked-around lately, mostly by those who do not grasp the full implications of Satanism as an individualist philosophy. When formulated by Anton LaVey, he took what had previously served as an insult hurled at dissidents and in framing a rational, coherent philosophy, he gave Satanism a positive meaning so such a term could be borne with the same pride attributed to that fabled Prince of Darkness. His concept for creating a Satanic church was that it would not simply be an organization imitating Christian versions (from their Bingo games and bake sales through to their cathedrals) but rather an idea whose time has come to serve as a tool for life-enhancement for those few carnal individuals with whom it resonated.

LaVey also embraced the secularism of America as an essential component of his philosophy, thus he supported the practice of separation of church and state which has played an important role in this nation. So, when certain religions attempt to impinge on public spaces with symbols of their faiths, Satanists find that abhorrent, not a call to jump into a kiddy pool filled with the muddy water of conflicting beliefs, splashing about in the same childishly desperate bid for attention. We prefer to be the adults who look on, wondering what sort of parents left these brats to their squabbles

But rather than engaging ourselves in traditional means for commemorating our beliefs, the “monuments” to Satanism are instead the vital lives of individual Satanists themselves, as is proper for a perspective that places each Satanist at the center of his own subjective universe. Satanism is a tool for enriching that life, but it is the life itself that is the hallmark of Satanism’s value. 

Being part of a cacophony of special interest groups clamoring for the limited attention spans of a non-specified audience is something we would consider to be a fruitless effort. Instead, in publicly funded forums we support secular mementoes of the legacy of those who struggled to build this nation, not a plethora of conflicting belief systems. Individual Satanists also support the worthy efforts of groups such as the ACLU to combat religious encroachment on public grounds. I suspect other secularists are doing the same.

I am in a position to see how many of our members have employed Satanism to enhance their lives and those of the people for whom they care. Their creative and productive efforts show me that ours is a potent perspective for certain individuals. Our religion is young, but I suspect that if the philosophy can be communicated with clarity for years to come, that ever more wonderful things will be wrought. These will stand as testaments to the value of Satanism in a powerful way, demonstrating well-lived lives, and that is the ultimate goal of every Satanist, and a fitting monument for the legacy of Anton Szandor LaVey.