Church of Azazel > Structure > Against violent crime & vandalism

Church of Azazel

Statement against violent crime and vandalism

Copyright © 2010 by the Church of Azazel. All rights reserved.

  1. General statement against violent crime and vandalism
  2. More about church vandalism
  3. On sacrifice
  4. Against Satanic panics
  5. Warnings

  1. General statement against violent crime and vandalism
  2. The Church of Azazel condemns violent crime and vandalism in the name of any religion or god.

    Alas, there do exist some folks whose idea of "Satanism" involves violent criminal activity and/or church vandalism. Such people are not representative of Satanists in general. Nor are they representative of "Devil worshipers."

    Violent crime serves no valid religious purpose for us. Our Gods do not require human sacrifice or animal sacrifice. Church vandalism, likewise, serves no valid religious purpose for us. There is a place in our religion for rites of blasphemy, as an occasional catharsis, but these are to be conducted without destroying or damaging other people's property.

    We do not want to live in a lawless society, nor do we consider ourselves to be above the law. Not only would a lawless society be a very unpleasant place to live, but the world's more lawless societies -- and the more lawless neighborhoods within our own society -- are also fertile soil for the theocratic/fundamentalist religions that we oppose. Hence a lawless society is against the specific interests of the Church of Azazel, as well as against our general interests as human beings.

  3. More about church vandalism
  4. Burning or otherwise vandalizing a church is unlikely to dissuade anyone from theocratic/fundamentalist beliefs. On the contrary, it gives would-be theocrats an excuse to claim that Christians are "persecuted," thereby giving them something to rally around, thereby strengthening them as groups.

    Norwegian church-burners and their sympathizers have argued that Christians deserve to have their churches destroyed because Christians destroyed the shrines and temples of ancient pagans. But regardless of what anyone may think Christians "deserve," the practical reality is that religions like theocratic/fundamentalist Christianity cannot be suppressed by force -- not even by a powerful hostile government, let alone by some fringe group of church burners. Ancient Roman emperors such as Nero tried it. Twentieth-century Communist governments tried it. It didn't work. Only a much gentler and subtler approach has any chance of working.

    (Furthermore, "Christians" should not all be lumped into one box, all responsible for and "deserving" the same things. Not all Christians are theocratic-minded or otherwise oppressively authoritarian. And the more liberal Christians typically do not believe in a Devil, hence are not among Satan/Azazel's avowed enemies.)

    Many children have suffered severe emotional damage from a theocratic/fundamentalist upbringing. We urge people from such backgrounds to voice their anger in non-criminal ways that might actually have beneficial results, such as (1) counter-evangelism, (2) raising public awareness about the dangers of the theocratic/fundamentalist mindset, or (3) political activism to defend separation of church and state.

  5. On sacrifice
  6. The only kind of "sacrifice" that the Church of Azazel practices and endorses is the sacrifice of (some of) our own time and energy to honor our gods, or to oppose the enemies of our gods when those enemies attack our own and other people's personal and religious freedoms. (And even that kind of "sacrifice" is not to be practiced to a self-destructive degree. To be effective, we must take care of ourselves first.)

    There are some other kinds of "sacrifice" which the Church of Azazel does not specifically practice or endorse, but does not necessarily condemn either. These include: (1) the voluntary use of small quantities of the participants' own blood in rituals, provided that the blood is extracted in a safe manner, and (2) animal sacrifice as practiced by some adherents of the African Diaspora Religions and by some modern Pagan Reconstructionists, provided that the animal is killed in a humane and legal manner, is eaten afterwards, and was cared for in a humane manner before being killed. We agree with the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court decision on animal sacrifice.

    While respecting the religious freedom of those who practice animal sacrifice in a humane and legal manner, we ourselves do not believe that animal sacrifice is necessary or desirable. We do not see our gods as anthropomorphic beings who need to be physically fed by their devotees in the first place. On the other hand, if a person does desire to offer life energy in physical form to one's gods, then, to us, it makes more sense to "sacrifice" a part of one's own essence by offering small quantities of one's own blood, rather than by killing animals.

    We oppose cruelty to animals in the name of any religion or god, and we oppose the murder, torture, or other abuse of humans in the name of any religion or god. We condemn violent crime in general, against any human or animal.

    We believe that humans have a right to self-defense, and to law-abiding forms of vengeance (such as lawsuits). But these are not "sacrifice."

  7. Against Satanic panics
  8. Unfortunately, there do exist some people who have committed crimes in the name of Satan, or with "Satanic" overtones. But such criminals are not representative of Satanists in general.

    Nor are they necessarily Satanists at all. For example, in one case (discussed here), church arsonists left "Satanic graffiti" that included "666" and a point-up pentagram. Evidently, the criminals did not even know enough about Satanism to know that a Satanic pentagram points down. Many youthful "Satan worshipers" seem to have no real interest in Satan other than as a means to freak out the grown-ups.

    And many, many more people have been killed in the name of "God" than in the name of "Satan."

    There have been periodic panics about alleged widespread "Satanic crime," such as the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of the 1980's and early 1990's, in which many probably-innocent people were sent to prison. (See Against Satanic Panics.) Satanic panics are extremely dangerous not only to Satanists but also to adherents of other minority religions (who are often regarded by fundamentalist Christians and Muslims as "Satanic") and to atheists. They are also dangerous to ordinary mainstream Christian folks. Most of the best-publicized accusations in the "Satanic ritual abuse" scare involved ordinary mainstream people.

  9. Warnings
  10. Unfortunately, because there are some sickos out there, law-abiding Satanists need to be cautious when seeking to meet fellow Satanists. (Some specific recommended cautions are discussed here and here.)

    If the Church of Azazel encounters criminal activity in the name of Satan or Satanism, or in the name of any other religion or god, we will report it to the police.

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