God or Satan? A question of role models


By Paul Murray 2000

So, I've been thinking about Satanism. Hey - why not? Investigating www.churchofsatan.com.

Turns out Satanism is not about the christian devil, but about celebrating the adversarial ethos. Oh, and there's a lot of Neitzche in it. The christian devil just happens to be the symbol that our current culture understands.

Anyway - I need a job, right? I've been between contracts for over a month. I used to pray to God, and got what seemed like answers. I know now that there is no God, it was just my internal psyche ticking over. Likewise, there is no literal Satan, so I thought "Well, let's try praying to Satan and see what happens".

The first problem is that when you approach God, you start by flattering him - telling him how great he is and how much you admire him. Basically, the Christian God is modelled on a fat little oriental pontentate - a sheik or a sultan. One of those "a thousand pardons, great one, I approach your throne as an unworthy worm to beg a favour of your munificence, your countenance is like the light of a thousand suns, magnificent one" dudes. Embarrassing, insincere, formulaic flattery makes God mellow.

Satan, by contrast, is interested neither in worshipping nor being worshipped. For him, its like "why would I want something stupid like that?"

The next problem is what you expect to get out of prayer.

The main thing I got out of prayer as a Christian was a warm fuzzy feeling that God really did understand my problems, and an assurance that he really did have a plan for my life. Everything is under control. It'll be OK.

Prayer to God made me feel safe and cared for. A dangerous illusion, seeing that there actually is no God.

Satan is a realist, and not interested in people who fool themselves. So the main thing that I prayed to God to get, I would not get from Satan. So if I *did* pray to Satan, what would have happened?

I approach Satan. He is not on a throne, lounging around accepting praise. The infernal one is busy at some sort of workbench with his back to me. Oh - and he's 12 feet tall, is red and black and has leathery wings. Hey - can't escape my culture all *that* easily.

(clears throat)
(looks around, annoyed) What do *YOU* want?
Well, it's about my job
You want me to do something about your job
Um, yeah
What have *you* done about it recently - say, yesterday? Read any papers? Applied for anything? Hustled your contacts?
Well, uh
Fuck off and stop wasting my time. (turns back to what he was doing)

Which is EXACTLY what I want from a non-existent deity (which they all are). Someone who is really not interested in my problems, and tells me he is going to give me no help at all.

So I didn't pray to Satan after all.- It would have been a waste of effort, and embarrassing. I'll get the paper tomorrow, and ring a few people - a much better idea.