Once upon a time, I was a Satanist
. There were two reasons for this. First, I was a teenager fresh from the sticks
, and shortly after I discovered the alt.* heirarchy of usenet
, I also discovered alt.satanism, and learned a great deal about the real religion behind the high school titterings brought about by bands like Slayer
and King Diamond
. Second, I had already established myself as an Atheist, having reasoned my way out of the religion I was brought up in.
For those not in the know, real Satanism (as opposed to the fake satanism on display at your friendly neighbourhood heavy metal concert) is quite close to Atheism except that it's organized, and that many Satanists believe in magic. I could go into more detail, but you may as well follow the links provided. However, the fact that Satanists don't believe in Christ, God, the devil, hell, heaven, or any concept of an afterlife whatsoever, does not stop a good many blindly ignorant Christians from visiting alt.satanism in their never-ending Campaign Against The Forces Of Evil (tm). Much hilarity ensues of course.
Being an open minded Atheist, I would occasionally politely ask said boneheads to please leave the poor inhabitants of alt.satanism alone (as if someone needed to stand up and defend the wolves from the sheep). This of course, was folly, but I was ninteen after all, and prone to my own acts of boneheadedness. During one of such "conversations" it came to light that it doesn't matter to many Christians if you don't believe in either side. In their minds, if you don't belong to the side of Goodness and Light, you are by definition the purest of evil beings. In other words, if you're an Atheist, you're not a fence sitter - you attend some kind of devil-worhipping cult that sacrifices thousands of babies a day in a vain effort to curry favour from the devil in the afterlife. It was the moment that this opinion was expressed in my direction that I joined up at the Church of Satan. An act of teenage rebelliousness, and a supreme way of saying:
Fuck you! I'm a Satan worshipper!