Caiden Cowger explained his views on homosexuality, why he thinks it’s immoral, and the injustice of not being able to preach to homosexuals. He capped it off this week by explaining why he believes homosexuals are evil and yet he himself does not hate them, just the sin.
He sounds like a bigot three times his age. Let’s break this down.
It's true. If we don't put Earth first, the Martians win.
August 30, 2011
People still believe the sun revolves around the Earth. And no, these aren’t some loony fringe group in some backwaters compound. This is an actual splinter group of the Catholic Church. They held a conference at the University Of Notre Dame. And if this story is to be believed, it is growing in numbers.
Really? That’s what we’ve come to? The sun revolves around the Earth?
Let me break it down for everyone. If a book written during the Bronze Age says one thing, but centuries of observation and data say something else, if the OBSERVED information contradicts said book, the SCIENCE is still right.
A theory, in scientific terms, is not a “guess.” That is a “hypothesis.” Something cannot be called a theory in science unless it has stood up to decades, often centuries, of scrutiny and testing. The “theory” of gravity doesn’t mean we’re guessing gravity exists. It means we’ve observed that objects tend to gravitate towards each other and larger objects create much more pull. Maybe it means planets and moons love each other and want to be close together, but we have no evidence for that, just evidence for the mechanics that govern the motions of stars and galaxies and everything else.
Stop trying to use “vocabulary” to discredit science.
You know what? I’m pissed. Whenever one of these backbirth groups pops up, they usually take to radio, or television, or the internet in order to broadcast their ignorance. I guarantee you these groups are shooting videos and getting the words out electronically.
You know what made those technologies possible?
If you have no respect for scientific advancement, for the fruits that science has given us, get off the internet and go back to the Pony Express. This is a place made possible by scientific discoveries, everything from the electron to the microprocessor. It is engineers and scientists reaching to make the most of the knowledge they have. Science has cured diseases. Science has extended our lifespans. Science took us to the moon and makes it possible for me to stream Hellraiser while I type this.
Science is the act of observing the world and discovering the rules that govern reality based on those observations. It is impossible to “prove” something, but highly possible to “disprove” it. All it takes is ONE piece of evidence. Something we can all measure equally.
If you want to dispute said observations, fine. Science welcomes your challenge. Scienc change as new observations come in. This is not a weakness in the process, but rather a strength. Religion doesn’t do this. It has to get dragged kicking and screaming to accept change. Old theories don’t just vanish. Relativity didn’t overthrow Galilean physics. It supplemented them, much like quantum mechanics didn’t replace relativity.
The weirdest part, though, was his unveiling of his Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities, a manifesto that just begs a closer look. It’s 1,227 words that, well, tell us so much about this man and the people who think like him. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I’ve taken the liberty of copying it word for word so you don’t have to go to his site and give him more page hits.
As the American Declaration of Independence clearly states, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to band together and collectively declare their rights and responsibilities to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle and bind them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should disclose the causes which impel them to such.
Okay, so like any manifesto, we’re going to outline how we got here. Makes sense. After all, Beck seems to be the only one who sees the vast web of conspiracies in everything from skin cream to schools. Let us continue.
Therefore let us declare that we still hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But with those rights come responsibilities.
Nice historical allusion. Okay, I’m with him so far. We have rights. True. We also have responsibilities. We have to go to jury duty. We have to pay taxes. We have to vote. Nothing crazy so far.
In order to continually experience life, liberty and happiness as promised, nature’s God demands obedience to His law to protect those rights. This is where we have fallen short and therefore, in order not to lose the blessings of freedom, the people of the world must turn from the sole focus on rights, and recognize the inherent and required responsibilities that we have.
But when a long train of abuses of the people and conscience by the media and by other segments of society, pursuing the same path of reducing them to ridicule, scorn and even sub-human status, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to peacefully, but vehemently take a stand.
Men want to be king, and the more we concentrate on our rights and the more we are told not to worry about our responsibilities, the more we lose our rights.
Actually, the more we focus on our rights, the more we see when said rights are abused. As it stands, we really don’t have to do anything to keep our rights. Even Beck himself has admitted that the Civil Rights Movement is over since we in the West have all the rights we want. They cannot be taken from us unless the Amendments themselves get rewritten, so what does Beck mean by “the more we lose our rights?”
He and the Right in America have been constantly called out for the bigoted, anti-science, anti-progress, anti-poor myopic idiots that they are. They want to bolster the rich and crush the poor. They want to make it possible to once again treat people like crap just because you worship one god and they worship another. They want the right to treat employees like servants. They want the right use religion to dictate law.
But moving on…
Just as physics show, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The time has come to declare that at least for the western world human rights are generally accepted and moving in the right direction however a new movement is required a movement of human responsibility.
The media, politicians and large institutions both academic and political have been lying to us, and we must demand the truth be told.
With that demand, comes the responsibility that we tell the truth first, in ourselves. Too many of us delegate our responsibility to the media…and too many believe there is no personal responsibility at all.
Okay, I think I’m nitpicking now, but does ANYONE working for Beck know how to use a fraking coma?!
Political correctness has polluted our language and clouds our every discussion.
What was once accepted as good and right, is now considered bad and evil, and that which was bad and evil is now presented to the world as good and decent.
I could not follow on a boat. I could not follow with a goat. I could not understand you, Glenn. I want to stab you with a pen. You cannot use a comma. Your rants are full of drama.
Doctor Seuss, I ain’t. I hate when people make a blanket statement like this. I’d like to know when evil became decent, for one. I’d like an example. What was the point in which we thought, for example, that murder was acceptable? Theft? Racism? Anything? Anyone?
Opposing thoughts or opinions are referred to as crazy, insane, non-factual and utterly without merit. Furthermore, we are told, they should not even be heard.
Who said this? Who said we should not have ideas out on the field? If he’s talking about creationism (and he has), then he’s right. It should not be taught as a science because it is a religious idea.
Of course, he could also be referring to the fact that his own attacks on progressive policies have constantly been debunked by the simple fact that Beck refuses to use simple things like research.
Now, the time has come to take a stand by exhibiting the traits – honor, courage and vigilance.
What is honor? It is being honest in all of our dealings. It is showing loyalty and fairness, and being a beacon of integrity in all our beliefs and actions. It is showing respect for others.
Ruth honored Naomi when she told her that she would not leave her. That she would go wherever Naomi went, that she would live where Naomi lived and die where Naomi died. Her God would be Naomi’s God.
To be fair, that’s not honor so much as it is loyalty.
Courage is the ability to face danger, criticism or scorn – not without fear, but while overcoming fear to deal with that which comes our way.
When no one else in the Kingdom wanted to face the mighty giant, Goliath, young David was willing. David must have felt fear at the sight of his foe, but overcame it, and courageously vanquished his enemy.
Vigilance is being watchful for all forms of treachery and tyranny, lies and deceit. The person in the watchtower, waiting all night, suddenly sounding the alarm that the enemy is coming. The careful observer of the markets and economies who proclaims to the world, all is not well, there is trouble ahead and the outspoken critic of the powerful, going against societies’ grain, warning that all is not as we’re being told. These are the vigilant.
So the people who call you and others like you out because you’ve poisoned the political discourse are vigilant? They’re not, you know… your enemies?
This is actually kind of funny. Beck is asking people to pay attention to the world around them and tell others what they are doing. At the same time, Beck has asked his own viewers to look at progressive websites and monitor them. But not conservatives, because that would be wrong. The problem is that they don’t call out Beck himself when he almost causes an international incident. They don’t call him out when he is part of an effort to keep health insurance from the hands of 98% of the population. He wasn’t called out when he said things so offensive that he galvanized the Jewish community against him.
So, if his viewers are so vigilant, why do they keep missing all this?
We implore all people to stand with these characteristics – honor, courage and vigilance.
To that end, we must restore honor in our own lives. Seek after the truth. Declare right now, that no longer will we simply accept what is told us by the media or anyone else.
The media has the responsibility to tell the truth, we have the responsibility to learn it.
Stand with courage, even if it means the end of our jobs, the end of our positions in life…or even the end of our very lives.
Here we go…
We are not at some point where we must risk life and death to tell the truth. You want truth? There are actual journalists out there covering news around the world. Anyone with an internet connection can report what is seen and heard around the world. Are there tyrannical regimes and groups that would kill to suppress the truth? Of course.
But Beck is not in danger. Neither are we. We live in a country where we can say what we want.
We must have the courage to be peaceful, while recognizing the courage to defend and respond to threats and/or attacks when necessary.
Turn the other cheek when possible.
I want someone to find me ONE instance of Beck doing this. Please.
We must be vigilant. We must think the unthinkable. The holocaust occurred because no one could imagine it, but evil never sleeps, and neither must we.
No, Beck. The holocaust occurred because Germany was looking for a scapegoat and Jews were, historically, a minority blamed for everything from economic strife to the theft of Christian babies. It occurred because we didn’t have instant media like we do today and could not know what was happening on the other side of the world. It occurred because fundamentalist radicals got power and pushed a Right-wing agenda that focused on war and the delusional belief that their patriotism made them right. They believed they were doing God’s work.
As Edmund Burke said, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We must DO something. Stand watch. Speak up. Become involved.
“Sign up! Buy gold! Follow me! Give me your money!”
4. Because I have the right to pursue happiness, I have the responsibility to show humility and express gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy and the rights I’ve been given.
Exhibit B. Beck goes on, and on, and on about he is an anointed prophet of God.
5. Because I have the right to honest and good government I will seek out honest and just representatives when possible. If I cannot find one then I accept the responsibility to take that place.
Exhibit C. Beck insists politics in this country have divided us… yet he’s never expressed a desire to seek office.
6. Because I have the God given right to liberty, I have the personal responsibility to have the courage to defend others to be secure in their persons, lives and property.
Exhibit D. Beck has attacked groups that help the poor and less fortunate.
7. Because I have the right to equal justice, I will stand for those who are wrongly accused or unjustly blamed.
Exhibit E. This is the same as an earlier link, but Beck smeared Nivea because he thought the company was siding with Palestine against Israel. When confronted with an explanation, he continued to smear them.
8. Because I have the right to knowledge, I will be accountable for myself and my children’s education…to live our lives in such a way that insures the continuation of truth.
9. Because I have the right to pursue my dreams and keep the fruits of my labor, I have the responsibility to feed, protect and shelter my family, the less fortunate, the fatherless, the old and infirm.
Exhibit G. Beck wants to defund FEMA and basically roll back every major social welfare program of the last century.
10. Because I have a right to the truth, I will not bear false witness nor will not stand idly by as others do.
Exhibits H through Z… I just don’t have the time to summarize them all. Beck is a master of the falsehood. Do you want to know how to know when he’s lying? He opens his mouth and words come out.
Unconditionally, while maintaining my responsibility to compassionately yet fiercely stand against those things that decay the natural rights of all men. And for the support of this declaration, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.
Okay, I am officially exhausted. The only reason I talk about him is because, even without Fox, he still has a huge base. He’s losing sponsors and stations, but people still buy his books, go to his rallies, and he’s still a voice on the Right that can move mountains. It’s not about shutting him up. I hope he keeps talking so people have more evidence to show just how much of a manipulative bastard he is. Just reading through his declaration shows everything that’s wrong with conservatism and the Tea Party.
Actually comparing its goals to Beck’s actions?
It shows that his audience either just responds “yes” to everything he says, they can’t read, or they have a twelve-hour memory. Either way, they should go back to playing with crayons and wearing diapers.
He and his audience are so full of shit they must change undies ten times a day.
We also dispute American Idol winners, so obviously those never happened, either.
June 24, 2011
Okay, I know the Miss America pageant is not the best place to look to for intellectual discussion… but it seems the pageant coordinators and the contestants haven’t figured this out. It’s a beauty competition. Yeah, there’s scholarship money and a title and all that, but it boils down to fifty-one women trying their best to look nice and pretty for the gawking judges.
They’re judging you on your yabos, ladies. Just admit it.
That being said, all fifty-one contestants were asked if evolution should be taught in public schools. The results don’t, to be blunt, speak well for these ladies. If you believe these contestants represent your state in any way, be ashamed. Be very ashamed.
Warning! The following is fifteen minutes of the most mangled wordplay and most blatant social cowardice I’ve seen in a while. Especially the one that said evolution was “real sciency.” That being said, it’s funny watching them try to sound smart.
If you ever want to show someone a rundown of every bad argument for teaching creationism, this is it. Right here. All of them.
Let’s start with the obvious argument most of them made. Evolution is a scientific theory. Creationism is a religious belief. One belongs in a theology class. The other in a science class. It’s like claiming you need to teach philosophy and veganism before dissecting a frog.
A lot of these women kept calling evolution a “theory.” A theory, they say, is just someone else’s belief, guess, or opinion. We shouldn’t teach it since not everyone believes in it.
I swear to Bob, I was in DC working for Congress when that birth certificate rumor first came up. I thought it was a joke until we got 100 emails in thirty minutes.
Anyone who ever did a science fair project, even in elementary school, should understand what is wrong with this excuse. A theory, for a real scientist, is a guess based on observations, then the theory is tested, and, if sufficient evidence is found, then the theory eventually gains wide acceptance until evidence to the contrary is brought forth.
You can never “prove” a theory. You can find evidence to support it. You can, however, disprove it. If tomorrow we found a fossil for an animal that had zero relation to any animal on Earth, it would disprove the theory that creatures gradually change over many generations…
Or it would prove the existence of aliens.
In other words, a theory, as used by the scientific community, is not a “guess.” It is a set of assumptions based on observations that has survived repeated scrutiny. At its most basic level, science DESCRIBES. That’s it. The “theory” of evolution describes the fossils and processes witnessed by biology, geology, and pretty much most of science.
You and I come across a lot where the charred remains of a building remain. Surrounding structures are heavily damaged and pieces of rubble are scattered over half the block. The unmistakable smell of gasoline is in the air.
After testing the burnt remains, I determine that the most likely explanation for this site is that someone used a gasoline-based bomb to blow said building up. I can’t be sure of the delivery method or ignition source, but I’ll keep working on the specifics.
You, upon hearing this, proclaim that, since I don’t know every detail and was not witness to the event, there must never have been a building and what we are witnessing is really just the way said structure was built. Someone must have put up partial support structures, then carefully burned them to make it LOOK like an explosion after scattering debris in a predetermined fashion.
This is the logic that people use when they claim evolution is “just a theory.” It speaks volumes about the state of education, and it shows the willful ignorance we accept as tolerance. You’re free to worship and believe whatever you want. Everyone is entitled to his or her informed opinion.
You are not, however, entitled to your own facts. So, ladies of the Miss America pageant, go back to basic science class. If you don’t even understand the basic scientific method, you have no right to be looking for money for college.
It should be a rule.
That, and you are limited to two pounds of make-up on your face.
No links today, but keep reading for more updates on Charcoal Streets, some new features coming up next month, and other goodies. Don’t forget to Like Randomology on Facebook or follow the site through Twitter, too. Happy weekend!
Hey, the End is here, right? Might as well jump on the bandwagon. Millions will be left behind, and if you’re the sort of person that likes to have people listen to him or her, this is your chance to shine.
If you’ve got access to a fortified position, plenty of water, and food, you could easily attract looters of all sorts, but why not beat them to the punch by claiming to hear messages from on high and draw some easily-duped fools to perform your every whim? On this one, I’m a bit screwed since water’s already pretty scarce and I live in an apartment, but the rest of you that may live near lakes and rivers and have plenty of firepower can certainly try it out.
All you have to do is be vague enough to people believe what you say is prophesy. If it comes true, it’s divine inspiration. If it doesn’t, it’s a metaphor. Just make it work. Come up with some words and phrases you can all use to mark yourselves as different form the rest of the world. Don’t take crap from anyone and, if someone steps out of line, just threaten to give them to the cannibalistic hordes outside the compound walls.
This one’s for the ambitious, but for the rest of us…
If you have any survival instincts or even camping experience, you can certainly become a walker in the waste. Pack up whatever essentials you may need and start your trip through what will soon be the Empty States of America. You don’t necessarily have to walk, either. Grab a car or, for that extra apolalicious twist, a motorcycle.
Be classy about it…
Get plenty of weapons, food, and supplies. just think of it as a long camping trip. You only have to think a few months ahead, too. We won’t even make it to 2012 if these guys are right.
Personally, I’m all for going to raid the local Academy sporting goods store, stock up on the essentials, and take that cross-country trip I always wanted. Might as well see the sights before October when God himself takes it all back, right? It won’t be some wild, reclaimed landscape, but I’d like to see the major sites. Of course, this could lead to all sorts of shenanigans and adventures, too.
Yay for post-Apocalyptic hijinks!
Eat It Like It Makes You Immortal
We’re all going to kick it in a few months, right? Raid that grocery store and liquor store! If you’re going to put on a few pounds or develop an alcohol addiction, this is the time. Why not spend the last few months in a haze of booze and sugar highs?
Personally, raiding the local Feldman’s and grabbing the $13,000 booze is going to be my goal once everything goes legs up. If I’m going to watch civilization consume itself in an orgy of violence and decadence, I’m going to need some good tequila.
On that same note, grab every movie and TV show you ever wanted to watch but couldn’t. You’ve got time now. I’m going to sit down and go through every season of the original Star Trek, all of Battlestar Galactica, and every Rifftrax I can get.
You’ll have to pace yourself, though. You don’t want to go through the whole thing in one sitting or you won’t be around for October’s big finale.
Play Like a Boss
Safety features? Rules? Why bother? Play the most violent sport you can find with a reasonable chance of survival. Russian Roulette is right out, but something like this might do:
Why not drag-race down the newly-abandoned superhighways? Bungee jump from the Golden Gate Bridge? Play golf in downtown Manhattan and paintball in the streets of LA? It’s all free game now.
Hey, let’s play polo, but with trucks! Hell, you could run the longest D&D game of all time! I’d be up for that. I’d run a game so long and complex that… hey! I could run the World’s Largest Dungeon! Finally, an excuse to stay awake for a week straight, then two more months!
Come October, everything will end. Do whatever you want in the next few months, but in the end, pick a spot with a good view. Most of your major hotels and office buildings will do. Get something that will let you look out into the world one last time and bask in the glry of creation before God comes down and pushes the Off Switch…
If you’re like me and have people you care about, people you love and love you back, make the most of this time.
It’s very telling whenever someone says the end is coming. If you think your end is near, that you will soon leave this world, your priorities change. You focus on the things that truly matter. Me? I’ll stay with the people I love, read the books I never got to read, and keep writing until I can’t. Then, I’ll throw one big party and watch the world go boom with them at my side.
This week marks the anniversary of Jim Henson’s death. I actually learned English with Sesame Street workbooks and learned to love storytelling by watching the Muppets. Nothing will ever replace him, and I thought the world was going to end when Jim left us so many years ago…
The Meat-Wearing One released a new song, “Judas,” that she sings as Mary Magdalene. The lyrics are found here, and you can hear the song by clicking the video below.
Let me start by saying that I cannot listen to this song more than three times because the music’s just… ear-splittingly horrible.
But let’s look at the lyrics for a second. It’s basically a love song to Judas Iscariot. Okay. Weirder things have been done in the name of art. And who was Judas Iscariot? Why, he was only the man responsible for the greatest betrayal in all of Christian teaching! He kissed our Lord Jesus Christ and sentenced him to death. How DARE she sing a song, as a harlot no less, to the man who killed Jesus?
Well, it’s more complicated than that.
If you believe that Jesus was prophesized to die, that his death was needed to save the world, then I propose that Judas was nothing more than a patsy. Judas was framed. Think about it. If this had to happen, if there was no way to avoid it, then he had no say in the matter and was therefore a victim just like Christ. Anyone would have fit the bill. In that sense, the lyrics touch upon the subject by having Mary Magdalene forgive Judas and apparently love him.
That’s not enough for some people. Cue Right Wing hysteria and outrage:
Oh, the number of things that are wrong with that statement… But first, let me wash off after those last ten pseudo-pervy moments…
Lady Gaga does not have a problem with religion. As was stated in the interview, she’s exploring her own religious background. She’s not going after Muslims, as Donohue suggested, because she’s not deconstructing Islam. It’s the same reason I’m making Charcoal Streets a deconstruction of Hispanic Christian beliefs. That’s my background. I’m not about to use European mythology because, frankly, I’m only about one-eight French.
And someone else already cornered the faerie novel.
Donohue then laments that, while Gaga has talent, she’s part of a pattern of artists that seem to go after religion. Why, oh, why, won’t the artists leave him alone?!
Maybe it’s because, again, WE LIVE IN JESUS LAND. Look, I have my qualms with religion in general. And yes, I guess some of the things I say in Charcoal Streets could be applied to organized belief, but I’m targeting Christianity (and I can’t believe I’m writing this) much like Lady Gaga is looking at religion in her song.
It gets even better when Donohue says that Christians don’t enjoy the protection of Muslims because Muslims will react violently if you mock or criticize their religion. Well, yes and no. While I concede that a lot, if not most, Muslims would be offended by something as supposedly innocent as an image of the Prophet, and I’ve explained why that’s actually a really stupid belief, that’s not the point. Just because members of another religion are willing to behead people for the slightest religious offense does not mean that ALL religions are off-limits.
Furthermore, the belief that artists don’t need to criticize religion really misses the point. It’s movie Imperial Stormtrooper-like accuracy. Of course artists need to go there. Hell, I LIVE there. Artists, as John Lennon said, point a mirror to society. That’s our job. If you don’t like what you see, close your eyes and be happy in the darkness.
You can’t lament that radical Muslims will kill you for criticism, then turn around and say you wish you had that kind of protection. You can’t lament that radical Islam has no tolerance, then complain that someone is looking at your religion through an artistic lens. This sums up the Right Wing’s stance to a T.
“Critique anything you want except my own beliefs and stances.”
Also… “You hang out with Bill Donohue, I’ll buy you a beer, honey, and maybe we can straighten you out.” Did anyone else feel dirty after hearing that? Like, “stepped in gum and had to clean it off with my fingernails” dirty?
Anyway, let’s get some links up in!
Just in time for Easter, check out the latest blog from the Cheezeburger network… Sketchy Bunnies!
And finally, Weird Al is one of my personal heroes. He takes pop culture apart and gives us back comedy gold. It looks like Lady Gaga didn’t like his newest parody and so didn’t give him permission to use it… but she finally said yes! Take a listen to “Perform This Way,” which takes a few swipes the Gaga, but it’s all in good fun. Have a good Easter weekend and I’ll see you Monday.
I rail against Beck… a lot… but it’s usually something to do with politics, religion, or basic common sense. Now, though, he’s infringing on literature. He’s gone against characterization and one of the oldest archetypes in Western writing. He’s gone after Lucifer himself.
You’re in my world now, Becky Boy.
Apparently, it’s not enough for him to twist quotes, reference debunked stories, or just make up stuff to discredit liberals and progressives. Now, it seems, we’re Satanists.
Time for literature class, boys and girls. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, and even the words “demon” and “devil” all have wildly different meanings from what people usually think and all have a sordid history that could only be compared to a bad soap opera.
Not that there are “good” soap operas.
While the Devil has been portrayed as everything from the cunning trickster to the beautiful woman, these images have basis in both mythology and literature. Let’s go down the list.
“If the devil does not exist, and man has therefore created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.”
Literately meaning “Light Bearer,” it was a title used both for Jesus and the planet Venus as it was one of the last stars visible in the morning and heralded the coming dawn, also giving rise to its alternate name “The Morning Star.”
The word itself is never used to refer to the being known as Satan in the New Testament, however.
In Isaiah 14:12, the Bible makes reference to the Babylonian king who oppressed the Israelites, saying, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!” The metaphor to the king is that Venus also appears to try and rise above the other stars in the horizon, but never triumphed. And we all know how uppity Venus can get. Likewise, the Babylonian king would never be more powerful than God.
So… where’s Satan in all this?
The Bible was written over thousands of years by dozens of people. Eventually, you’re going to get some disconnect between the writers and the editors. Early Christian writers saw the reference to the Morning Star and applied the title to a fallen angel based on ancient pagan writings. Early Jewish lore was also filled with the concept of fallen angels, and one story in particular stuck out, one which some claim had an influence in passages in Revelation 12:7-10 where Satan is named as a fallen angel.
Basically, this boils down to the fact that Lucifer is never once mentioned in the Bible. He becomes, as you’ll see later, a literary character that fills a role for storytelling purposes.
In short, Lucifer is to Christianity as Star Wars/ Star Trek crossovers are to science fiction. Got it?
“The shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.”
Heaven has a hierarchy. Or at least, that’s one popular conception based on the Medieval Christian concept of the Angelic Choirs. It makes sense to put one of God’s helpers in such a system.
In the Bible, there are dozens of names for him, everything from the serpent, the deceiver, and the Book of Mark even names him as the one who tempted Christ in the desert. Satan (whose name means “Adversary”) is perhaps most prominent in the Bible in the book of Job where he points out Job, a devout man, to God and basically makes a wager with the Almighty Himself to see just how far a human’s devotion can go. We all know the story. God comes down and strikes down family, cattle, and curses Job with plagues and boils and every disease you’d get from a bad Spring Break.
However, Satan is not a devil in the story, never mind THE Devil. He is an angel, one of the Heavenly Host. He doesn’t even do anything to Job. That’s God’s doing.
Satan didn’t really become prominent until the Middle Ages and the New Testament. By this time, Satan had goat-like features as an attempt to turn pagan religions into something evil. Many depictions during this time are combinations of descriptions of Dionysus, Pan, Selene, and other horned creatures.
Slowly, Satan was merged with the idea of Lucifer, of the fallen angel, until we get some of the archetypal Satan stories: Paradise Lost and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, specifically Inferno.
We also learn through this literature and later writings that Hell has a system of keeping track of its assets: Circles. It’s not just Heaven that has a hierarchy, you know. Hell has to have one too, and all you little sinners and pagans are going to your own reserved Circle for eternal punishment. It’s like a reservation at Motel 6. Except you’re going to boil in urine and blood.
Okay, so it IS like staying at Motel 6.
In Paradise Lost, Satan is cast as a tragic villain, an angel who must pay for eternity for a single act of hubris. It is perhaps one of the most sympathetic depictions of the character in Western literature. While depressed over his expulsion from Heaven, Satan is nonetheless a cunning former angel who can manipulate humanity to sin and force the armies of Heaven to organize against God. He’s kind of like a superpowered Karl Rove.
Dante’s Satan, on the other hand, is almost the opposite. Despite the recent video game’s depiction of the Great Adversary, Dante’s Satan is almost a blubbering monster forever encased in ice and nearly powerless. He’s like a kicked and abused dog… except a dog that’s the size of a skyscraper and must be half-entombed in ice frozen from his own tears to keep him from breaking free.
“I charge thee, fling away ambition: by that sin fell the angels.”
-William Shakespear, Henry VIII
Not much to say here except that the War in Heaven is alluded to in Revelations and apparently takes place at the End Times, not shortly after creation like most people think. Adding Satan and his fallen angels to the story of creation was a bit of a retcon on the part of theologians.
“We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.”
The word “devil” comes form the Greek diabolas, which means “to throw across, slander,” while “demon” comes from the Greek word “daemon,” which means “spirit.” Demons only became the Devil’s helpers and minions in later Christian mythology.
However, “devil” has a complex history. The root for “devil” is the same as the Hindu-Buddhist term deve, which is roughly approximate to “angel.” Like angels, devils had many types. In early Greek mythology, devils were spirits that could be good or bad, but didn’t need to be either one by default. They were like fey. Christianity changed it later. According to one version of the War on Heaven, those angels who refused to fight for God were banished to punish the souls of sinners in Hell, though they remained angels.
In other words, Hell is staffed with angels, not demons. It’s just another department in the great office that is reality.
“One’s religion is whatever he is most interested in.”
-J. M. Barrie
Let’s get a few quick things out of the way. The pentagram and the pentacle are two separate symbols. If the star points up, it is a pagan symbol that stands for many things, among them four elements and the soul or even the wounds Christ suffered on the cross. Point down, it’s usually a representation of Baphomet, a supposed goat deity that is, like Lucifer and Satan, a pastiche of various bits of lore and mythology and is associated with dark magic.
Baphomet has as much to do with the Christian Devil as nuclear weapons have to do with the American Civil War.
On a side-note, dark magic and magic in general are typically associated with Satanism because anything not associated with God is viewed as being of the devil.
Satanists are a lot like Christians. You’ve got the ones that are members and live their lives like normal people, and then you have the people who are REALLY into it. For most people who describe themselves as Satanists, it usually involves the rebellion against God and traditional Christian values.
Then you have LaVeyan Satanism, which is an atheistic Satanism. Created by Anton LeVey, this belief system teaches that Satan is a figure, an aspiration, not a real being. Humans are their own gods and must live accordingly, not suppressing carnal desires, but embracing them. They also hold on to the belief that, if the gods are created by humans, then to worship a god is to worship the human that created it, and this to them is subjugation.
So there you go. A quick primer on Lucifer, Satan, and assorted horned things. It’s actually a LOT more convoluted than this. Satan was renamed Lucifer after a metaphor involving a Babylonian king, then mixed with an Abrahamic legend regarding fallen angels and pagan goat deities… but that just barely scratches the surface. There are dozens of contradicting stories regarding all these creatures and it would take years to untangle them.
Personally, I think the Stones gave the Devil too much credit.
Short version? Glenn, you’re an idiot. And yes, if it will scare you, the devil made me do it.