The Supreme Court ruled Monday that legislative bodies can begin their meetings with prayer, and now a Florida man is making a formal request to open meetings with a prayer from his religion. One small point: His religion is Satanism. The case that led to the Supreme Court's decision stems from Greece, N.Y., where ministers often open public meetings with a prayer, the vast majority of which are Christian. So, well, a Satanist prayer would certainly spice things up.
Chaz Stevens, the same man infamous for constructing a Festivus pole out of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans in the rotunda of the Florida State Capitol last Christmas, is making yet another statement about the separation of church and state and religious freedom. Stevens wrote to the City of Deerfield Beach requesting permission to open a meeting with a Satanic prayer.
Dear City of Deerfield Beach;
With the recent US Supreme Court ruling allowing "prayer before Commission meetings" and seeking the rights granted to others, I hereby am requesting I be allowed to open a Commission meeting praying for my God, my divine spirit, my Dude in Charge.
Be advised, I am a Satanist.
Let me know when this is good for you.
Chaz Stevens, Calling in from Ring 6 of Dante's Inferno
When asked about his religion, Stevens, who is notorious in his Florida town for ruffling elected officials' feathers, told New Times Broward-Palm Beach, "At Christmas, I was a Pabstfestidian. It's legitimate — it's based in as much reality as the Catholics. But unlike Catholic priests, we don't rape little boys."
And now it seems he's fully converted to Satanism. "Satan is a cool dude. Think of all the people he's in charge of. Do you want to be stuck listening to harp music in the afterlife? Hell no. I want to drink beer and hang with hookers." Well, at least he doesn't beat around the bush.
Stevens told Bustle that his "jolly Satanic prayer" would be:
Lord of Darkness,
King of Hell,
Ruler of the Earth,
God of this World!
God Who invites us to become as gods!
Muse of our civilization,
Dread Enemy of its tyrant god!
Satan, mighty Liberator,
Bearer of true Light!
God of our flesh,
God of our minds,
God of our innermost Will!
O mighty Lord Satan,
teach us to become strong and wise!
Teach us to vanquish the enemies
of our freedom and well-being!
Who knows? The jolly tone could be just the thing an early-morning council meeting needs. On a more serious note, Stevens addressed that broad and complicated issue that is religious freedom.
I just want equal billing. We allow various religious nutjobs to give a prayer. They pray to Jesus, who is make-believe; God, who is make-believe; why not Satan, who is make-believe? Why discriminate against one make-believe god over another? Satan and I are being circumvented. The City of Deerfield Beach has once again declared war on religion — and this time it's Satanism.
For those not familiar — and we're going to go ahead and assume that's a lot of people — here is a rundown of what Satanism is all about.
Different Schools of Satanism
Theistic Satanism believes that Satan is an actual deity to be worshiped. Unlike LaVeyan Satanism, which is atheistic and believes that Satan is just a symbol of individualism. Under theistic Satanism are several belief systems. Luciferianism is the worship and veneration of Lucifer. Palladists and Our Lady of Endor Coven also fall under theistic Satanism.The other main philosophy is LaVeyan Satanism, which teaches individualism, epicureanism, and "eye for an eye" morality. Unlike theistic Satanists, LeVeyan Satanism is atheistic and its followers believe that Satan is merely a symbol for aspects of man's nature, such as pride, carnality, enlightenment, and undefiled wisdom.
The Satanic Bible
Written by Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible is a comprehensive text on the principles of Satanism. For example, one section, called The Nine Satanic Statements, lists all the things that Satan represents, from "indulgence instead of abstinence" to "vengeance instead of turning the other cheek" and "all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification."Another section, called The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, teaches the following: "do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked," "if a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy," and "do not harm little children." A third section, called The Nine Satanic Sins, lists what are considered sins under Satanism, which are stupidity, pretentiousness, solipsism, self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective, forgetfuln
ess of past orthodoxies, counterproductive pride, and lack of aesthetics.