The Times of Israel released an article today about Malcolm Jarry, co-founder of The Satanic Temple who happens to also be a “self-described secular Jew”, and about how The Satanic Temple recently opened a headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts (surprise, surprise). The article talks a lot about what The Satanic Temple does, and the progressive take on Satanism it pursues, but the main point of the article is how Jarry does not consider his Satanism to be in any conflict with Judaism. He apparently views Buddhism the same way. I’m not going to bother with this article’s understanding of Satanism, just the premise the centering around Jarry and The Satanic Temple.
The idea that Judaism is compatible with Satanism in any way, let alone for the same reasons as Buddhism, should be treated as inherently and patently nonsensical. First of all, Buddhism is an atheistic religion. Even the more esoteric forms of Buddhism, which are based off of Mahayana Buddhism and often involve magical beings, do not believe in a God. Judaism, however, is a monotheistic religion, the starting premise of which involves YHWH – you know, the same tyrannical deity that all Satanists are against and refuse to worship? Judaism is based on worshiping YHWH, and just like in Christianity the individual is part of a hierarchy in which God is above Man and subject to laws and commandments that suit an authoritarian God. Satanism, by contrast, has few hard and fast rules and is focused ultimately on the individual. Not to mention, one of the premises of Satanism is that, ultimately, Man is God.
Second, Jarry as a TST member seems to prize the idea of religious freedom . In Judaism, thou shalt have no other gods before YHWH. Even if Satan isn’t an actual entity in the Jewish faith, you are still revering Satan as a symbol, a symbol in opposition to YHWH no less. And engaging in ceremonies that no doubt would be considered blasphemous to all three of the main Abrahamic religions. And I don’t think the New Testament means anything in traditional Judaism, so the only God you get is the God of the Old Testament, and that God is fucking brutal. He wields totalitarian power over his creation, willing even to commit acts of genocide, and this is justified in Judaism just as it is in Christianity. Satanism rejects the totalitarian power of Jehovah/YHWH, it stresses individual freedom, as I said before. If you think that resisting tyrannical power and worshiping tyrannical power are compatible, you are engaging in obvious double-think. And if you don’t feel the same way about Christianity, a direct off-shoot of Judaism, then you are a hypocrite – plain and simple. You can’t win with this way of thinking.
Third, the article says this:
In addition to Jarry’s belief that Judaism and Satanism can co-exist, there are parallels with how Judaism and Satanism have been branded by their detractors, he said.
“The false accusations that have been thrown at Jews historically are similar to what some people say about Satanism,” said Jarry, mentioning accusations of blood libel and — more recently — fabricated allegations that Israel perpetrates genocide against Palestinian children.“
How the hell is this even a parallel to Satanism? The only parallel here is that they’re both stereotyped, which in itself does nothing more than construct a victim narrative. And while the Jewish community is fine to craft a victim narrative based on identity politics based on a history of persecution, Satanists aren’t. We don’t desire victim status, so we sure as hell will not welcome any victim narratives. Not to mention, . This is the only parallel given in this entire article. If that’s the basis of Jarry’s claim of parallel’s between Satanism and Judaism.
Since he mentioned Buddhism as well, there are barely any parallels between Satanism and Buddhism either! Right down to the starting premise of a lack of individuated self or consciousness and a rejection of desire. His case is weak, and I suspect any Satanist would know this. But of course, we are dealing with The Satanic Temple, and it seems they are one of those types of people that’s all about inclusiveness, apparently. Typical progressives. It says a lot about a high-ranking member of The Satanic Temple that this, this, is what he bases the idea that two diametrically opposed belief systems being totally compatible as opposed to being defined by diametrically opposing philosophies.
Honestly, The Satanic Temple does good things often times (like recently alerting their followers to a fundraiser to pay for a victim of anti-Satanic conspiracy theorists to be given a proper funeral by her son), but this is just another case where it’s hard for me not to blast The Satanic Temple for, well frankly, being bloody ridiculous.