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DiabloViejo
06-11-2012, 11:43 AM
Tea Party Owes More to the Church of Satan Than to Jesus
By Steve Provost
The Provocation
Monday, September 5, 2011

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Ayn Rand (http://www.theprovocation.net/2011/09/ayn-rand-opposed-reagan-preferred-marx.html) is the hero of many in the tea party movement, and ironically so. An avowed atheist, she would have found the fundamentalist Christian strain to the modern tea party repugnant, to say the least. But she's dead now. And once someone is dead, that person can no longer object if somebody else comes along and makes her the unwitting symbol of something very far afield from what she actually believed.

Look at what they did to Jesus, who is used these days to justify everything from extreme pacifism on the one hand to armed invasions on the other.

On fiscal matters, however, the tea party's ideals jibe quite nicely with Rand's philosophy. Her appeal to the tea party crowd lies, to some degree, in the fact that she was an avowed opponent of communism and everything remotely resembling it. Rand was, in fact, the consummate laissez-faire capitalist, and she had very personal reasons for adopting this philosophy. Born in Russia in 1905, she lived through the Russian Revolution and watched as the Bolsheviks confiscated her father's pharmacy and forced her family to flee. She came to the United States at the age of 20 with the intent of becoming a screenwriter and set out for Hollywood. There, she became involved in anti-communist causes and actually testified as a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee - a panel used to conducted a witch hunt in an attempt to "expose" (often falsely) communist sympathizers. Instead of screenwriting, however, Rand became a novelist, turning out her most famous works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

The hero of the latter work is a philosopher and inventive genius named John Galt. He provides a counterpoint to the society depicted in the novel - one that has settled for mediocrity in an attempt to preserve equality for all. Sounds a lot like communism. Galt is anything but mediocre. Like Atlas, he holds the world on his shoulders, but he ultimately "shrugs" by refusing to offer his assistance to the dull and vacuous society beneath him.

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Galt has become a symbol for the tea party crowd, who have taken to carrying signs bearing the opening phrase of Rand's novel - "Who is John Galt?" - at their rallies.

The association is a natural one. Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, delineated in Atlas Shrugged and expanded upon in subsequent works, foreshadowed the modern capitalist's aversion to big government. She once proclaimed that "government 'help' to business is just as disastrous as government persecution" and that "the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off. " Such sentiments are certainly in harmony with the libertarian strain of tea party philosophy. They're also in line with the philosophy of Anton Szandor LaVey, founder and first high priest of the Church of Satan.

LaVey once declared: "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" and that his version of Satanism was "just Ayn Rand's philosophy with ceremony and ritual added."

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And trappings galore. LaVey built a colorful history of his own that was part fact, part creative fiction, and he used it to great effect in building a personal following. To start with, he claimed to have been indoctrinated into certain dark mysteries regarding vampires and werewolves by his grandmother, whom he claimed was a Transylvanian Gypsy grandmother. In reality, however, LaVey's grandmother was Ukrainian, and he had no Gypsy blood in his background.

LaVey claimed to have obtained further occult knowledge during a trip to Germany with his uncle - a trip that in fact never occurred. He also said he worked as lion-tamer and calliope player at the Clyde Beatty Circus after running away from home as a teenager. The circus' records, however, contain no reference to anyone named LaVey ever having worked there in either capacity.

It seems only natural that LaVey, a consummate self-promoter with an outsized ego, should have patterned his philosophy after that of Rand, who once declared herself "the most creative thinker alive." As a novelist, Rand had made herself a master of mixing philosophy with fiction. LaVey just took that process to a whole new level by adding ritual elements, the frosting on the cake, as it were.

Far from seeking to obscure the relationship between Rand's ideas and LaVey's, the modern Church of Satan admits it right up front on its website (http://www.churchofsatan.com/Pages/SatObj.html) : "Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is an acknowledged source for some of the Satanic philosophy as outlined in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey."

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Which leads us to the startling conclusion: The same person who inspired the fiscal principles that are held so dear by the fundamentalist-infused tea party also served as patron saint to the Church of Satan. In light of this, one must wonder: How on earth do so many Christians feel so at home within the tea party's ranks? And if, in fact, they do feel at home there, is it simply because they're ignorant or - perhaps more troubling - because their brand of Christianity actually have more in common with modern Satanism than it does with the spiritual movement purportedly founded by Jesus of Nazareth?

Doubtless they won't find either answer particularly palatable. But at least they can take some comfort in the fact that the Church of Satan doesn't actually worship Satan. Satanism, the group's website states point-blank, is not devil worship. And LaVey himself stated that Satan was only a convenient symbol to signify "our love of the worldly and our rejection of the pallid, ineffectual image of Christ on the cross."

In fact, Satanists hold that deities and demigods are human projections, created "because many of our species cannot accept or control their personal egos." Worshiping a god, the group argues, is tantamount to worshiping that god's creators. And who are the creators of the Satanic philosophy? Anton LaVey and, according to LaVey himself, Rand - the godmother of fiscal conservatism who in fact didn't believe in a god at all. Just like LaVey.

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Everything is beginning to come together here. To illustrate, let's take a look at the "Nine Satanic Statements" from LaVey's Satanic Bible (many of which appear to be based directly on Rand's philosophy) and see how they match up with tea party ideology - and with the teachings of Jesus:

1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

This goes along nicely with Rand's statement that "the purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live." And it certainly squares nicely with the tea party's attitudes toward corporate excess. Don't raise taxes on the richest 1% of Americans, even if they do make nearly 25% of the money. Let them enjoy their excesses! Jesus, by contrast, violently confronted the excesses of his day by overthrowing the tables of the money changers in the temple. When it came to taxation, he didn't oppose it: He urged his followers to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."

2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!

It's all about the bottom line, not about spirituality. "Vital existence" is to be found in the material realm, which rests on the twin pillars of money and power. As Rand put it, "Money is the barometer of a society's virtue." Contrast this to what Jesus was quoted as saying in regards to material wealth: "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Hardly a capitalist sentiment, and one that would get Jesus (and anyone like him) expelled from the tea party movement in a flash. Jesus' kingdom of heaven? There's certainly no place for it in LaVey's movement. And the tea party faithful seem much more intent with establishing a kingdom in his name - but not at all based upon his teachings - here on Planet Earth.

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3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!

Wisdom and deceit are often in the eye of the beholder. But one can surmise, based on the previous statement, that "deceit" and "spiritual pipe dreams" fall into roughly the same category. Ironically, LaVey himself might be considered something of a deceiver. His real name was actually the much more pedestrian-sounding Howard Stanton Levey. (Rand also changed her name: She was born as Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, but try fitting that on a book jacket!) Whether LaVey actually worked for a circus or not, he did have an undeniable stage presence that he parlayed into stints as a nightclub organist and professional psychic. Claims that he had a brief affair with Marilyn Monroe, that he studied criminology at San Francisco City College, that his mother was a gypsy and that he worked as a crime-scene photographer for the San Francisco Police Department have all been refuted (http://satanismcentral.com/aslv.html) . Was Jesus an enlightened mystic or a charlatan and great deceiver? That's open to debate. But if he was the latter, it seems, he and LaVey actually had plenty in common.

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

This particular point echoes Rand's view closely: "If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject." It also sounds an awful lot like the tea party's attitude toward welfare recipients, who are seen as ingrates because they supposedly milk the system, rail at corporate greed and sponge off of people who have made their money "fair and square." Jesus, by contrast, urged his followers to sell everything they owned and give their money to the poor - whether the poor in question were deserving or not.

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5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!

Jesus, of course, did advocate turning the other cheek - this particular statement was actually written in reaction to his teaching. But even though most modern conservatives call themselves Christian, most of them also agree with LaVey (not Jesus) on this particular issues. George W. Bush is a prime example. Some critics have accused him of prosecuting the Iraq War in part to satisfy a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein - who had allegedly plotted to assassinate Bush's father. In justifying the war at one point, Bush said, "After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad." Regardless of what role this played in his decision, there can be no doubt that Bush harnessed America's thirst for vengeance in the aftermath of 9/11. He did so by effectively (and falsely) linking Saddam Hussein with the al-Qaida terrorist network responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Bush's famous "bring 'em on" challenge to his enemies sounds an awful lot like Rand's credo: "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!

Psychic vampires are those who seek to leech off of others, effectively "stealing" what they didn't earn. The obvious parallel here is, as in No. 4, welfare recipients who drain the system of its vitality through their sloth and sense of entitlement. In Rand's philosophy, the right of ownership was paramount: Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property."

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7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

This particular sentiment would certainly strike the religious wing of the tea party as false, yet its "survival of the fittest" mentality fits perfectly into any dogmatic capitalist's view of economic competition. Rand: "Capitalism is our only moral system. All other systems take advantage of man's rights and liberties." None of this is compatible with the philosophy of sharing all things in common (proto-communism?) that was adopted by Jesus' earliest followers.

8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!

As in No. 2, reality is to be found in the physical realm. Physical, mental and emotional gratification are what count. Money may not be able to buy spiritual happiness, but it sure can purchase plenty of hedonistic pleasures on the physical plane. Rand said: "Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves - or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth." Jesus, by contrast, claimed his kingdom was not of this world.

9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

This sums it all up nicely. If one accepts that the tea party is, in fact, operating on principles that have more to do with LaVey's Church of Satan than with Jesus' spiritual teachings, the alliance between social and fiscal reactionaries that is the tea party becomes more than ironic. It's downright comical.

There's one more way that Rand's philosophy fits perfectly with the attitude of the modern tea party. Rand, like the tea partiers, saw compromise as weakness. To her, there was no middle ground: "There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil." Ironically, that's the same black-and-white thinking that drives the supposedly ultra-religious fundamentalist crowd. But should that really surprise us? Satan, it has been said, does his worst by masquerading as an angel of light.

That's exactly what today's fundamentalists are doing.

Soflasnapper
06-11-2012, 01:49 PM
Followers, worshippers of Mammon.

I had no idea about LeVay's inspiration from Ayn Rand! That's quite amazing information.

cushioncrawler
06-11-2012, 06:27 PM
There are lots of silly notions of Satan.
Satan iz God's righthandman. Satan helps (will help) God decide who goze to heaven and who duznt. And then it iz Satan who will help God make hell on earth to punish the duznts.

It would seem that Satan iz something worth praying to, rather than praying to that useless Marykumlately and other useless saints. Hey, howkum they got to go to heaven early, and we all havta wait.
mac.