A Wretched Defense of Wretched Writ

Critical outsiders often find themselves criticizing religious groups' scriptures on grounds of both style and substance. When religious groups respond to such criticisms, they often attempt to dodge the heart of the objections by drawing attention to extremities of emotion, evoking pity by spinning tales of founders' and authors' disadvantaged backgrounds, against which the mere … Continue reading A Wretched Defense of Wretched Writ

Wretched Writ: The Dirty Apologetics of Bad Religious Writing

There’s good reason why polite company is expected to exercise studious avoidance of the topics of religion and politics. No other areas of human concern turn so quickly and viciously polemical. Whole books have been devoted to explaining and understanding our extraordinarily ugly groupishness when it comes to these domains. I’ve recently been reading two … Continue reading Wretched Writ: The Dirty Apologetics of Bad Religious Writing

Why I Acquired a Taste for the Acquired Taste of Satanic Aesthetics

There's much about stereotypical Satanic music and art that I just don't jive with—at least I didn't initially. I've made myself get into it, though, because I see an important reason behind the stereotype's existence that has nothing to do with conformity, allegiance to tradition, or just a shallow desire to shock others. This post … Continue reading Why I Acquired a Taste for the Acquired Taste of Satanic Aesthetics

When Art Isn’t Just for Art’s Sake: The Uses of an Ugly Aesthetic in Satanism

Confession Satanists tend to be proud sinners, so they probably shouldn’t have much in the way of confessions to make. For the most part, that’s true of me as well, but I do have one small one to get off my chest. I really don’t care for death metal or extreme metal or black metal … Continue reading When Art Isn’t Just for Art’s Sake: The Uses of an Ugly Aesthetic in Satanism

Tanis, Tannis, and Satan: A Stinky Herb and a Fishy Story

The second-century CE  Christian apologist Justin Martyr quotes the Septuagint Greek version of Isaiah 30:4 in support of his thesis that the Hebrew Bible contains tales of sinful angelic revolt against God. In the version of the verse he quotes, the Egyptian city of Tanis is said to be home to "rulers" who are "wicked … Continue reading Tanis, Tannis, and Satan: A Stinky Herb and a Fishy Story

Tanis, Egypt: Satan’s Citadel or Unholy Translational Error?

Ira Levin’s 1967 novel Rosemary’s Baby and the eponymous 1968 Roman Polanski film based on it both make frequent reference to a mysterious substance called “Tannis Root.” In both book and movie, the substance serves as a convenient plot device and, in film parlance, MacGuffin, simultaneously both marking those who have been compromised in the … Continue reading Tanis, Egypt: Satan’s Citadel or Unholy Translational Error?