How is Satanism a Religion?

Since the foundation of the Church of Satan in 1966, most Satanist have tended to think and speak of Satanism as a religion. Assuming that characterization is at all accurate, Satanism must be a passing strange religion, given that it has no generally recognized or agreed upon clergy, liturgy, scripture, deity, or even definition.

For a detailed exploration of the ways in which Satanism might, nevertheless, constitute a religion in at least some sense, despite its apparent—and very Satanic—transgression of certain norms for what we tend to think of as “religion,” see this long series of posts on Satanism as “contra(ry)religion.”