Klar: Normalizing evil

The rise of Satanism in America

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

by John Klar

Sam Smith’s Grammy Awards tribute to Satan reflected the acceptability in the current culture of what would be unthinkable even in jest in the past: glorifying the hellish. The normalization of Satanism as a respectable belief system is just one of many signs of these seemingly End Times. In eerie irony, the number of self-identified Satanists increases in direct proportion to the decline of belief in a literal Hell.

Various denominations of Satanism flourish in 2023 America. Some sects claim to worship Lucifer himself, but most espouse secular beliefs and disavow any faith in a literal spiritual person known as Satan. The general popularity of Satanism may be because of growing antipathy toward Christianity, a sort of oppositional radicalism. Yet the vacuum created by a loss of traditional faith is filled through various permutations of secular religiosity or New Age imaginings, including the unlikely cloak of Luciferianism.

John Klar

Smith’s Grammy Awards depiction of a plump, salivating Satan on stage for millions, would traditionally have been viewed as inappropriate for prime-time TV. But America is a nation where the Temple of Satan boasts some 700,000 members, and children have for years been exposed in public schools to “After School Satan” programs to “balance” against Christian “Good News Clubs” and similar sectarian efforts.

The belief in Satan would necessitate a belief in the God of judgment, the God of Christ. However, most modern Satanists eschew belief in the supernatural, and thus meet the devil at the crossroads, believing they can invoke Satan’s name without yielding to any actual spiritual power or control. And so as godlessness rises in America, Satanic “churches” increase.

Polls show a steady decline in the number of Americans who believe in the dark side. In 2001, one poll suggested sixty-eight percent of Americans believed in the devil. By 2007, this number had dropped to sixty-two percent; a recent 2023 poll pegs the number of demon-believing at fifty-six percent. (Optimistically, sixty-nine percent of Americans still believe in angels!).

The fastest-growing religion in America is “none,” according to a 2021 Pew Research Center poll. Satanism was reportedly the fastest-growing sect in 2018, but perhaps this is a distinction without a difference: most Satanist groups embraced the tenets of secular humanism.

One question is unanswered by the polls: If more Americans believe in angels than in the Devil, why don’t more atheists and agnostics choose to name their after-school programs and faux temples after angels instead of Beelzebub? As the nation’s woes deepen, perhaps more people will be repulsed by Satanism and instead seek the Light, rather than the dark, for spiritual guidance. God may well use the evil of Satanism to draw people toward a 21st-century Christian revival. (Romans 8:28).

Because Christians understand the limitless malice of the spiritual adversary, it is unimaginable that anyone would consider deliberately worshipping the Evil One. Fortunately, scripture provides our defensive remedy against such villainy: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…. “(James 4:7-8, NKJV).

The author is a Brookfield best-selling author, lawyer, farmer and pastor. Reprinted from the Small Farm Republic website.

Categories: Faith, Society & Culture

11 replies »

  1. Because it’s not really about belief in satan. It’s about their lack of believe in the Abrahamic God. The satan thing is just them poking fun at what they perceive to be an authoritarian, theocratic society, with which they refuse to conform. It’s punk. It’s hedonism. It’s modernity-induced delirium.

  2. Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Man left to his own devices comes up with some pretty stupid ideas, I can attest to this personally.

    Sadly, because Vermonters are not versed in anything spiritual, or in the foundation of western civilization, nor why our ancestors fled England to live in a wild, untamed, hostile foreign place….we just don’t know.

    And because we don’t read foundational literature of our current political, educational, systems we don’t understand.

    Add to this our state is perhaps the most prevalent for propaganda and censorship, something one would think political leaders who purport to be lovers of freedom would be crying out against….(you can tell a tree by their fruit) we have blissful ignorance, leading to intolerance, cancel culture and hating thy neighbor.

    Whom was the quote,

    Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins— or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer

    Whom do you want to follow, someone who’s goal is to do the following? It’s in the book Rules for Radicals…..

    Deceive, Destroy, Division Do you see this in society today?

    They prey upon people and work on people through envy and jealousy. when they are weak…they don’t help people they create strife, hatred, division, immoral acts, etc. etc.

    Community Organizers attack us when we are:
    H – Hungry
    A – Angry
    L – Lonely
    T – Tired

    Or you can follow somebody with a bit more wisdom and what does one get in return?

    Peace, Love, Kindness, Patience, Joy…’s also why Vermont is not experiencing this.
    This is the plan for God’s people. We only have to change our direction.

  3. This kind of discussion that involves Christianity and Satanism and cultural ramifications and effects, is good to have to inspire introspection in individuals and our society. But it seems to be limited to a dualistic interpretation of people’s spiritual (or lack thereof) beliefs. I think there may be a missing piece in this discussion, which is: people abandoning or never adopting the belief or practice of the Christian (or other) religions doesn’t necessarily mean the move toward Atheism or Satanism. Some of us who don’t subscribe to Christian or other “religions” believe in Christian values and strongly endorse and act with the best of what would be considered Christian behaviors. AND may strongly believe in a different kind of spirituality that has nothing to do with human-created religions and dogma, but comes from more of a naturalistic, heart-based love and appreciation for all Creation, and believing in a God of love and good by any or no name.

    • John Klar: A sober and compelling review of the topic.

      To those who reject an authoritarian view of God, I invite you you to consider the real God revealed in Scripture: a loving God who wants a personal relationship with you. Please contact me if you need help finding that God in Scripture.

    • Dear Notsettledscience,

      Is it really true when a person says they are not religious? If we acknowledge
      the definition of the word “religion,” it means to have a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe and humanity. Therefore, everyone practices some type of a “religion” right?

      • Dear vtbeliever,

        You may be right about the semantics of the words “religious” and “religion”. I was talking specifically about organized religions with specific beliefs and dogma vs a more personal spiritual approach that does not adhere to those prescribed doctrines. I think that generally, when people say they aren’t religious, they are referring to not believing in or adhering to what are considered organized religions…. But people can be “religious” about all kinds of things that they do without fail, and possibly with some kind of rituals, but have nothing to do with any “religions”. All about semantics, right? 😉

  4. Doesn’t really matter if you worship Christ or Satan because they are both about as real as the tooth fairy, but if you are like John and need an invisible sky lord to keep you from being even more of a jerk, I say have at it.

    • Atheistic and nihilistic statements like Chris’s reveal a deep ignorance and sad aversion and rejection of Christian values and purposeful living. True Christians have a personal relationship with Christ and live daily with discernment and righteous daily purpose which humbly honors God and all of his creation. True Christians exalt others above themselves and demonstrate agape love to all, while condemning sin but not the sinner who is fully able to be redeemed and enter as citizens of God’s holy eternal realm and not as citizens of this evil secular world. Seek the truth which is so lovingly expressed in the Bible and gives all a path and spiritual blueprint to reject the real evils satan is leading this world into. Yes, there is a spiritual war being waged in the world and sin abounds. Choose wisely…every life is worth it and God wants everyone of us to reside with Him for eternity…And Chris, this includes you, my brother.

  5. Want to see the face of evil? Cast your eyeballs at the Rep Tlaib from Michigan, during one of her rants on “from the river to the sea”. She bills herself as palestinian with the help of the media, even though palestine does not exist. I refuse to capitalize a country that is not there.
    She is nothing more than an arab woman so full of hate that as my grandfather would say, ” she’s all teeth, tongue and spittle”.
    When “they” come for you you can be sure her hate filled face will lead.