“Hail Satan!” and Satanist Theology of Sexuality and Procreation

220px-Peter_H_Gilmore_2_by_David_ShankboneThere’s a post I checked out in light of the “Hail Satan!” controversy surrounding the abortion protests in Texas via Satanists square off on abortion (Yes, really) – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs. There’s a fascinating interview with Magus Peter H. Gilmore, High Priest of the Church of Satan, about the controversy, where he elaborates a bit on the view of the “church” and sexuality (and reproductive rights):

Many Satanists practice “rational birth control,” saith Satanism’s high priest, leaving matters of personal morality up to individuals.

“We generally consider the use of abortion to be the purview of the woman whose body is carrying the child,” Gilmore said. “We consider sexual experiences to be an indulgence between consenting adults that should be taken seriously, particularly when the possibility of pregnancy is concerned.”

Note that sexuality is defined as “experiences” of “indulgence.” That is a strictly naturalistic explanation as if human sexuality is the release of base desire – the idea of the “noble savage” who simply acts on desire and instinct. I appreciate that he qualifies it as being between “consenting adults,” however I don’t know what transcendent moral law they would appeal to that would restrict sexuality in such a qualified sense.

The second point to note is how the “possibility of pregnancy” is spoken of almost as a side effect of one’s “experiences” of “indulgence,” almost as an undesired consequence of physical intimacy. Children, take them or leave them, are a consequence and thus “good” Satanists must apply “rational birth control,” so goes the reasoning.

It seems that Satanists aren’t praising abortion, but calling for birth control to prohibit the undesired side effects of one’s “indulgence.” Again, this is an example of uprooting procreation as the natural and good outcome of sexual consummation. There is no positive affirmation of procreation as the natural and wholesome “consequence” of sex. I’m not about to liken Satanism with Christianity on this point, but there is sadly such thinking even in Christian circles today. While it is great that Christians have affirmed the goodness of sex and eros love in and of itself against notions that sexual intimacy exists solely for procreation and that any pleasure derived apart from procreational intent is somehow tainted or dirty, we must be careful not to mirror our Satanist friends in isolating our theology of sexuality as “experiences” of “indulgence.”

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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