Anton Szandor LaVey was an American occultist and author best known for founding the Church of Satan in 1966, an organization that still exists today and that boasts a couple of splinter groups, including the Temple of Set and the First Satanic Church. LaVey wrote many books, but The Satanic Bible is generally regarded as the seminal text of LaVeyan Satanism providing both it’s philosophy and rituals. The Church of Satan endorses an atheist and materialistic metaphysics and does not believe in the existence of Satan, doesn’t worship Satan, and does not believe in the existence of magic. Magic is practiced but is believed to be symbolic, or in the words of Peter Gilmore ( the current high priest of the Church of Satan) are seen as “theatrical ritual techniques meant as self-transformative psycho-drama.”[i] In LaVeyan Satanism, Satan represents pride, hedonism, individualism and strength and perhaps also a defiance against Christianity or Abrahamic religions generally. LaVeyan Satanists often say that it is a religion which embraces human nature rather than stifling it, as they believe Christianity does.
The Christian Posture Toward Occultists
I found an article about LaVey’s writing from a Christian point of view by the Institute of Creation Research entitled “Know the Enemy (A critique of Anton LaVey’s books on Satanism)”. This title can perhaps be taken as emblematic of a problem in how some Christians regard LaVeyan Satanists and occultists generally. Christian doctrine is clear that no human being should be regarded by Christians as “the enemy” and that the duty of Christian love and mercy extend to all people.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12-13
While I agree that the ideas of LaVeyan Satanism are false and evil, just like any type of false religion, the Christian’s role is to be a vessel of God’s love and mercy to all nations and peoples, whatever sin they have committed or deception they’ve become entrapped in (including the various types of occultism). “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a maligned phrase, sometimes even among Christians, but it remains an excellent heuristic for what the Christian attitude should be to every type of non- Christian and certainly to fellow Christians. It is an excellent heuristic, because it encapsulates the attitude that God displayed to all humanity on the cross, an attitude that recognized and fully reckoned with all our sins, but did not irrevocably identify those sins with us. This then must be our general attitude toward others, leaving judgment in God’s hands and being vessels of God’s mercy.
LaVeyan Satanists and other occultists , then are not “the enemy”, and Christians shouldn’t conceptualize them as such. The legacy of an attitude that ignores Ephesians 6:12 generates events like the “Satanic panic” and the slander and scandalmongering that it engendered. It is important always to give the benefit of the doubt and not to assume the worst about others’ motivations and actions, as this is a natural implication of Christian charity. (As a quick aside I wanted to add a note about what it means to “give the benefit of the doubt”, as I’ve written about this often before. It does not mean automatically trusting everyone you meet. It doesn’t mean refusing to listen to gut feelings, or things that make you uncomfortable or suspicious about a person or situation and taking steps to protect yourself in response, by avoiding that person or situation. It does mean not accusing people of wrongs, nor thinking people guilty of wrongs, just based on gut feelings and suspicions. This is called slander and it is a sin. An abundance of caution is compatible with this form of charity). The Christian duty is “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (Titus 3:2 NIV). It could be that an ideological vestige of politically hegemonic medieval Christianity is the idea that occultists and those associated with them are somehow exempted from the duty of Christian love and charity. And it seems that LaVeyan Satanists, as with other types of non- Christians, have been victim to such an attitude. This is a wrong that should be acknowledged. But this idea is far from biblical. There are no distinctions in the New Testament as to the non-Christians that we should show love to and those that are beyond the pale and have somehow strayed beyond the scope of God’s grace, as though such a thing were possible. There are no religious groups that have automatically committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit by merely being a part of those groups ( and even if this were so, it would not nullify our duty of love toward them). So, as always, the Christian’s duty of mercy and charity extends to all people, whether they have rejected the gospel or not, whether they are involved in the occult or not, and whether they throw this good work back in our faces. Levayan Satanists, witches, Wiccans, astrologers etc. are our neighbours. Let’s love our neighbours as ourselves.
In the preface to The Satanic Bible , LaVey says:
Herein you will find truth – and fantasy. Each is necessary for the other to exist; but each must be recognized for what it is.[ii]
As mentioned before, Laveyan Satanism relies heavily on symbolism and theatricality, but LaVey does not specify throughout the book what exactly he regards as fantasy and what reality. Often, he writes as though Satan and magic are real. But this leaves us with a little bit of a conundrum. It is difficult to tell what parts are supposed to be taken literally and what parts LaVey himself and modern Satanists take literally. However, in the critique that follows, I will assume that at least the moral philosophy found in its pages is to be taken literally. In addition, LaVeyan Satanists don’t necessarily agree with everything LaVey wrote, but I am focusing here on his ideas. LaVeyan Satanism is also summarized by the “Nine Satanic Statements” which is found at the beginning of The Satanic Bible as well as on the Church of Satan’s website here.
Might is Right
“In this arid wilderness of steel and stone I raise up the voice that you may hear. To the East and to the West I beckon. To the North and to the South I show a sign proclaiming: Death to the weakling, wealth to the strong!”[iii]
The idea of strength being good in itself and the weak being contemptible is an idea repeated a couple of times throughout the first part of The Satanic Bible (which LaVey calls “The Book of Satan”). It also includes some inversions of the Beatitudes.[iv] The doctrine of might being right and contempt for the weak ultimately repudiates the notion of human rights, which is the basis of humane political systems, but it would have been nothing scandalous to a pre-Christian world. The Roman Empire and many other pre-Christian pagan cultures would have found nothing strange in the glorification of the strong merely because they are strong and contempt for the weak because they are weak. If strength is a good for its own sake then there is nothing really problematic about bigotry, intolerance, and conquest for its own sake, because that is simply a triumph of the strong over those who are weaker, which, it seems, is how LaVey believes the universe should be. On its Frequently Asked Questions section of the website, the Church of Satan accuses some Christians of displaying bigotry and intolerance. They are quite right that it is wrong for Christians to send them hate mail, but this is wrong from a Christian standpoint. It is not clear to me that it would be wrong from the standpoint of LaVey’s philosophy. LaVey repudiates the notion that we should “love one another” and that we should love our enemies.[v] The glorification of the strong and contempt for the weak also undermines the enormously important work of charity. This includes helping those who, for whatever reason, by their own fault or not, have become poor. This includes helping people with mental and physical disabilities, who are weak and need care. The concern for the weak in Christianity is also arguably why it played an important role in the development and proliferation of hospitals. If the weak are contemptible, why help them? Why do anything at all for them? Is it not better to leave them to die out? Strength can be defined in all sorts of ways: physical, intellectual, or psychological. Yet, if someone is weak in one or more of these areas, it does not mean they deserve contempt. After all, this weakness is not their fault, but something they were born with. This means that one does not earn either strength or weakness and therefore cannot be morally praised or blamed for having these attributes ( but only for how one uses them). Clearly, though, it is not right to be weak when you can be strong, to be self-pitying and lazy, which one can be appropriately blamed for.
One of the Nine Satanic Statements declares man as being an animal “sometimes better, more often worse than those who walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!” Like naturalistic atheism more generally, by saying human beings are animals, it takes away any rationale for treating human beings better than animals. Treating humans better would then just be an irrational and unjust preference for your own species, while treating other species like pets and food. However, this statement goes further than naturalistic atheism, in saying humanity is even worse than less intelligent animals. This undermines the metaphysical foundation for human rights. The metaphysical foundation for the equal and inherent value of human beings independent of capacity or even morality is a creator God who loves each human being and/or made them in his image.
Blessed are the Merciless
Three of the Nine Satanic Statements read as follows:
“Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!”
“Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!”
“Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!”
A repudiation of the Christian virtue of mercy also has implications for the notion of universal human value. If we should not have goodwill to all people, regardless of their actions, what is the basis for there being universal human rights? If there is no moral goodwill owed to “ingrates” and “psychic vampires”, can these people claim anything from society and are they owed anything by society? The idea that criminals or others who have fallen out of society’s good graces have the same inherent value as all other human beings and are owed certain basic gestures of goodwill is a hard-won truth. The idea that criminals have the same inherent value as human beings is the basis for having humane prisons and punishments. It is quite natural to deny this to criminals, but any society would be very badly served by saying that there should only be goodwill for those who deserve it. Who gets to decide, after all, who is deserving and who is not? How can this judgment be made competently? Part of the reason we should defend the importance of goodwill to all people is that we often see a very small part of the picture. We only see a small snapshot of their actions and not everything that would be relevant in a judgment about their moral character. Of course, some people clearly commit severe wrongs or are persistently immoral in certain ways, but there are many other cases where it isn’t all that clear-cut. The Christian virtue of mercy is an important basis for universal human value ( and therefore universal human rights) because we are very inclined as humans to decide that others are inferior based on certain characteristics and especially based on moral behaviour. The latter seems just to us. If someone commits severe wrongs, why should we not regard them as inferior and deny any need to have concern for them, even if people treat them terribly? Three of the Nine Satanic Statements repudiates the Christian idea of mercy, two of them already looked at (“responsibility to the responsible” and “kindness to those who deserve it”). “Kindness to those who deserve it” also rules out the importance of charity to the “undeserving poor”. LaVey’s philosophy can perhaps still be compatible with helping the “deserving poor”, although if its contempt for the weak and its repudiation of universal goodwill is taken to their logical conclusions, it arguably rules out any form of charity, only altruism toward those whom you choose to have relationships with and others whom it is in your interest to do good to. LaVey’s notion of “psychic vampires” which he writes about later on in the book has some wisdom. He explains these to be people who take advantage of love and generosity or altruism. Paul also sets regulations for people who were idle and took advantage of the church’s generosity and even says: “If anyone is not willing to work, he shall not eat ”(2 Thessalonians 3:10). However, this statement should also be seen within the larger context of Christian moral teaching.
The final one is “Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!” This also rules out the Christian virtue of mercy, but in a different respect. The other two deals with mercy to people who are judged to be immoral or unworthy. This statement deals with those who have wronged you personally. Elsewhere, he says:
Give blow for blow, scorn for scorn, doom for doom, with compound interest liberally added thereunto! Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, aye four-fold, a hundred-fold! Make yourself a Terror to your adversary, and when he goeth his way, he will possess much additional wisdom to ruminate over.[vi]
This seems to affirm not merely vengeance but no proportion in vengeance and reminded me of a passage from Genesis 4:23:
Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
However, elsewhere LaVey does seem to affirm some proportion in vengeance. He says that Satanists should practice a “modified version” of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they do unto you.”[vii]If we make it generally acceptable to commit vengeance, even barring criminal and violent behaviour in its enactment, this will undoubtedly lead to a very counterproductive and unpleasant society. If people are too busy settling scores, they will waste time that could be spent on more productive pursuits and on doing good to those who do love them (which LaVey agrees with). Thus, affirming vengeance will definitely work against any civilization that wants to progress. Any fraternity or organization where most people affirm the right of vengeance will be precarious and unstable. We must also consider the fact that many people are just not good judges of whether they’ve been wronged. People easily take offense even when they haven’t been wronged, or they overreact to small wrongs, which is why the Bible is suspicious of human anger. For human relationships to exist in any durable fashion, some form of forgiveness must exist. Vengeance and, in particular, LaVey’s modified Golden Rule is irrational in an additional way. Let us say that we have two people who both follow LaVey’s modified Golden Rule and recommendation of vengeance as good. As soon as one of them commits a wrong, then the other will respond in kind. When the person responds in kind, the original wrongdoer may regard that as a wrong or as an illegitimate vengeance ( which is very likely) and respond in kind. If both individuals continue to follow LaVey’s philosophy, this will continue ad infinitum and the severity of their vengeance will only escalate, because they will both grow increasingly angry and frustrated at the continuation of the feud. And the only way they have learned to stop a feud is through vengeance. “If a man smite thee on the cheek, smash him on the other!”[viii] It is a good thing to think about what would happen if most people in society adopted views like these.
Christianity regards unforgiveness very seriously. In fact, Jesus calls unforgiveness an unforgivable sin, along with the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This teaching is most vividly illustrated in the parable of the unmerciful servant:
Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Forgiveness is an important principle, and we can discuss “hard cases” such as self-defense and exactly how to apply it in all the difficult situations we find ourselves in. It is important not to abandon the principle just because you disagree with the way it is sometimes applied. It is interesting that later on LaVey does affirm some form of mercy, but to oneself. “When a Satanist commits a wrong, he realizes that it is natural to make a mistake—and if he is truly sorry about what he has done, he will learn from it and take care not to do the same thing again.”[ix] This is inconsistent. If mercy is no longer valid, and vengeance is right, then a right thing to do would be to submit yourself to the vengeance of the one whom your mistake disadvantaged, or to submit yourself to some other form of punishment. After all, it wouldn’t be just to apply standards to others that you don’t apply to yourself.
Pride is not having any type of concern for yourself and your appearance ( as LaVey seems to think[x] ). In fact, LaVey defines the seven deadly sins far too broadly, in ways I’ve never heard them defined, making it basically impossible not to disobey them.[xi] Pride is having a self-love which is allowed to trump your love for others and your adherence to God’s commands, in the same way that greed is not desire in itself (as LaVey says), but a desire that takes priority over the interests of others and the commands of God. The prideful person also fails to recognize his contingency on his Creator and to recognize with thanksgiving God’s providence in giving him all the good things he has in his life. The remedy for pride is not self-hatred and self-debasement or an indifference to one’s own interests, but full submission to the will of God and to be more loving toward others. An issue that constantly crops up in The Satanic Bible is that Christianity is all about self-denial and the subjugation of all self-interest. It is true that the Christian ideal is selflessness, but there is no self-denial for its own sake, but for the sake of God and others.
Jesus calls the two greatest commandments to love God and others:
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:35
Similarly, Paul summarizes the Christian life as “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) and affirms in 1 Corinthians 13:13 the primacy of love or goodwill, over other spiritual pursuits. The Christian position is that faith is necessary, but faith without works is dead. When self-denial happens, it is for the sake of love, not for its own sake. What about Matthew 16:24? “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” But here self-denial is not for its own sake but for the sake of following Jesus. A person who wants to be Jesus’s disciple must be ready to subdue any of their preferences with regard to any area of their life to Jesus’s lordship. Then again, anybody who wants to achieve anything worthwhile at all must deny themselves to some degree.
A common misconception in Christianity, even among Christians, is the idea that “self-love” is automatically immoral. It depends on what exactly you mean by that phrase, but a certain level of self-interest is perfectly compatible with Christianity. Jesus says “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:35), which implies that you will have some love for yourself. It is only when your own self-interest is allowed to trump the interests of others or the commands of God that it becomes culpable selfishness. Self-hatred and self-denial for its own sake is a distortion of Christian ethics. There is a difference, then, between self-interest and selfishness.
What about Luke 14:26 : “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” “Hate” is idiomatic here for “love less”. The Old Testament often uses the “hate” in this way, such as Genesis 29:31 which purports that Leah was “hated”, even though she was simply not Jacob’s favourite (Rachel was). She wasn’t “hated” in our sense. Jesus’s saying here makes most sense when we suppose that he is using the word in that way as well, especially in light of his other sayings about love.
The Christian position is not that we belittle ourselves, but realize ourselves fully in the love of God and submission to his will. True, we must recognize that we are sinners and deserving of eternal condemnation. However, a Christianity that involves self-hatred and constantly muttering “ I’m a sinner” to oneself all day long in a type of psychological self-flagellation, is a perverted Christianity. Recognizing that one is a sinner is only a part of it. We must move beyond that recognition to the knowledge that we are, through Jesus, adopted as sons and daughters of God or as Paul says:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”Romans 8:15
A similar principle is seen in Hebrews 4:16:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
LaVey believes it is unreasonable and impossible to have love for everyone.[xii] This may be because he seems to define “love” as emotional affection. He says “Love is one of the most intense emotions felt by man.”[xiii] Love is not ( primarily) an emotion. Love is primarily a matter of the will, and in particular, the willing of good things to the object of the love. Sometimes emotional affection is present as well, such as in romantic love and familial relationships and friendships, and even in some charitable love, but the will is a crucial and indispensable element of love and no love can survive for long without the will. So love is goodwill. It is perfectly possible to will good to everyone, but this will only be manifested to the extent that people come across your path in some way. Having goodwill toward everyone is just a matter of adopting a certain attitude, and believing that one has a duty of goodwill toward all, and then fulfilling that duty toward those who come across your path.
Indulgence and Gratification
A constant theme in The Satanic Bible is the idea that Satanism embraces human nature and desire without suppressing it and encourages the indulgence of desire rather than its suppression. What is not really clarified is what limits or constraints should be placed on indulgence. We are all aware that human beings often have desires and impulses which would be at least harmful to self and others to indulge. The doctrine of Original Sin in Christianity is one that certainly has empirical support. If history and anthropology shows us anything, it is that human beings are not inherently good. So, any policy of general indulgence of human nature is very unreasonable. As I’ve written before, we human beings require the threat of violence by someone stronger than us (government) constantly hanging over our heads just to live in some harmony.
Reading LaVey’s description of Christianity, one would think that it has some general policy of suppressing all or most desires we have. This is a misrepresentation. Christianity regulates our physical desires. We are not to eat too much, drink too much, and have sex outside of marriage. Within these parameters we can enjoy these desires. There are good ( secular) arguments that can be made for each of these positions. Eating too much and drinking too much are both unhealthy and drinking too much often involves one in further immorality, imprudence and behaviour that is harmful to self and others. Research has shown that people who marry as virgins are the least likely to divorce. Sexual promiscuity has been shown to be correlated with higher rates of anxiety and depression.
The acceptance of premarital sex and casual sex during the sexual revolution in the 1960s has arguably led to higher rates of teen pregnancies, single-parent families, abortions, and all the misery that these things engender. And given that children from single-parent families have a strong disadvantage, the consequences of these values will be felt for more than one generation. In addition, having sex with people you don’t trust and with whom you’ve not made a public declaration of that trust is more likely to lead to trouble. If you don’t trust and love (i.e. are committed to) someone and you engage in this very intimate activity, it is more likely that you will walk away feeling bad about it, or even that you will feel violated. Since you don’t really know each other, you are more likely to misinterpret each others’ actions. So there is much by way of secular reason that recommends the Christian position on these things. However, it is also true that Christian theologians sometimes go beyond the Bible and are overly strict with regard to sexual matters ( as with other things), but this does not mean that the basic principle is not correct. Paul rebukes an overly strict approach to Christianity:
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
The “flesh” is a word often used in the New Testament and it is used negatively, but the above passage shows that it is not quite what one would expect if Paul was referring merely to bodily desires. If ascetism has no power to stop the indulgence of the flesh, what does? It is important to address this because LaVey also uses the word to denote the Satanist’s indulgence. The “flesh” in Paul’s writing seems to me to be human existence apart from God. The flesh is the human body and its desires corrupted by sin, i.e. not desire as such, but desire that is not submitted to God and in accordance with God’s will. Paul was not a Gnostic who believed that all matter is evil and that total abstinence is required in order for there to be liberation or enlightenment, because as we saw, he repudiated ascetism, and permitted the expression of sexual desire within marriage ( such as in 1 Corinthians 7). If the “flesh” was all biological desire, then Paul would not have permitted this. This is the state of a human being without God, who is completely dominated by desire. But when life is dominated by desires, it is no longer desire, but covetousness. It is just an endless cycle of desire and the scrambling to fulfill it, thinking of nothing else, concerned with nothing else, and unable to break free, unable even to see beyond it, unable even to realize his own imprisonment, because he believes his imprisonment to be freedom.
More generally, it is untrue that Christianity has no regard for pleasure. But we first place our trust in God so that we can enjoy things in the correct way. Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17:
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Many other scriptures are concerned with the alleviation of suffering and of reward for obedience and faith. The New Testament also often places emphasis on joy and peace.
I think LaVeyan Satanists are more constrained by the vestiges of Christian morality in Western culture than they would like to admit. But the following is a question worth asking. What would happen if LaVey’s philosophy or something like it were universally adopted by everyone? Would the values of ethical egoism, hedonism and vengeance, and mercilessness create a well- functioning society? Would it be fun to live in such a society? I think it is clear that it probably would not be. A LaVeyan Satanist might respond: “We’re not a proselytizing religion. We don’t mind remaining a small, exclusive outfit.” Nevertheless, values are either right or they are not, they are either true or they are false. If LaVey’s philosophy is correct or mostly correct, then it is right for everyone to hold those beliefs and no one should believe anything else. That is what it means to say that something is objectively true. This means that you shouldn’t have moral beliefs that you don’t think everybody should hold. If you don’t think everybody should hold to them, it indicates that you don’t really believe them to be true. And if you don’t really believe them to be true, why support them at all or adhere to them in any form?
As LaVey himself contends:
If you do not believe in what your religion teaches, why continue to support a belief which is contradictory with your feelings.”[xiv]
LaVey is quite right. Man in a state of nature does glorify the strong and condemn the week. He is vengeful and unforgiving. And yes, he does not care about any proportion to his vengeance, any measure of justice. He just cares about satisfying the feeling that he’s been wronged and will continue with his vengeance until that feeling is sated ( if that satiation ever happens at all). He lives for his own gratification. And LaVey like Nietzsche condemns Christianity as weak and servile. In response and in conclusion I want to quote 1 Corinthians 22-29:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
[i] Peter Gilmore, Introduction to The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey, (New York: Harper Collins, 2005) p. 9
[ii] Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible, (New York: Harper Collins, 1969) p. 21
[iii] Ibid., 30
[iv] Ibid., 34
[v] Ibid., 32
[vi] Ibid., 33
[vii] Ibid., 51
[viii] Ibid., 47
[ix] Ibid., 41
[x] Ibid., 46
[xi] Ibid., 46
[xii] Ibid., 64
[xiii] Ibid., 64
[xiv] Ibid., 48