My friend Jacques Rousseau has done me the favour of writing (and improving) the article I was busy with (I was so writing this before him!), before I began having serious Internet problems.
South African media – and perhaps international – has managed to develop a rhetoric of speaking of Satanism as some bizarre evil thing, which tends to involve broken teenagers, murder and/or suicide. This has come as a result of numerous murders and other crimes, where the accused have muttered something about Satanism. This might be what perpetrators call it but that would be doing a disservice to Satanists, Satanism and, more importantly, reality.
Even though we [in South Africa] are ostensibly guaranteed freedom of religion by our Constitution, a minority religion like Satanism (and to a lesser extent, various Pagan religions) are almost universally a shorthand for evil – largely because what people understand by “Satanism” is exactly what Christians would want it to be. [Read more…]