Satanism! The term evokes much controversy from American society. As a much abused and misrepresented moniker, everyone from Tipper Gore to Geraldo wants to ride the bandwagon. To help set some propaganda to rest, let me start with a few points of undeniable fact:
1. The Church of Satan, a legally recognized organization, is strongly opposed to rape, child molestation and murder, animal sacrifice and suicide. If a group of sad, drugged out teenagers in Pigsknuckle Arkansas decide to behead their friend and a neighborhood cat with a Motley Crue album as a backdrop, they are not practicing true Satanism and are advised to choose another label...perhaps dysfunctional or psychopathic would be more fitting. Those who live out the Christian definition of Satan (PMRC included) only make it harder for metal fans and those of a non-Christian religion, including Satanism.
2. If it's corruption and bloodshed Mrs. Gore wants to only spew off about, let's take a trip through history. Her religious ancestors have blatantly tortured, murdered and disgraced billions of individuals for controversial (and for the most part, rational) beliefs and expressions. The holy crusades, the thoughtless wrath of the Christian god (if you believe in such) and the Salem witch trials, just to name a few. These historical references are being reinitiated under your noses even in modern times (Cotton Mather would have been orgasmic over an idea like the PMRC). There's more bloodshed in her doctrine's manuscripts than of all the wars of the 20th century combined.
3. Christianity, in one grouping or another, has been directly or indirectly responsible for the censoring, banning, rewriting and elimination of select musical scores for hundreds of years...even before the inception of lyrics. If such masters of classical music as Bach and Mozart were to be resurrected today, they would hardly notice a difference in the two mentalities. The theocrats of that time either banned specific works or forced the musician to change them through social and/or financial coercion. Sound familiar? I'm even willing to assume that either Tipper, Bush, Baker, Clinton, and/or most evangelists have a little "Toccata & Fugue in D minor" in their music collections. Hypocrisy? You decide!
In short, I'd like to say that people (in this country) are allowed to embrace any ideology or theology they choose; whether it is to be immersed in intellect or ignorance. When you step outside the boundaries of personal choice and into another person's space, be prepared for a (possible) fight. Mine is of the last minority. I have witnessed countless individuals from television talk show hosts to religionists to our own president (Bush, at the time of this writing, who made a stomach wrenching appearance on the 700 Club to talk about "God") slander and backlash my beliefs without reservation.
This is the view America gets about Satanism. It's called propaganda, and rock, rap & metal (to name a few) get more than their share of it. Those of my ideology (and I'm sure a good number of you) are not going to go away. As it stands, more minority groups are gaining power and influence every day. This scares the religious right shitless and it's going to become a "push comes to shove" before they let the American people actually have what they need (or even want)! Self confidence and a strong adherence to underground publications are mandatory. Don't just believe, do!
Matt Paradise is a 24 year old journalism major at CCV in Burlington, Vermont. Besides being an avid fan of censored and banned works, Matt is also a hardcore supporter of R.O.C. We look forward to additional articles from him for future issues. --JW--