I had moved twice in the span of a year when I settled in the Bible Belt. I had recently experienced - twice over - the sort of catty adolescent friend breakups that so often go hand in hand with entering high school. So there I was, friendless and culture shocked by Jesus.
I think it was either conform or rebel. We all know which way I went.
Now, when I was just a baby witch, I was a staunch defender of misconceptions about the Craft. Being the Bible Belt, any deviation from popular religion was considered Satanic. "There's no devil in the Craft," I would tell people. "Satan is a Christian construct." "I don't worship the devil."
This much was true - I didn't worship the devil. But let's face it, when you're surrounded on all sides by such a dualistic culture you tend to pick sides. In doing that, I found myself reading everything I could that might give me a better understanding of this whole God VS the Devil thing. And thus grew the roots of my obsession with the Satanic Panic.
The History of the Satanic Panic - and why it's not over yet
The Fight to Save America From Satan's Subliminal Rock Messages
While on the topic of the devil in music... In October I went to see Ghost in concert. It was one of the most religious group experiences of my life, right up there with seeing Magic Mike XXL in the theatre. Standing in a packed crowd, dressed as a skeletal nun, I found myself raising my voice with a throng of people as we threw up the horns for the Nameless Ghouls and Papa Emeritus III.
|"Are you ready to swear right here, right now|
Before the devil?"
The devil doesn't need backmasking to get us to rally with him. Let's face it, when the 'moral' side is the one hurting people, anybody with a heart isn't going to want to join up with them. Instead we should stand with the people others would tell you are the outsiders. Especially in light of world events, we all have to remember not to get swept up in fear and hate. Rebel in the name of love.
Hail Satan. Rock'n'roll.