I didn’t realize this was a thing, but it’s a thing.
There is now a college group for budding Satanists at North Carolina State University. The Satanic Students insist they’re not around to provoke religious groups or troll anybody. They’re not even around to promote Satan, since they don’t believe in him. They’re just doing their part to promote the sort of values espoused by other Satanic groups:
According to [founder and president Peter] Aker, the Satanic Students at NC State promote such concepts as empathy, benevolence, individuality and free thinking. They don’t subscribe to a black-and-white view of good and evil in the world, but generally believe that practices which bring harm to others are bad.
Cru members, take note.
They actually list five specific aspects of their mission on their official group page:
The mission of Satanic Students at NC State University is to 1) encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, 2) reject tyrannical authority, 3) advocate scientific examination of the universe and our place in it, 4) promote morality and justice based on rational, humanistic values, and 5) be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.
Again, hard to argue with any of those.
It’s a small group for now, with membership in the single digits, but I could say the same for most clubs at any large college. Simply having the group there and being able to start conversations on campus is something that carries far more weight than some number.
Incidentally, The Satanic Temple doesn’t have any formal affiliation with this group. Spokesperson Lucien Greaves told me they haven’t been able to establish protocols for college groups who want to connect with them but that he was “heartened to see Satanic students with an apparent clear understanding of our principles of inclusiveness and diversity taking the initiative to create a community for themselves.”
We will surely be interested in learning from this group of students, through direct communication, what works best for them in the higher education environment — whatever difficulties they face and/or successes they achieve, so we may be better equipped to advise similar inquiries in the future. I have a feeling that colleges and universities can expect a flourishing of Satanic student groups in the immediate future.
If that comes off as a threat, it shouldn’t. If these groups live up to their stated missions, the campuses would be more welcoming for all kinds of students. Because that’s what Satan would want, dammit.