Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Cardinal Sin of Satanism"

This poem is spillover from the February 4, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] readera. It also fills the "Experimentation" square in my 2-1-20 card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] technoshaman, and je_reviens. This poem belongs to the Strange Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"The Cardinal Sin of Satanism"

[Sunday, March 8, 2015]

It was Sunday, and
the church plans had
fallen through again
because people were
so narrow-minded.

The local synagogue
treated Matthew and
Shaun differently, plus
they had demanded that
Genna start over with
conversion lessons
for a third time.

The Unity Church,
usually so open and
accepting, kept trying
to convert Shaun, and
some members overlaid
nasty insinuations about
all three of the adults.

Genna was trying
to be patient, but she
was so done with it.

Today that brought her to
Meridian Community Center
in search of a mosque
for Victor to explore.

She had heard that they
had a Religious Studies Room
with a community bulletin board
where people could hang up
announcements of classes
or other spiritual offerings.

Besides, they had a library
full of books about games,
self-help, community spirit,
and all different religions.

Even if the bulletin board
didn't pan out, Genna could
visit the library so the trip
wouldn't be a total waste.

When Genna went into
the Religious Studies Room,
though, several people were
already engaged in a meeting.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean
to interrupt," she said. Then she
actually got a good look at them.

The man was a little older than
the women, wearing a black T-shirt
under a black leather jacket and
several Satanic necklaces.

One woman had purple hair
and a black dress with cat faces
printing over both of her boobs.

The other had Venetian red hair
and a Satanic T-shirt under
a black zip-front hoodie.

The man shrugged.
"Don't mind us, lady,
we're Satanists. We're
used to being stared at."

"That doesn't make it polite
to stare at you," said Genna.
"I was just startled. Please go on."

"You seem more interesting than
our regular meeting," the man said.
"So what brings you here today?"

"Other people making their problems
into my problems," Genna said. "My family
is interfaith. I need churches for all of us,
but everyone keeps trying to convert
us and nobody will listen to me."

"Well that's stupid," said the redhead.

"Sssinnersss," hissed the other woman,
sounding just like an aggravated cat.

"Wait, what?" Genna said, starting
to feel vaguely uncomfortable.

"Stupidity is the cardinal sin
of Satanism," said the man.
"It sounds like you've been
dealing with a lot of idiots."

Genna sighed. "I can't
even argue with that."

"Well, maybe we can help,"
he said. "I'm Anton. The one
with the cats is Chatault, and
the redhead is Venetia."

"Thank you for offering, but
I'm not sure how much help
Satanists will be," said Genna.

"All right then, let's start with
something simple," Anton said.
"What do you know about Satanism?"

"Which one?" Genna replied.

Anton laughed. "Venetia,
give the lady a cookie,
she's earned it."

Venetia offered
Genna a platter
piled with cookies.

"Thank you," Genna said
as she took one of them.
"These look very good.
What kind are they?"

"Delicious Sin Cookies,"
said Venetia. "They're
oatmeal and apple, with
different mix-ins such as
redhots and candied ginger."

Genna nibbled hers. It was
indeed delicious, and then ...
"Yow! I think I got a ginger one."

"Sin does have its risks,"
Venetia said with a smirk.

"Of course that depends on
your definition of sin," Anton said.
"Some of us just don't believe that
knowledge and pleasure are sinful."

"Not as long as you use them
responsibly," Genna agreed.

"You want to tell us more about
your quest?" Chatault said.

"I'm trying to find a mosque
for my oldest son, along with
a synagogue for my brother
and his son, and preferably
some kind of interfaith group
we can all share," said Genna.

"The mosques around here are
all tight-assed," said Venetia.

"Yeah, so are the synagogues,"
said Chatault. "But you knew that."

"We're not, though," said Anton.
"I have master's degree in
interfaith leadership, and I
do activities for all ages."

"Really?" Genna said,
raising her eyebrows.
"I'm having a hard time
imagining junior Satanism."

Anton just grinned at her
and handed her something.
"Here, have a brochure."

Bemused, Genna opened
the brochure and skimmed it.

Little Imps Satanic Club for Kids
Come to our fun meetings
to learn cool stuff like:
* debate skills
* critical thinking
* logic & logical fallacies
* ethical considerations
* religious contradictions
* questioning authority

"So you don't ... actually
worship Satan in your club?"
Genna said, frowning.

"Nope," Anton said. "Satan
is just as much of a myth as
every other religious construct.
We just use him as a role model
because he acted up instead of
being a doormat like other angels."

"And cats," said Chatault. "I
worship cats as the embodiment
of demonic mischief. They don't
worry about what people think.
A cat is perfectly himself."

"We actually have a cat
just like that," Genna said.

"She's one of us!" Chatault said.

"Oh, not really," Genna protested.
"I'm not that comfortable with
the Eleven Satanic Rules."

"As opposed to the church folks
dissing your family?" Anton said.

"If the devil is nicer than the church folks,
then we've got a problem," Genna muttered.

"Besides, they're not really rules. They're
more like ... guidelines," Chatault said.

"Some of them are good rules, though,"
said Venetia. "Whenever someone
hates on my fat, then I treat him
cruelly and without mercy."

Genna didn't generally
admire cruelty, but she was
running out of patience with
other people's prejudices, and
could sympathize with Venetia.

That made her uncomfortable.

Did she really want to spend time
with people who advocated cruelty,
even to nosy, obnoxious bigots?

Then again, she had already decided
that she didn't want to stick with any of
the religious groups that she tried before.

Genna didn't want to discriminate against
anyone, but neither did she want to drag
her family into what might be trouble.
The rising tension made her squirm.

"At least stay for unholy communion,"
Chatault said. "I think you'd like it."

"I don't know if that's --" Genna began.

"I'll slice the apples!" Venetia said,
grabbing a knife and a cutting board.

Now Genna was really confused.

"Guaranteed organic," Anton said,
waving a hand at the scarlet fruit.
"I grow all our sacred fruit myself."

"Apples for communion," Genna said.

"What else?" Anton said. "They're
the very beginning of Satanism!"

"All set," Venetia declared,
passing the platter to Anton.

"We are gathered here today
in the light of illumination
and awareness to celebrate
how goddamn smart we are,"
Anton said as he handed out
slices of red-skinned apple.

"Behold the star of truth and
the seeds of wisdom," he said.
"Now dare to taste the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge of
Good and Evil, for Satan
knows that knowledge
is better than ignorance."

That was so close to
Genna's own beliefs
that she couldn't resist.

She took a bite.

* * *


Venetia (Vella Merinelli) -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and straight shoulder-length hair of Venetian red. She is short and fat. She wears glasses. Her heritage is American and Italian; she speaks English and Italian. Venetia is an accomplished cook, with a special fascination for apples so she knows dozens of recipes for that alone. She works at a dessert shop in Easy City, Louisiana. She belongs to the Free Mind Temple of Satan. Venetia is polyamorous pansexual with two male lovers, and would like to add more, especially another woman.
Origin: During the berettafly incident, Vella got sick, and after that her black hair turned crayon red. Although she didn't get stung, she believes the berettaflies somehow caused her manifestation. Nobody else really believes her.
Uniform: Venetia wears casual clothes, mostly in black with Satanic motifs.
Qualities: Good (+2) Bookworm, Good (+2) Cold Tolerance, Good (+2) Cook, Good (+2) Intrapersonal Intelligence, Good (+2) Satanist
Poor (-2) Merciless
Powers: Average (0) Crayon Soup
Motivation: "If someone hates on your fat, treat him cruelly and without mercy."

Venetian is a shade of red.

Anton la Tour -- He has fair skin, gray eyes, and short spiky black hair. He is short and chunky. He wears tunnels in both ears. His heritage is Creole. He speaks English, Latin, and Louisiana French Creole. He is 33 years old in 2015.
Anton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interfaith Leadership Studies with a concentration in Satanic Traditions and a minor in Philosophy at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. He went on to get a Master of Arts in Interfaith Leadership with a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management at Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. When he realized that his previous college degrees did not help him make a living, he took online classes for an Associate Degree in Small Business Entrepreneurship from Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Currently Anton lives in Easy City, Louisiana where he runs the Free Mind Satanic Temple and the Little Imps Satanic Club for Kids. He grows organic apples, peaches, and grapes in an orchard. He also makes and sells small-batch wines, jams, and other preserves. His naturally argumentative nature combined with his religious stance attracts a lot of conflicts; he has a chip on his shoulder and a target on his back. But he wouldn't change that if he could. Anton favors casual menswear in shades of black and gray with Satanic T-shirts.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Satanist, Good (+2) Leader, Good (+2) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Good (+2) Orchardist, Good (+2) Tough
Poor (-2) A Chip on His Shoulder and a Target on His Back

Read about Louisiana gardening seasons.

For a comparison with Little Imps, see After School Satan.

Interfaith Leadership Studies (B.A.)
at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

The interdisciplinary field of interfaith studies examines the multiple dimensions of interaction between individuals and groups that orient differently with regard to religion. It also examines the implications of these interactions for communities, civil society, and global politics. A strong practitioner dimension animates the field and a major goal of its programs of study is the development of a cadre of professionals who can assume the mantle “interfaith leaders.” We define an interfaith leader as someone with the framework, knowledge base, and skill set to help individuals and communities who orient differently around religion build mutual respect, positive relationships, and a commitment to the common good. Correspondingly, scholarship and pedagogy in interfaith studies address questions of both theory and praxis.
For further information, contact the Interfaith Leadership Studies Major Advisor, Dr. Christina Bucher, Department of Religious Studies.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:
• Describe the beliefs, practices, and shared values of several religious and non-religious communities.
• Articulate a coherent personal theological or philosophical narrative within his or her own religious or non-religious tradition (texts, histories, founders, sacred people) of different religions committed to positive relationships in civil society for the common good.
• Give examples of interfaith cooperation throughout history.
• Integrate knowledge and skills from several academic disciplines to a problem-based, real-world learning experience as an interfaith leader on a local, regional, national, or international front.
For further information, contact the Interfaith Leadership Studies Program Director, Dr. Christina Bucher, Department of Religious Studies.
The Interfaith Leadership Studies major consists of 13 courses totaling no fewer than 42 credits.

Required courses (6 courses):
• PCS 160 - HUM Conflict Dynamics and Transformation
• ILS 105 - HUM Exploring Interfaith Leadership and Service
• ILS 330 - Comparative Theology and Interfaith Engagement
• ILS 490 - Capstone Seminar in Interfaith Leadership Studies
• ILS 491 - Project in Interfaith Leadership Studies
• ILS 498 - Junior-Senior Independent Research

Religious Literacy, Appreciative Understanding, and Shared Values
Choose 2 courses from the following:
• REL 290 - NCH Dharma Traditions: Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh
• REL 293 - Islam

Religious Diversity, Civil Society, and World Politics
Choose 3 courses (at least 2 different disciplines) from the following:
• AN 111 - NCH Understanding Human Cultures
• PS 240 - WCH Foundations of American Democracy
• PSY 235 - Social Psychology

Professional Skills and Experiential Learning
Choose 2 courses (at least 2 different disciplines) from the following:
• BA 265 - Management and Organizational Behavior
• PS 245 - NCH International Relations

In Terramagne, this major allows students to take a concentration in one or more specific religions and/or interfaith chaplaincy. A concentration requires an introductory class and three topical classes in its subject, plus three more classes on important concepts from that faith or practice.

Concentration in Satanic Traditions (T-American)
REL 280 Satanism: Founders, Philosophies, and Branches (T-American)
REL 282 Fraternitas Saturni (T-American)
REL 285 Anton LaVey (T-American)
REL 287 Luciferianism (T-American)
HI 305 The Fight for Freedom (T-American)
PSY 370 Mind Control and How to Break It (T-American)

Moravian College
PHIL 292 – God and the Problem of Evil
Bernie Cantens, Department of Philosophy
This course will focus on the problem of evil: If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect, how can there be so much evil in the world? This question remains one of the most difficult for theists to answer. In this course, students will study and reflect on some of the most influential and important arguments around this topic. The course includes readings from classical sources, such as Aquinas, Leibniz, and Hume, and from some of the most prominent contemporary philosophers of religion, such as Alvin Plantinga, William Hasker, Richard Swinburne, Eleanore Stump, Paul Draper and William Rowe. At the end of the course, students may come to a better understanding of the world, the meaning (or lack of meaning) of life, and the possibility (or lack of possibility) of the existence of God.
Prerequisites: None.

Founders, Philosophies, and Branches

Fraternitas Saturni

Anton LaVey


Requirements for Minor in Philosophy
MINOR COURSES (5 courses)
Credits Grade Term
PH 105 Introduction to Philosophy 4.00
PH 110 Logic & Critical Thinking 4.00
Take PH 201
Take PH 201 or PH 202 4.00
PH elective (200 level) PH 275 Human Science and Values 4.00
PH elective (300 level) PH 370 Logic and Logical Reasoning 4.00

Master of Arts in Interfaith Leadership
Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania

All courses are three credits, unless otherwise noted.
Master of Arts (36 credits)
• Required Courses (3 credits)
• Interfaith Understanding (9-15 credits)
• Religious Studies (9-15 credits)
• Field Work (3 credits)
• Capstone (3 credits)

Organizational Leadership Courses (3-6 credits)
• EDD 706: Leadership (Required)
• MGT 575: Project and Program Management

Interfaith Understanding (9-15 credits)
• HGS 557: Comparative Genocide
• IFL 620: Successful Interfaith Dialogue
• IFL 622: Interfaith Social Justice and Social Action
IFL 623: Mediating Theological and Nontheological Traditions (T-American)

Religious Studies (9-15 credits)
• REL 331: Ethnicity, Gender, and Religion
• REL 621: Interfaith Lifecycle
• REL 622: Interfaith Theology
REL 666: Acceptance and Rejection of Satanic Faiths (T-American)

(For his capstone, Anton invented the Little Imps Satanic Club for Kids. It teaches debate skills, critical thinking, logic and logical fallacies, ethical considerations, religious contradictions, and questioning authority.)
Field Work and Capstone Project (6 credits)
• Field Work
• Capstone Project
Students will be required to complete 35 hours of Field Work (3 credits) to receive hands-on experience in interfaith relations. Gratz College will assist students in finding local field work placement. Students must also complete a Capstone Project (3 credits) on a specific area in Interfaith Leadership.

(T-America offers a smaller certificate separate from the Master of Arts.)
Certificate in Nonprofit Management

All courses are three credits, unless otherwise noted.
Degree Requirements (15 credits)
• Required Core (6 credits)
• Electives (6 credits)
Required Core (6 credits)
• MGT 510: Fundamentals of Human Resources
• MGT 574: Theory and Future of Nonprofits
Electives (9 credits)
• MGT 544: Fundraising
• MGT 545: Strategic Planning in the Nonprofit Organization
• MGT 553: Using Technology to Build Community and Grow Your Organization

Associate Degree in Small Business Entrepreneurship
at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI

The Small Business Entrepreneurship Associate Degree program is designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs develop the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to become more successful and help potential small business owners and entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality. The program will cover the basic business skills such as accounting, managing and marketing, while focusing on those skills needed to build and grow a small business.

Tuition: $10184 , Books: $872
STARTING SALARY $26,676–$42,484
Average, based on the NTC Graduate Outcomes Report

The Small Business Entrepreneurship Associate Degree is a 63 credit program. The following is a typical semester breakdown of the courses within the program.





Chatault (Dinah Courdouannier) -- She has pale skin, brown eyes, and long wavy hair of soft purple. She is short and curvy, but surprisingly flexible. She has colorful tattoos on both arms. She wears glasses. Her heritage is Cajun; she speaks English and Parisian French. As a Satanist, Chatault worships cats as the embodiment of demonic mischief. She works at a pet store in Easy City, Louisiana. She hates dogs, though. Chatault is aromantic fluxsexual, with bursts of horniness separated by spans of disinterest, and no interest in lasting relationships.
Origin: After she got a tattoo with a new zetetic ink, her hair turned purple.
Uniform: Chatault dresses in casual French fashion, mostly in black. She often wears T-shirts or accessories with cat motifs.
Qualities: Good (+2) Cat Person, Good (+2) Flexible, Good (+2) Naturalistic Intelligence, Good (+2) Pet Store Clerk, Good (+2) Satanist
Poor (-2) Hates Dogs
Powers: Good (+2) Crayon Soup
Chatault has the enhanced vision that sometimes comes with crayon colors. She can see a little into the ultraviolet, and can see better in the dark than a human can.
Motivation: To emulate the devil-may-care attitude of cats.

Flux-: fluctuating orientation between hyper- and hypo- and/or a-.

* * *

"Stupidity—The top of the list for Satanic Sins. The Cardinal Sin of Satanism. It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. Satanists must learn to see through the tricks and cannot afford to be stupid."
Anton LaVey

See the floor plan of the Meridian Community Center in Easy City, Louisiana. The foyer has clusters of seats for conversation along with the reception desk. The Religious Studies Room is the meeting room with a bulletin board for interfaith announcements. A partition can divide it into two separate spaces. The Quiet Room is the small room marked Store beside the women's toilet. This is the men's toilet. The disabled toilet includes a roll-in shower with seat. The Library has tables and chairs for studying or small meetings. The Hall is used for banquets, dances, tournaments, and other large events. An adjacent kitchen provides food for events and space for cooking classes.

Enjoy some Delicious Sin Cookies. These can be spiced up by adding cinnamon redhot candies or crystallized ginger chips. Alternatively the dried apple bits can be reconstituted by soaking in cinnamon extract or ginger juice.

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth
Tags: community, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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