As if the devil needed any help, he now has at least one evangelistic disciple named Lilith Starr. If that is her real name, it would be an interesting irony. Lilith, according to some Jewish mythology was created attached to Adam’s side. God separated her, but she did not want to be his wife—being way too independent for something like that. Apparently, according to the myth, God created Eve as a replacement. The name Lucifer, which some mistake as a name for the devil, means “light bearer, morning star.” Is she a star like Lucifer? Further irony is that she is married to a man, whose surname is Black, and he introduced her to the Satanic Bible, written by Anton LaVey, which challenges the precepts of the Bible, including The Golden Rule.
Starr is the founder of the Satanic Temple in Seattle, and she is trying to counter Christianity by forming after school Satanic clubs. Her biography is called, The Happy Satanist. She has composed Seven Tenets by which to live, which are analyzed below.
“One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.” It only took until the second word for her to blunder. Without God, there is no should; there is no ought. Perhaps Lilith thinks that no one will notice and just take her word for it, but why should one do anything? Such implies right and wrong—some kind of moral standard to which people ought to conform. If God exists and He sets moral standards, then should makes sense. But if God does not exist, then morality becomes purely subjective, and ought cannot thrive.
Is abortion, for example, right or wrong? If we read the Bible, then we know that the life in the womb is called by the same Greek word (brephos) as life out of the womb (Luke 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16). But if we do not accept the Holy Scriptures and God does not exist, then we do not know if abortion is right or wrong. Some atheists oppose it for medical and scientific reasons; Christians oppose it for those plus Biblical reasons. However, other atheists accept the practice. No basis for morality or should exist apart from the Scriptures.
“Okay,” Lilith might answer, “so we just let people make up their own minds.” Should we hold the same view toward murder, or does that comprise a “should not” in the mind of Miss Starr? Shall we simply let everyone decide if he wants to murder others or not (without penalty)? What about child sacrifices? Suppose Baal worship were resuscitated—or that of other Old Testament deities worshiped in Canaan, Moab, and Ammon? Should adherents be allowed to sacrifice their children after they are born as the law now allows them to do so prior to birth? Miss Starr’s Seven Tenets offer no basis for should.
The rest of the first tenet is rather ambiguous; it mentions being empathetic towards all creatures in accordance with reason.” What does that mean? More importantly, where does Miss Starr think that we got reason? The animals do not possess it; they operate primarily on instincts. What distinguished man from animals is the ability to think, reason, and evaluate. He possesses those qualities because he was created in God’s image. How does Lilith account for logic?
“The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.” God has written more on justice than anyone. He has also included the penalties for injustice. This tenet makes no mention of what “ought” to happen to those who violate it? Nothing? Is it just a suggestion then? Why “should” people observe it?
“One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.” Does that mean that if a person decides to destroy it, it is all right? It is interesting that Lilith Starr tried to kick the addiction of nitrous oxide for several years before succeeding. She apparently was tired of harming her body. Should people be allowed to use drugs which harm their bodies? Many in this day and age would probably say, “Yes, it’s nobody’s business.” But when innocent children are born with addictions, and family members must mourn the loss of someone killed by a drunk driver, it becomes society’s problem. This tenet would also seem to authorize abortion, the killing of a unique human being.
“The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.” There’s that word should again. Why should people respect one single thing about a fellow human being? Everyone cannot be free in an urban society. Having to stop at red lights and observe speed limits encroaches on freedom. Some say, “Why should I have to temper my driving to suit others. I’ll go 60 in a 40-mile zone if I feel like it.” It is obvious some share this attitude by the way they drive. Does Miss Starr rejoice when someone zips around her, cutting her off? Does she happily say to herself, “I respect his freedom to offend me”? And if some dolt rear-ends her, will she congratulate him on his rudeness?
All members of society are poorer when everyone operates on the basis of selfishness. No world exists in which everyone gets to be as nasty as they are inclined to be. Jesus’ plea for meekness was uttered in a world where getting one’s way was already practiced.
“Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.” That is precisely what evolution does. It ignores scientific evidence in order to establish a theory which has never been proven. That theory, by the way, is the one that implies a godless universe—one in which there is no sense of ought. If this existence is all there is, then what prevents anyone from trying to gain riches and power at the expense of others. The world has seen the results of such a philosophy in Adolph Hitler, as well as the philosophy of Japan prior to and during World War II. Is anyone taught any more about the rape of Nanking? Such atrocities exist because the God of the Bible, Who teaches love, kindness, and respect for others, is ignored.
Joseph Stalin did not believe in God. He also did not believe in should. He reportedly killed more than 20 million people. Apparently, he did not think he “should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.” He was, however, big on the freedom to offend.
“People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.” People are fallible is probably the most truthful statement Lilith makes. Unfortunately, atheists have nothing to compel them to rectify anything. For them, no objective right or wrong exists. And jails and prisons are full of those who don’t care if they harm others and have no intention of rectifying anything. They steal, cause bodily harm, and even murder others. What Starr calls making a mistake is a lifestyle choice for some.
“Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.” Starr is so naïve that she makes Pollyanna look like Black Bart. Why should anyone care a fig about inspiring nobility in others? Jesus and the apostles do if one carefully considers their teachings, but she has ruled them out. The people who most inspire others are the ones who live according to Christian principles—something she has ruled out.
All in all, what help do these seven tenets provide for others. They are the product of Starr’s mind. Robert Owen had his 12 jewels; how did those work out? How did the atheistic community of Liberal, Missouri pan out? When God and His objective morality are removed from human beings, no motivation for goodness exists, along with no penalty for badness. Her Seven Tenets can be reduced to: “It’s better to be nice on occasion than nasty. Give it a try.”
Just because her Seven Tenets can be easily reduced to shambles does not mean that she is not in earnest. She says with a conviction that Christians ought to possess about the truth:
“But in reality we are a very serious religion, with our own shared narrative, culture and symbols, a code of ethics—our Seven Tenets—and worship in the form of activism” (Orlando Sentinel, October 20, 2016: A10).
She already has applied for chapters of her After School Satan Club in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and others. If there is one thing that would help those towns to improve…. She desires a chapter in Salt Lake City. Really?
One sentence in the newspaper article states that: “Christians may have the force of heaven behind them, but the Satanists have the U.S. Supreme Court.” Unfortunately, the part about the Supreme Court is true. (Heaven has always been behind the righteous but does not prohibit the free will of evildoers. Just ask Abel. However, God will punish those who persecute Christians, along with all unbelievers, on His Day of Judgment.) In 2001 one court ruled that schools cannot discriminate against the kind of speech offered at afterschool clubs. The Supreme Court is not always known for its wisdom.
However, the Satanic Temple is not all bad. Their web site says they do not believe in a “personal Satan”—just one more thing about which they are wrong. They also claim not to advocate evil. Why not? Nothing is stopping them. Besides, how do we know they are telling the truth? Obviously, if they told the school, “We are going to advocate rebelling against teachers and boycotting homework,” they might be denied permission to meet. Can anyone honestly explain what motive a Satanist would have for telling the truth? Hmm.
Lilith Starr says that Satanism has made her happy— something apparently her English degree from Harvard failed to do. Her Master’s in Journalism from Stanford did not help, either. She admits that her battle with depression led to “eventually losing her marriage [the first one, GWS] her house, her job and her friends due to an addiction to nitrous oxide.” Now she is able to laugh without gaseous assistance.
Her club has 78 members, and she claims to be fighting against “the religious overreach that is just out of control right now across the nation.” Now, that is funny. Yes, young people are so enthusiastic about Jesus that drugs are no longer a problem, and gangs have all but disappeared. Not. What is she thinking? Does she really think that a Satanic alternative to God is going to raise the morality of the nation and make better young people? It is too bad that her time and energy could not be used in such a way that young people are motivated to do good in their respective communities.