Hail Satan: the original furry

by Patch O'Furr

Recently, furries are debating about appearing in ads, with fear of commercializing like a devil’s bargain with corporations. They’re saying “Keep furry weird“. Let’s help.

Pride month just passed. Yay, now it’s time for all the other sins!

Hey furries, go Envy some cute costumes. Have Greed for art you don’t need (but you deserve it). Be a Glutton for hugs. Lust for a fursuit crush. Give Wrath for bigots. Enjoy Sloth after a furry con. Why not? Does anyone actually want to go to heaven, the eternally boring place for goodie-two-shoes with no good parties?

Hell is where to find real fun and friends. It’s like a furry convention. If you go there for doing just ONE sin… you might as well go for broke.

Of course those places are fairy tales. Bronze-age sheep herders made invisible friends to herd the masses to serve powerful elites. Superstitious storytelling is only as worthy as the meaning it brings. (Bibles can be good story sources, no argument there). That’s one skeptical opinion, anyways.

That’s why Satanists we’re talking about today don’t worship a deity. They’re just atheists with a grin, and pranksters with a point. Satan isn’t real, but they’re all about owning the power of a symbol.

He stands for rebellion against hypocrisy, nonconformity towards injustice, individual freedom, and Luciferian enlightenment. Religion vilifies disobedience, but it’s healthy to think for yourself. If a serpent gives you an apple, go ahead and take a bite, because you know what they say about an apple a day.

If you think about it, furry fandom is based on symbolism and totemism. You can even say Satan is the original furry.

The Devil and Daniel Mouse: furry animation about a musician’s bargain

Hell has a fursuit lounge

The Rebel Angel has rocked a fursona since they wrote the bible. He’s a baaadaaass goat or a ssssweet ssssnake. He was despised in mainstream media of the day (sermons, scriptures and art commissions for royal patrons), but his symbolism grew hairy legs to carry it far and wide. It’s hard to keep the devil down when he has all the fun, fashion, music and sex. Satan is a sexy beast. If you play heavy metal backwards, they don’t say 666, they say Yiff Yiff Yiff.

The furry fandom also thrives against mockery, with freakitude that keeps it independent. Furries are used to being vilified (often a socially-acceptable excuse for bullying). Meanwhile they do lots of fundraising for charity at their conventions. The Satanists I’m talking about are nice to animals too (sacrificing them is against their tenets.)

Fandoms have drama, and it’s no different for Satan’s fans. A little history is in order.

Until recently, “real Satanism” was mostly a fake accusation by overzealous Christians targeting anyone they called enemies. That caused Satanic Panic, a pop-culture influenced literal witch-hunt of the 1980’s. It was a generation after the rise of civil rights for minorities, with growing class division and fear of The Other. “Women’s lib” had both parents at work with new worry about “latchkey kids” and Stranger Danger, while kids discovered Dungeons and Dragons, heavy metal, and mature comics and cartoons (and lots of them turned into furries!)

The panic was a sensationalized distraction from unrest in society and at home. There were no sacrifices to Satan of course. The real victims were scapegoats:

In the 1980s, allegations of ritual abuse at a preschool in Southern California led to the longest, most expensive trial in U.S. history. The McMartin Preschool case  which resulted in zero convictions  became emblematic of a much more widespread phenomenon known as Satanic Panic. – Gizmodo

Fake scandals stoked conservative Think Of The Children fear-mongering. (Furries may sympathize… Yiff Panic? Judgement in a Connecticut town shows it’s still not safe to be openly furry.) Meanwhile, popes protected pedophile priests. The projection, hypocrisy and power abuse inspires protest by modern Satanists.

The Tentacles of Satanic Beliefs

That’s context, and now let’s look inside modern Satanism. It has a split between Theists who actually believe in a spiritual being, and Rationalists who follow tenets popularized by 1960’s counterculture icon Anton LaVey (who wrote the atheistic “Satanic Bible”).

Another split is The Church of Satan vs. The Satanic Temple. The Church gets criticism for being lame, irrelevant supporters of fascist-like misanthropy. (UPDATE: Thanks to Troj for sharing a better informed opinion to say don’t judge so fast.)  The Temple eschews that to focus on entertaining, artistic stunts, shows and protests for actually liberal goals. Their Satan isn’t just a symbol for shock value, he stands for positive action.

The Satanic Temple acts for free speech, separation of church and state, and enlightenment. Their After School Satan program uses equal access by law to school facilities, to spread free-thinking against Christian evangelism. They protested a Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma’ capital as unfair use of public property for one religion. Hilariously, they built an amazing sculpted bronze Baphomet monument to put next to it. The IRS counts them as a tax-exempt religious organization!

To be honest, this all used to strike me as “edgy” as heck. I’m not an edgelord (shhh, don’t tell anyone about the shirt I wore in the 90’s that said “Smoke Crack and Worship Satan”.) Then I saw the absolutely delightful documentary about The Satanic Temple that came out in 2019.

When I saw it, my one criticism was wishing for more in-depth looking at the 1980’s Satanic Panic, perhaps by interviewing victims — but of course that would take more time and budget than just a small glance in a very well made movie.

Go see the movie. It inspired me to chat with a Satanic Furry who is actually at the Temple in Salem, MA. Come back tomorrow for that. Or else.

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