I was hoping to do some huge post on Existentialism, but that's going to have to wait until I've finished reading 'In pursuit of Satan: the police and the occult'. I've been reading this book of late, and my skeptic's eye glares at law enforcement's ridiculous and unjust treatment of some 'non-traditional' belief systems. I believe that there are many ways to reach the summit. Law enforcement (American is the only one examined in this book) doesn't seem to see it this way, and some of its number rush forth to brand anything that isn't Christian as a cult to be feared and, in some cases, persecuted. Here we are, in the 21st Century, and there are folks out there who would gladly throw the switch on the time machine and take us back to the age of ignorance.
It saddens and worries me that some groups would lump ancient belief systems (Aboriginal and Wiccan, for instance) together with Satanism. I'm not as well acquainted with Satanism as I could be, although I have been curious about this system that eagerly makes a mockery of Christianity and praises the id in lieu of the superego. Based on my limited exploration, I see that Satanism is very hedonist - 'If it feels good, do it.' - but I have my doubts that today's Satanism subscribes to sacrifice. It might've in the past, just as the pre-Christians did in the days of the Old Testament, but if Satanism wants to remain viable, it must evolve, just as Christianity has done (not nearly fast enough, but that's for another post).
Anyway, lumping tribal religions and Wicca, which are older than Christianity for the most part, with Satanism and declaring them all as wrong and suspect, goes against the American Constitution. I shake my head at the 'cult cops' Hicks speaks of in his book - law enforcement is in place to enforce the LAW, not ignorant, regional biases and suspicions. The days of the 'witch hunt' should be long behind us; not just lying dormant, awaiting new crimes that look hinky enough to explode into tell of Satan-spawned vandals, murderers, and rapists. I do believe that Evil exists (but that's for another time), and that every last breathing sentient creature on Earth has the capacity for Good and for Evil. If 'God' spoke and commanded people to kill each other, would we lay this command at Satan's feet or would we go in blind obedience? The answer to that will be different depending on who you ask, I guess.
One more note before I end this post. Before a Roman Emperor embraced Christianity, it too was a cult, and was violently persecuted. Think on it. BYE.