Is blood thicker than water?
Admittedly, contention with family isn’t an issue I personally relate to. My father is an atheist (the smartest, most left-brained man I’ve ever met – love you, dad!) and he kept me out of churches and away from Christian institutions for most of my upbringing; based on one Sunday school visit when I was a little girl, I believed Christians visited church every Sunday to do arts and crafts until I was sixteen. My mother is an agnostic with a strong read on people and their intuitions (and her birthday was on November 1st; happy 53rd! I love you!), and her pleasant disposition and sense of humor taught me how to live with others.
My mother taught me to be patient, kind, and gentle. Dad, on the other hand, taught me to be fiery, opinionated, and independent. Their dual influence has molded me into the Satanist I eventually became, and they’ve loved and supported me through every step of my development, no matter how insane or morally gray my decisions in life have been. I really struck gold in the genetic lottery.
Did I mention I love my mom and dad?
But that love was forged on mutual respect and affection. This is, tragically, not the case in many Satanist’s upbringing. To many Satanists, family is a point of contention due to differences in belief. The main concern of Satanism and the family is reconciling this common dispute.
The Church of Satan addressed this issue in their Youth Communique:
“Unfortunately, most young Satanists face this problem. Few of us are lucky enough to have sympathetic parents, or others around like ourselves. However, as long as you are living under your parents’ roof and they are feeding and taking care of you, you do owe them a degree of consideration. Offer to let them read your books, and talk about what misunderstandings they may have from T.V. talk shows and Christian propaganda. But you can’t force anyone to understand what, for you, is an obvious and magical revelation. If Satanism offends others who have necessary control over your life right now, do your studies and rituals in private. If you don’t have a place at home where you can be alone, find a special spot on the beach, in a field, or in the woods where you can ritualize when you need to. While you are understandably enthusiastic about your new-found religion, it is not very Satanic to make yourself miserable by creating a problem with your parents when you have to live in the same house together, or at school where your real goal may be to aggravate those in authority in the guise of “expressing your individuality.”
Practice Lesser Magic. Remember that a competent Satanic magician should be able to size up any situation and weigh his choices of action to bring about desired results. Enthusiasm is certainly encouraged and appreciated, however Satanism asks no one to be a martyr. And keep in mind that most people simply aren’t going to understand because, ultimately, they don’t want to. That is as it should be. Satanism is not for everyone. Satan, as depicted in myth and literature, by his very nature walks alone. He is therefore the embodiment of the true individualist, the outcast. This doesn’t mean that you cannot care about those who are close to you; Satan also represents love, kindness and respect to those who deserve it. It just means that you should not concern yourself with people who do not approve of you. Revel in your uniqueness; be proud of who and what you are. Achieve all you can with the strength and determination of Satan himself coursing proudly through your veins. When Satanism leads to positive changes in your accomplishments and attitude, your parents and other adults around you will notice. The best way you can represent Satanism, at any age, is by providing a living example of how the diabolical arts have made you a stronger, more focused, joyful person. The results will speak louder than any logical argument you can present.”
Radical individualism often consigns one to loneliness. This need not be a punishment. The Satanist needs no one to validate her opinion for her to be sure it’s the best choice for her, for she is the only true expert on herself. As human beings are social creatures, innately consulting popular opinion, this is a skill she will have to practice. Satanists growing up in households that dissent to their beliefs have a head-start on this, and are stronger for it.