Here’s why: Satanists get a bad rap. Fortunately, that isn’t the only reason. The last thing we need is someone crying about how no one says nice things about Satanists. Satanists are misunderstood, but the evangelical Satanists are the stereotype. Those guys are exactly the reason why it’s fun to not be one of them and yell “Hail Satan!”
When someone who isn’t in traditional satanic garb does a widely approved task and shouts “Hail Satan!” triumphantly, the context doesn’t match the situation – and people hate that. The people that are immediately disgusted are who the phonetic bullets are aimed at. In America, the people who are usually immediately disgusted by Satanism are Christians.
If you think Satan is bad, then you have to be Christian. If you think Satan is real, in any sense, you have to be Christian. It would be logical to assume that a Christian would express some disapproval of anyone openly praising Satan. So we have our target demographic. This is where things get tricky.
As a little Christ, Christians are held to a fairly strict ethical code. A code the Christians in America don’t follow at all. The way they follow is a way without judgment, for God will judge you. This piece is especially pertinent to our purposes here. The reaction of the common American Christian to our phonetic bullet, obviously, is judgment. Weird. So aside from the joy gleaned from catching someone in their hypocrisy, the advocate of Satanism gets a few other tasty morsels of triumph. The advocate gets the chance to throw an absurd fear back in the face of its host, the chance to use a stranger’s philosophy against them, and the chance to facilitate learning.
The third point deserves some clarification. At face value, it’s reasonably difficult to see how anyone can learn anything from this situation besides “Fuck that guy.” Which is true. Learning can only take place in this situation if the target doesn’t immediately shrink away because of the discomfort. And this is where the more personal aspect comes in, rather, this is why I enjoy yelling “Hail Satan!”
Spiritual growth cannot be achieved without discomfort. If you think comfortable thoughts all the time, you will create a reality based on your virtuousness in the best case scenario. I appreciate optimism but statistically, it’s usually not the best case scenario. More to the point, if you go around thinking you’re a perfect Christian and only that, you create an intangible machine in your head that will keep you totally blind to the contours and freckles of life.
Shouting “Hail Satan!” forces the target to confront a source of great discomfort. Granted, it’s somewhat violent and overall, a negative way to spur on the forces of education – but so is letting your kid fall on its face so it can learn to walk.