So the British Navy is recognising the church of Satan (see here and here for details, but don't miss their own website - it's a corker!). Chris Cramner is the first officially recognised Satanist in the armed forces, and will now be allowed to practice satanic rites on board his ship. Apparently he stumbled across a copy of the Satanic Bible and realised it was just what he was looking for
"I then read more and more and came to realise I'd always been a Satanist, just simply never knew."
The Navy as an equal opportunities employer basically had no choice once the request was made...
Anne Widdecombe, that bastion of moral rectititude has commented:
"Satanism is wrong. Obviously, the private beliefs of individuals anywhere - including the armed forces - are their own affair, but I hope it doesn't spread"
Frankly I don't know where to begin.... I think my favourite bit is the classical Tory line that the individual is entitled to their own opinion, just as long as they have the right to determine if that view is RIGHT or WRONG.
Doesn't it make more sense to have satanists in the armed forces than Christians, with all that "thou shalt not kill" nonsense?? Presumably Satanists have fewer scruples about dropping the odd bomb on a school...?
I have to say though that I am a little disappointed to discover that Satanists "don't kill children or do things to virgins".
What's the point then?
Would a Satanist prime minister have taken us into a war with Iraq? Perhaps not.... Their FAQs helpfully point out that:
"In recent years, we've wasted far too much time explaining that Satanism has nothing to do with kidnapping, drug abuse, child molestation, animal or child sacrifice, or any number of other acts which idiots, hysterics or opportunists would like to blame on us. Satanism is a life-loving, rational philosophy that millions of people adhere to."
We could use some rational philosophy about the place... (although it must be said that the welcome image on their homepage rather undermines how seriously I am prepared to take them - it's the red devil jumpsuit thing that I find the most off-putting)