The moment I first read The Satanic Temple’s “Seven Fundamental Tenets” I was shaken to my core. I had finally found a set of principles that I could agree with, wholeheartedly. I knew my life would be better lived by always applying the Seven. The following are my personal views on TST’s “Seven Tenets”.
¹One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
All living things deserve compassion. We do not want to cause pain or take life. We should take care to say what we mean and should strive to disarm fights, rather than start them. If someone is hurting and wants support and we are capable of rendering aid, we can give aid. Taking joy in others’ pain is not a feeling we should relish.
To empathize with another creature is to understand it’s pain and share it with them. Some creatures are more capable than others at expressing empathy. Take care of yourself first, so that you can help others. Taking a break from social spaces is okay, we all need to recharge our “empathy batteries” sometimes.
Using reason in all things is very wise. If your life is in danger, protect yourself. Protect those whom you think want your protection. Being compassionate and empathizing with others is not a weakness. It is a strength and it builds deeper connections with one another.
For love, love, for sword, sword; always within reason and with compassion.
²The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
Justice cannot be defined by those who refuse to submit to it. Tyrannical control must be resisted and torn down wherever possible. When all other means have failed, sometimes action must be taken.
Not all laws serve everyone. Some laws are ancient and others rendered irrelevant by language interpretation. Even more important, are the laws that are being made by authoritarians. We must take care to push for fair and equal legislation, and if that fails, look for other options to complete the mission.
Not all authority is bad or tyrannical. While the individual is paramount, we shouldn’t take away from the communities we are in. Equal, not authoritative. If civil disobedience is the outcome, it is not the failure of those who resist, but those in power who failed to listen.
³One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
Your body is your own. Nobody can tell you what to do with your body. It is yours. You are responsible for your own actions and nobody has the right to force anything unto your body and mind. Bodily Autonomy is your religious right!
Religious reproductive rights are very important in cultures all around the world. To Satanists, life does not begin at conception. We follow our best scientific understanding of reproductive systems. If a person desires to rid themselves of a unwanted fetus, it is their business and it is the safest way to end an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. Abortion is healthcare.
If you want to alter your appearance through chemical or physical means, so be it! It is your body, do what you will with it! Do so within reason and be careful to not stray into pseudoscientific health remedies or miracle changes.
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are Non-binary.
Gender, Race, Size, ALL THINGS to each their own.
⁴The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one’s own.
Freedoms should not be defined only in law. All people deserve respect until they have shown they do not deserve it. Using a reasoned mind to decide when to speak up and when to listen is very important to successful communication.
If you feel that someone has offended you, say something. For every action, an equal and opposite reaction. This does not mean that you have to respond, but it means you have the right to. If you respond poorly, you have opened yourself to retaliation. Everyone has the right to speak, within reason.
If you retaliate and you are in the wrong, do not expect it to go well. You have forfeited your rights by encroaching on somebody else’s.
Be kind, or be tactfully devastating.
⁵Beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.
One of the most important tenets, is that of science. Science ties into everything we are and do. We are but a small part of an expansive universe(s).
You can believe anything you want, as long as it fits modern scientific standards. NEVER distort facts to fit your belief(s). This includes the misrepresentation of facts. Mixing lies with truth is not scientific, it’s plain dangerous. Allowing yourself to remain open to new interpretations of our reality is important, but one should take care to keep a reasoned mind.
Ignorance is not an excuse for actions taken based on arcane doctrine or beliefs. Cognitive dissonance must be resisted and remedied with education, when possible.
In all things, science.
⁶People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
We all make mistakes. Sometimes they are mistakes we could not control and other times they were purposeful. To follow a path of abuse and violence willingly can lead to your own destruction.
If you make a mistake, take responsibility for it. Only you can control yourself. Once you have claimed your mistake, try and fix the damage. If it is irreparable, do everything you can to remove yourself from the equation while remaining self focused.
If you become a bully to stop bullies, you have lost your way. Do not expect forgiveness and do not forgive unless you feel it right.
Own it. Fix it. Let it be.
⁷Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.
All things should be done with good intentions and a reasoned mind. Even resistance can be done in the spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice. If we disagree with what is written, speak up! Do not just find problems, find solutions!
Wisdom comes when we treat others with compassion, listen with noble intentions and act in the spirit of justice. Critical thinking is one of our most powerful tools as human beings. Perseverance is also an important part of reasoned action. Nobility in action sometimes calls for repeated attempts to complete the same goal. Having the strength to approach our problems again and again, until we succeed, is a true example of nobility.
Every tenet is important. While they may seem to stand alone, each one strengthens the next. These are guidelines for living life deliciously, while allowing others to do so as well.
Compassion, Justice, Autonomy, Freedom, Science, Responsibility, Reason!
Disclaimer: I do not speak for The Satanic Temple. I am a member of TST Houston and I am speaking from my own perspective.
Find more information about The Satanic Temple here: https://thesatanictemple.com/pages/about-us
“The Seven Tenets” were authored by The Satanic Temple.