Chelsea Clinton, daughter of neoliberal firebrand Hillary Clinton, recently had a public exchange of pleasantries with the Church of Satan on Twitter. The two accounts wished one another a happy New Year.
This raised eyebrows for some users, with Clinton issuing a clarification that she is not, in fact, a practicing Satanist.
Oh goodness gracious. We can be civil, cheerful, respectful to & friends with people who don’t share our religious beliefs. Sometimes, we even marry them. I’m a Methodist & my husband is Jewish, thank you for asking. A very happy New Year to you Rhonda! https://t.co/8UH9SP8EWO
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 3, 2018
To some left wingers, that’s unfortunate.
Writing for The Guardian, journalist Stuart Jeffries points out that Satanism is “cool.”
“One hopes that, like her father’s denial of having had ‘sexual relations with that woman,’ Chelsea’s disclaimer isn’t for real. Doesn’t she realise that the radical power of Satan is having a moment unparalleled since Milton unwittingly made him the badass rebel hero of Paradise Lost?” Jeffries writes.
He isn’t entirely wrong. Scores of leftists have found themselves on a quest for structure and meaning since they lost an election over a year ago.
It seems a casual belief in star signs and Mercury in retrograde isn’t enough to see many through the rough years ahead, pointing them toward full-on occultism for guidance.
Witchcraft has also seen a jump in recent months, from covens places hexes on President Trump to Bernie supporters casting spells on ballot boxes in Portland.
With Satanism, The Guardian calls is “a community-based response to the Trump era.”
“Satanism has been associated with moral panics over witches or the ritual abuse of children during its history, sometimes unfairly…Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance,” Jeffries writes.
The Los Angeles Times recently sent a reporter to hang out with some newly-energized California Satanists, describing the group as, “a heterodox generation of new self-described Satanists who are upending old ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ stereotypes in service of radical politics, feminist aesthetics and community unity in the divisive time of Trump.”
“Traditionalists might debate if any of it is properly ‘Satanic’ at all,” the article continues. “This new take is much more feminist than nihilist, flexibly self-aware and better versed in internet culture than orthodox theology.”
The reporter also described that group of Satanists gleefully celebrating the life of Charles Manson.
“In these times a lot of people want to not feel helpless. And Lucifer was the original rebel angel,” one Satanist told the Times.
After highlight many notable Satanists throughout history, and highlighting the presence of Satanism among successful, Hollywood elites, the reporter attended another Satanist gathering, this time a Q&A with director Kenneth Anger, whose Lucifer Rising is a favorite among devil-worshipers.
The story concludes,
At the witching hour, Twin Temple performed a full set, capped with a ritual during which it performed an anti-baptism of its coven-mate, the young film director Kansas Bowling. Blood-smeared and stripped down to nearly “sky-clad,” as they put it, Bowling was offered up in service to the goddess Lilith as an avenging angel for crimes against women.
“Some of these men, like Harvey Weinstein, are finally being held accountable for their crimes,” Alexandra yelled at the crowd. “What do you think, shall we burn him at the stake? Or shall we drown him and see if he floats?” The crowd erupted in cheers for both.