There once was a time where religiosity ruled as supreme. Whether you were a member of some denomination, sect, or fold of Christianity that dominated the West and some of the near East, one of the other two Abrahamic religions of Islam or Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, or a slew of other nature-based religions, you most likely were devout to something. But as many of the religious structures of old appear to be more oppressive by today’s standards, people are increasingly shunning organized religion as something well, for lack of a better term evil.
While yes, atheism is on the rise in this new so-called age of “reason”, many people still crave some sort of ritual, some need of belonging to a larger community based on some type of commonality. So, at this time where the notion of God is being associated with something bad and detrimental, what has long been the opposite of God is looked at in a favorable light. Of course, here we are speaking about the Devil.
While malicious or evil entities are found in religious and spiritual belief structures throughout the globe, it is commonly from the Abrahamic traditions that we get what is most referred to as the Devil. In a close examination of the origin of the Abrahamic Devil or Lucifer, he is not at all seen as the opposite of God, being that he is not on a level playing field with God but instead one of his sons as mentioned in Job 1:6. Lucifer, meaning in Hebrew “shining one or light-bearer” was a fallen angel, and being that angels are created beings that come from God they are not equal and thus not opposite. In the Qur’an this rebellious figure is named Iblis and refuses to bow down to Adam after he commanded to do so by Allah.
So, is it the rebellious spirit of the figure of Satan that makes him so attractive to people that strive to be counterculture and alternative? The Temple of Satan commissioned a large bronze statue of goat headed, angel-winged icon Bethophat being looked upon by two small children that was first unveiled in Detroit but later displayed at the Arkansas State Capitol building. It was initially meant to be donated to the Oklahoma State Capitol building to permanently stand next to the 10 Commandments Monument but after court proceedings the Temple halted such efforts. More recently another Satanic statue appeared at the Illinois State House as well as a smiling Satan Statue in Segovia, Spain.
A small river named Duden
While there it is not clear if there is a significant rise in Satanism, both theistic and atheistic forms, being that it is extremely hard to find Pew Research on it or any other statistical data, the culture shows a warming up to him. The tv show Lucifer was a raging success. Also, it seems that we can find more and more references to Satan in pop culture and on clothing worn by young people. Whether you believe in him or not, the Devil is becoming less hated and more revered.