THE DEVIL WAS THE FIRST “PERSON” TO OFFER AMERICANS EQUAL RIGHTS
Back in 1692, during the Essex County witchcraft panic around Salem, Massachusetts, confessed “witches” told their captors that the devil promised them a world of “gallant equality.”
Which means, yes, the devil was the first person to promote equal rights to Americans.
Few things would have sounded more alarming to 17th century religious zealots. Equality was not an American value in those days; in fact, the concept was downright devilish.
After all, this was was a slave-owning culture, and one in which most women (considered “the weaker vessel in body and mind,” as Edmund S Burke put it in Beat the Devil) had no legal standing at all.
Spiritually, Calvinist puritans hoped they were members of the “elect,” the spiritual elite. God had declared some superior and destined for salvation at the beginning of time; the rest of the human race were inferior souls, chaff for the devil.
A 17th century American’s idea of god’s kingdom was one where the pious cheerfully bought slaves, cut the ears off of religious dissenters, and outlawed women speaking in church. And where only the devil promised equity.
So of course the concept of equal rights or standing was the parlance of Satan. Only “witches” and “demons” found it self-evident that all men (and women–society is always ready and waiting to call women Satanists) were equal in the old America.
Witch trial records say that Satan’s pitch to his followers included “an end to shame and sin” and the cancellation of debts. He offered to free the Salem village preacher’s slaves too, according to testimony. And the colonists called him a patron of native tribes; indeed, the Wabanaki were supposed to be literally Satan’s people, “a race seduced to the Western hemisphere by the devil” in the opinion of witch hunting weirdo Cotton Mather.
That was the American devil: a champion of equity, human rights, indigenous populations, and economic reform. It’s almost a shame that as atheistic Satanists we don’t believe the devil really exists; as far as Founding Fathers go, few come with better qualifications.
These days the puritans are as dead as hobnailed boots, and some modern churches have very different ideas about what god and Satan say about America.
But that, of course, is because our American ideas about evil are very different today. Gods, very conveniently, seem to always share the values of their worshipers. They change at roughly the same rate too; that is, annoyingly slowly.
But according to the old courts, the devil has been pushing human rights in America since day one. And he still is; Satanism has no deity to decide who should have control of your body. And no holy book calling anyone else a chosen people.
Satan is the original American hero, but of course he never gets the credit he deserves. Not that he’s going to play the martyr or anything; not his style.