"Oh, that's a typo. It should read 'Satan.'"
Growing up, my siblings and I raised various kinds of animals. Dogs, cats, chickens, fish--pretty much anything to which our parents would say 'yes.' Although the list of the types of animals we were allowed to keep was short, we could have pretty much as many as we cared to feed. At one time we had 2 dogs, a litter of puppies, 2-3 cats, a litter of kittens, a 50 gallon tank full of fish and roughly a dozen chickens. We could easily accommodate so many animals on our 2 1/2 acre lot of mostly woods and an open field (large for a metropolitan area).
Every spring at least one animal would give birth, usually our golden retriever or one of our cats. This was great fun as a kid, as we were responsible for caring for the litters of puppies and kittens until they were old enough to be given away. This was before groups like PETA and the Humane Society influenced changes on how animals should be distributed, so we would just take a large cardboard box full of young animals to a local grocery store and give them away for free to anyone passing by. This made for a fun-filled afternoon. That is, until we met some woman who was paranoid of Satanic cults...
According to this well-dressed, middle-aged, rambling housewife, Satan is real and Satanic cults in the area collect animals such as ours for ritual sacrifices. Keep in mind she said this to a group of young children with a box full of kittens. We were more confused than afraid, and upon realizing that she wasn't going to leave until we did, we piled into our car and left her on the side walk. Needless to say, we stopped going to grocery stores and started giving them away at our home.
Fear of cults is nothing new, as indicated by this FBI report in 1992, which did an extensive study into cases of reported ritualized abuse supposedly associated with Satanic cults. Here is an excerpt from their findings:
"The amount of "ritual" child abuse going on in this country depends on how you define the term. One documented example of what I might call "ritual" child abuse was the horror chronicled in the book A Death in White Bear Lake (Siegal, 1990.) The abuse in this case, however, had little to do with anyone's spiritual belief system. There are many children in the United States who, starting early in their lives, are severely psychologically, physically, and sexually traumatized by angry, sadistic parents or other adults. Such abuse, however, is not perpetrated only or primarily by satanists. The statistical odds are that such abusers are members of mainstream religions. If 99.9% of satanists and 0.1% of Christians abuse children as part of their spiritual belief system, that still means that the vast majority of children so abused were abused by Christians.
"Until hard evidence is obtained and corroborated, the public should not be frightened into believing that babies are being bred and eaten, that 50,000 missing children are being murdered in human sacrifices, or that satanists are taking over America's day care centers or institutions. No one can prove with absolute certainty that such activity has not occurred. The burden of proof, however, as it would be in a criminal prosecution, is on those who claim that it has occurred."
Here are a couple clips illustrating this further. First is a clip from "Criminal Minds" (btw, that's Inigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride" in the back of the plane):
And one from "Penn and Teller: Bullsh!t" (explicit):
In fact, no cases of ritualized killings have ever been substantiated, as far as I can tell. I'm not sure if anyone has ever killed another human being in the name of Satan. Animals, maybe. But people? It doesn't seem so. According to some people, the human sacrifice rituals described in "The Satanic Bible" do not involve any physical harm, but rather inflict a hex or curse on an individual who "by his reprehensible behavior, practically cries out to be destroyed." This sounds similar to the use of Voodoo dolls as a means of punishing those deserving of punishment. It is nothing more than ritualized vigilante justice.
Here are a few more references on Satanic cults and violence:
Satanic ritual abuse (wiki)
Satanic Panic (book)
Let's shift gears a bit (you know where this is going, don't you?). In the New Testament, all 4 Gospels describe the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. I assume this is common knowledge, so I won't bother referencing the verses. The commonly accepted reason for such a sacrifice is to atone for the sins of mankind so that we may go to heaven. In the Jewish faith, according to the Law of Moses, the Israelites also atoned for their sins by sacrificing animals (i.e. goats, lambs). Furthermore, similar to Christianity, the Muslim tradition also stems from Judaism and accepts sacrifices described in the Old Testament, such as Abraham and Isaac (although, they would say Abraham and Ishmael). There are nearly 2 billion Christians, 1 billion Muslims, and 14 million Jews in the world today--all of whom accept some form of human or animal sacrifice. So, why are they opposed to other religious groups doing the same thing? Despite the fact that no Satanic ritualized killings have ever been substantiated, it would be hypocritical for Christians to oppose the practice if a case is ever confirmed, since their own theology demands it.
Consider this: according to Christianity, the only confirmed case of human sacrifice between god and Satan is that of Jesus Christ. Judaism has killed at least as many animals over the last few thousand years as even the most aggressive Satanic cults. Not even Anton LaVey, author of "The Satanic Bible," would have condoned the account of Abraham and Ishmael. It seems to me, at least with regards to the question of ritualized killings and abuse, Satanism is on better moral ground than all 3 of the great monotheisms. As I asked in a previous post, between god and Satan, how do you know god is the good one?