With headlines conjuring up "the devil and the deep blue sea," a non-commissioned officer in the Royal Navy has become the first registered Satanist in the British armed forces, leaving some veterans and politicians stunned.
Chris Cranmer, 24, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been officially recognized as a Satanist by the captain of the HMS Cumberland, according to the London Telegraph.
The designation gives him permission to perform Satanic rituals aboard, and have a funeral carried out by the Church of Satan if he's killed in action.
"From a military perspective, I believe in vengeance," Cranmer told the paper. "I don't consider Satan to be an intelligently external force in my life; instead I consider it an empowering internal force. If I were asked if I were evil, I would say yes by virtue of the common definition. However, if you asked my family and friends you would hear a resounding 'no'. I get a massive amount from my career, while sacrificing little."
Founded in San Francisco in 1966 by Anton LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible, the Church of Satan has its followers live by the Nine Satanic Statements, including "Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek," "Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification," and "Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence."
The idea of putting a ship into devil worship is raising some red flags among Britain's war veterans.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon