“It should not surprise the person alerted to spiritual realities that in an age of atheism diverse forms of the religion of Satanism have sprung up all over the world and are gaining followers at a rapid rate.” So wrote the late Catholic priest Vincent P. Miceli in his 1981 book, The Antichrist: The Final Campaign Against the Savior, recently republished by Sophia Institute Press, with observations about secularism’s evils highly pertinent forty years later.
Miceli noted that the “decline of Christian Faith has led to the decline of man’s confidence in the powers of human reason to attain reality and truth. Man has concluded today that all truth is relative.” “In rejecting the permanent authority of truth as founded by God in reality, reason, and revelation, man set himself up as the autonomous source of truth,” Miceli added. “Yet man is to himself an insoluble dilemma” and “must admit that there remain many phenomena that his autonomous intellect cannot explain.”
Ironically, Miceli perceived, secularism and the satanic therefore went hand in hand. A “religion of modern secular humanism is powerless intellectually to stem the rush to the coves of occultism. Indeed, secular humanism is one of the primary causes of the revival of the religion of Satanism,” he wrote. As he explained:
Despairing of his reason or of revelation to make this realm intelligible to him, man has convinced himself that he can get in contact with the mysterious, with the unknown, by means of his emotions and his will. To aid himself in making this contact man has consulted the seer, the fortune teller, the prophet, the sorcerer, the medium. Hence man is no longer a philosopher nor a believer; he has become the atheistic scientist who has gone on a ghost hunt. For without the God of reason and of revelation, man is condemned to dabble at diabolism. Thus to explain the many phenomena that escape rational laws, man has recourse to table tapping, to spiritualists, witches, seance people, yoga people, the Mystical Church of Cosmic Vibrations people.
This turn to the dark side also has political consequences, Miceli warned, for
when the true God is banished from man’s society, new gods rush in to replace Him. But perhaps what has not been clearly seen today is that when man accepts new gods in his practice of the occult, he also necessarily brings about a revival of the politics of ancient paganism. A normal development of the worship of pagan gods was the creation of a divine state that rested on a theology of continuity, that is, on the denial of the Creator-creature distinction. The pagan theocratic state could take the lives of its children, or any members, as a sacrifice to the god of the state. The worshippers of Moloch ordered their sons and daughters to pass through fire as a form of sacrifice and testing. Thus God’s prohibitions to the Chosen People against occult worship were not only a means of protecting people’s lives morally from perverse practices, but also a means of restricting the power of the omnipotent political rulers who were theoretically unbounded by the restraint of limited, reasonable men and could take human life indiscriminately in the name of the god Moloch.
Belief in any version of Moloch “begets” a “man-centered, oppressive, demonic order,” Miceli wrote, namely the
totalitarian state. The modern world everywhere is succumbing to the power of such a Moloch state. For secular, rational, and occult humanism denies that there is any really transcendent, higher-than-human voice or authority that cares. Secular and occult humanists are at one in denying the true God. They are at one in divinizing man, the secularist through science, the occultist through demonic powers. Both seek power. The secularist seeks political power in the name of humanity; the occultist seeks the power of the underworld in the name of humanity…And both eventually come together to create the super-instrument of power, the modern omnicompetent state that claims absolute authority over the life and death of each citizen.
“The somber lesson to be learned is that a religion that promises progress in liberty, science, education, economic, and social welfare, without belief in a transcendent God, cannot produce a secular utopia,” Miceli rightly warned:
The starry-eyed men of the Enlightenment produced a Moloch state that ruled with a Reign of Terror and plunged Europe into nationalist wars that led to the apotheosis of the emperor-god, Napoleon. The incurable optimist-rationalists of the nineteenth century produced the secular gods and architects of totalitarian Molochs—Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao—the imperialistic tyrannies of Communist Russia and China. The Moloch states of race and blood were engendered by the Nazi-Fascist tyrants, Hitler and Mussolini.
“Moloch states” have also formed in Western countries, Miceli noted, through policies promoting mass abortion, which reveals a
nation that has usurped the power of God over life and death. In the name of its new secular gods, Progress and Liberty, titles that are false fronts for Rebellion and Licentiousness, many formerly Christian nations are driving their sons and daughters through the demonic fires of sacrificial murder.
As Micelli discussed, “Christ or chaos,” as preached by both Catholics and Protestants, is no mere pious platitude. The American-Israeli political theorist Yoram Hazony has likewise documented how a free Western civilization has its basis in the “Hebrew Bible,” as received by Christians through belief in a Jewish messiah. Life without a loving God, whether expressed in satanic or secular terms, ultimately serves the “father of lies.”