Christian Bale’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, in which he thanked none other than Satan for inspiring his portrayal of former VP Dick Cheney in “Vice,” has earned the official endorsement of the actual Church of Satan.
“And for all the competition, I will be cornering the market on charisma-free a**holes,” Bale said to the tune of audience laughter. “What do you think, Mitch McConnell next? That could be good, couldn’t it? Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role.”
Bale’s hat-tip to the bringer of all evil and darkness raised the eyebrows of some and the accolades of others. The Church of Satan, which bills itself as an atheist organization cosplaying as Satanists to troll backward-thinking Christians, praised the former “Batman” star on social media for being an embodiment of their values.
“To us, Satan is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential,” said the organization on Twitter. “As Mr. Bale’s own talent and skill won him the award, this is fitting. Hail Christian! Hail Satan!”
Worse still, the Church of Satan even endorsed Bale’s interpretation of Batman. “Also, Bale’s Dark Knight era Batman is the best Batman ever,” they said.
The Washington Post underscores that the Church of Satan is not to be confused with the Satanic Temple and “neither worship nor believes that Satan is some sort of powerful, supernatural and evil being.” Here’s how the Church of Satan describes itself in full:
Founded on April 30, 1966 c.e. by Anton Szandor LaVey, we are the first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence. To us, Satan is the symbol that best suits the nature of we who are carnal by birth—people who feel no battles raging between our thoughts and feelings, we who do not embrace the concept of a soul imprisoned in a body. He represents pride, liberty, and individualism—qualities often defined as Evil by those who worship external deities, who feel there is a war between their minds and emotions.
We Satanists are thus our own “Gods,” and as beneficent “deities” we can offer love to those who deserve it and deliver our wrath (within reasonable limits) upon those who seek to cause us—or that which we cherish—harm. Magus Gilmore’s essay “What, The Devil?” from The Satanic Scriptures discusses this in greater detail.
At least that’s what they say about themselves. But since Satan is a notorious liar, the mission statement of a church named after him should not be taken at face-value. After all, the Satanic Temple also bills itself as an atheist organization, but as Harvard student Aurora Griffins says she witnessed, they are anything but. From Crisis Magazine:
When Griffins made her way to the Holy Hour scheduled at St. Paul’s in reparation … she says that a group of the Satanists “threatened to violate or kill [her], hissing their words and advancing toward [her] menacingly.” “Lucky to get away,” she soon heard “rumbling and screaming” from the church’s basement during the Satanists’ thwarted attempt to elude security, break into the sanctuary, and reach the tabernacle. The Satanic Temple’s members later reassembled, off campus, for their Black Mass.
Obviously, Christian Bale’s ode to the prince of darkness for inspiring him to play Dick Cheney was said for laughs. But as the Church of Satan demonstrated, whether in jest or in sincerity, their dark deity will accept the praise all the same.