It’s the quirky news story of the week. Leading Hand Cranmer, 24, a technician on board HMS Cumberland, has been given permission to perform Satanic rituals at sea. According to Warlock Helnock, editor of Rule Satannia magazine:
Chris did a piece for issue 5 of Rule Satannia (out at Halloween) about becoming an official Satanist in the armed forces. The Sunday Telegraph picked up on it and contacted us and we put them in contact with Chris. And now the story seems to have gone global!
“Maybe in hindsight he should not have written an article for the magazine Rule Satannia” said his mother, “but I dont think he thought it would cause this much fuss.”
Cranmer has been active on Satanist web forums where he posts under the username ‘The Demon Jock.’ Follow the links and you’ll find him on web sites like The Society of the Onyx Star and The Gate of Naphula.
Search Google News for “Chris Cranmer” and you’ll find almost 100 articles referring to the Royal Navy’s most notorious religious minority (some searches will throw up references to another Chris Cranmer – the publisher of The Onion).
Meanwhile, in the US columnists are frothing at the mouth over the Puyallup School District‘s decision to ban Halloween celebrations. Karen Hansen, administrative assistant to the superintendent, said Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween
costumes might be offensive to real witches. “Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion and so we want to be respectful of that,” said Hansen.
So here’s a question for readers – Why are these kinds of stories so popular? Are they just funny or are people really afraid that political correctness will mean it’s impossible to discriminate between serious religions and nutty cults?