Today while listening to an interview with John Hodgman, I heard the best explanation of The Church of Satan I've ever heard. (I frequently find myself trying to explain to people that Satanism really has nothing to do with Satan, which only ever has the effect of making people think that I'm a Satanist.)
In any case, the rest of the interview is fantastic as well, but the explanation of Satanism went like this:
"They do not worship Satan, per se. They're not a coven of witches in the dakota. You know what I mean?... who are trying to summon up spirits. It is more of a sort of, um, self-determination... anti-authoritarian cult. It's kind of like, uh, Ayn Randian Objectivism... with funny goat masks. It is a rejection of, sort of, what they consider to be hypocritical moralism of churches, and instead, they um... have sex with eachother."
Now if only I could explain Ayn Randian Objectivism to people. Everytime I try, it has the effect of making people think that I'm Ron Paul. Hmm, on second thought, maybe I'll just stick to explaining Satanism.
Anyway, I encourage you to check out the entire interview, if only to learn the context in which Satanism came up in a John Hodgman interview. (It's pretty funny.)