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Spiritual paths and ethical systems

Part 2: Goths' religious beliefs. Stereotypes.
Parody web site. Resources. Books.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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The religious faith of Goths:

Many Goths reflect popular culture and are probably nominal or devout Christians. Atheism, Agnosticism, the New Age, Gnosticism, Shamanism, Wicca, other Neopagan traditions, and other minority faith groups are represented more frequently among Goths than in the general population.

Goths often wear Christian crosses or Christian crucifixes, which many regard as a pre-Christian religious symbol. Others wear New Age/ancient Egyptian Ankh symbols. Some do this as expression of their religious beliefs, some for satire, and others because they like their appearance.

Religion is frequently discussed on the Goth newsgroups. Many songs, band names and album titles have Christian themes. 1

The public incorrectly commonly associates Goths with Marilyn Manson. 2 Julie Carroll said:

"Manson publicly presents himself as a follower of the Church of Satan... He was ordained a priest in the Church of Satan by the [late] founder, Anton LaVey. Many fans refer to him as the Rev. Marilyn Manson." 3

Actually, Manson is not a follower of that Church; he was simply appointed as a Reverend within the Church by its founder, Anton LaVey. From this Satanic connection, the perception has grown that Goths are frequently linked to Satanism. There are a few Satanists who are also Goths, but they are rare.

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Stereotypes:

People have accused or described Goths as being:

  • Depressed,
  • Unusually bigoted,
  • Violent,
  • Suicidal,
  • Involved in illegal drugs,
  • Actual vampires or believe themselves to be vampires,
  • Sado-masochists,
  • Satanists,
  • Musicians, painters, and other artists,
  • Computer programmers (although there seem to be a lot of them)
  • Wearers of black (some wear white and gunmetal),
  • Dyers of their hair,
  • Users of white makeup. 4

Some of the above probably apply to some Goths, but definitely not to all.

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Anti-Goth parody website:

Please do not read the next even paragraphs unless you
have a strong stomach, are slow to anger, and are over 18.

GodHatesGoths.com is apparently a lampoon website written from an exaggerated fundamentalist Christian point of view. They present themselves as the official website of an apparently non-existent organization "Parents Against Goth" headed by a fictional character, Rev. R. G. Green. He wrote:

"I hope you will find much comfort in the message of hope and inspiration our website offers."

He quotes the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and its list of crimes for which the penalty is death: Witchcraft, Satanism, Divination, spell casting, acting as a medium, rebellion against one's parents, blasphemy, worshiping Gods other than Yahweh, disrespecting a member of the clergy, etc. He implies that these prohibitions and their punishment by execution are still valid today.

He interprets the Bible as condemning to Hell all Buddhists, Goths, Hindus, Jews, Satanists, Wiccans, as well as children who die young or individuals who are challenged mentally. Aborted fetuses will also "burn in Hell."

Unfortunately, many visitors to that site will assume that it is a legitimate fundamentalist Christian website and believe that it contains useful information.

The web site concludes:

"GOD ALSO DETESTS RETARDS. DOWN SYNDROME, CEREBAL [sic] PALSY, THALIDOMIDES [sic], DWARFISM, SPINA BIFIDA, AND OTHER CREATURES SPASTIC RETARDATIONS ARE REPULSIVE TO GOD. THE BIBLE STATES QUITE CLEARLY THAT THESE TWISTED LIMBLESS MONSTERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR A CHURCH, AS THEY ARE UNCLEAN AND REPULSIVE TO GOD. THEY ARE AN ABOMINATION. THEY HAVE MINDS OF SUCH A REPROBATE NATURE THAT THEY ARE GIVEN TO SEXUALLY GRATIFYING THEMSELVES IN PUBLIC, AND ARE NOTHING MORE THAN SLOBBERING STAMMERING ANIMALS. WHY SHOULD THEY GET THE BEST CARE? GET GRANTS TO BUILD RAMPS FOR THEM? WHEELCHAIRS? PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT? IF GOD DID NOT INTEND THEM TO WALK, LET THEM CRAWL LIKE THE SNAKES THEY ARE."

"GOTHS ARE PROUD OF THEIR SIN, PROUD TO PARADE AROUND LIKE SICK HALLOWEEN FREAK-SHOWS, PROUD TO DEGRADE THEIR BODIES WITH TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS, PROUD TO ENGAGE IN FILTHY SEXUAL PERVERSIONS, AND IN THAT PRIDEFUL STATE THEY CANNOT REPENT - YOU CANNOT REPENT OF SOMETHING YOU'RE PROUD OF. PRIDE IS ONE OF THE 7 ABOMINABLE SINS WHICH ARE HATED BY GOD."

"THE GOTHS' ONLY HOPE IS TO HAVE THE UNAMBIGUOUS TRUTH PREACHED TO THEM, AND PERHAPS GOD WILL SOFTEN THEIR HEARTS AND GRANT THEM REPENTANCE TO DEPART FROM THEIR SIN AND NAME THE NAME OF CHRIST. NOT VERY LIKELY, THOUGH, SINCE GOD HAS GIVEN UP ON THEM. HE HAS ABANDONED THEM. HE SHALL MOCK THEM WHEN THEY SUFFER, AND LAUGH AT THEIR DEMISE. WHEN A GOTH DIES, GOD LAUGHS."

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Helpful Goth resources:

  • ChristianGoth.com provides "a haven for people who have found the Truth through the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)." See: http://www.christiangoth.com/ They have a listing of Goth-friendly Christian churches at: http://www.christiangoth.com/

  • Euphonika, according to Scanner: "... pushes outwards, fusing unsettling imagery, serial killers, rudely obsessed doll fanatics within a vaudeville circus atmosphere, leaving this viewer disoriented, unsteady, yet thirsting for more" See: http://www.euphonika.com/

  • The Gothic Resource Network is a large and very active website featuring information on entertainment, news, shopping, etc. They have chats, message boards, personal pages, and other features online. See: http://www.egoth.com

  • Gothic Clothing supplies the latest designs of Gothic clothing, pirate shirts, medieval clothings, Gothic corsets, etc. at an affordable cost. See: http://www.thegothicclothing.co.uk/

  • Iniquity supplies Goth clothing and accessories. See: http://www.iniquityclothing.com/

  • MakeupPad.com has a list of links dealing with Gothic make up at: http://www.makeuppad.com/

  • Moon Maiden Gothic Clothing in the UK sells a "... range of exclusive gothic clothes; including plus sizes and made to measure gothic clothing at no extra charge!  They ship worldwide. See: http://www.moonmaiden-gothic-clothing.co.uk/

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Amazon.com's online bookstore lists the following books on the Goths:

If you see a generic Amazon ad here, please click on your browser's refresh key.

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References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. ShanMonster, "Jesus was Gother than You," at: http://www.bigfoot.com/
  2. The website angelmanson.com bills itself as "the most 'in-depth' Marilyn Manson website on the Internet." See: http://www.angelmanson.com 
  3. Julie Carroll, "Marilyn Manson brings death rock to children," at: http://www.dwc.org/
  4. Ice Princess, "Academia Gothica," a course of study in the Goth subculture at: http://www.blarg.net/ *
  5. Some websites with many links to Goth resources are:

* These URLs appear to have gone offline since this essay was originally written, perhaps permanently.

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Copyright © 1999 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2014-FEB-17
Author: B.A. Robinson
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