The Devil Went Down to Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall is the planned venue for a September 21 public performance of a Satanic Black Mass, for which tickets are being sold at $15 apiece.

The Black Mass is being staged by a Satanic cult group called Dakhma of Angra Mainyu.

Recently, another group called the Satanic Temple has been lobbying to erect a statue of Baphomet — Satan with a goat’s head — in the Oklahoma state capitol as a stunt to protest the placement of a Ten Commandments monument. State officials have vehemently opposed the statue, which features two adoring children standing at the feet of Satan, being placed on the lawn.

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City has condemned the planned Black Mass and called on the board members of the Civic Center to ban the event.

The Satanists behind the statue project insist that they just want equal treatment under the First Amendment, while the organizers of the Black Mass claim it’s an “educational” event.

The Satanic shenanigans coincide with an ACLU lawsuit against the Ten Commandments monument, which was a gift to the state. The ACLU claims that a religious monument should not be on state property unless everybody in the state agrees with its message.

Speaking about the ACLU suit in the same breath with the Satanists is not out of order, because both groups have something in common: the desire to get rid of Christianity in public life.

A well-funded effort to eliminate Christian elements of American life has been going on for years under various guises: atheist groups, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center and numerous other organizations have served as the faces of such challenges. Today in Oklahoma it’s the ACLU and Satanists.

Satanism doesn’t really have a leg to stand on as a religion. While there certainly are people who think they can get “blessings” or power from the devil and sundry demons, the most common form of Satanism, based on the Satanic Church founded by Anton LaVey, is really just a crass effort to mock and disrupt Christianity. LaVey himself admitted as much and was quite proud of the fact.

With today being the Fourth of July, it’s proper to reflect on the words of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

By mocking God, the Satanists are really mocking the idea that humans partake in a divine nature given to them by the Creator and that they therefore are special beings, each individual not just worthy of respect but possessing rights that must be protected. For Satanists, humans are just cattle, and they should indulge their animal nature in order to acquire power, a process that involves ritually abusing and harming others.

Satanism, in other words, is the antithesis of not only Christianity but of the heart of American principles of liberty and responsibility.

They fit in perfectly with the liberal worldview that believes debauchery is moral and Christianity is old-fashioned and a roadblock that needs to be eliminated.

The organizers of the Black Mass say on their website that the event has been “toned down” to comply with Oklahoma laws. They don’t specify what they mean, but Satanic rituals typically involve all sorts of acts of lewdness, up to and including gang rapes of “volunteers.” Presumably, the Black Mass has been sanitized of any clearly illegal acts so that it can be viewed as “entertainment.”

The Civic Center officials are hiding behind the First Amendment, saying that as a government venue they must allow any group that pays the rental fee to stage an event. That’s a bit unbelievable, and it’s likely that a group like the KKK and many others would not get such deadpan treatment. You can safely guess that the center’s officials either just don’t care if Christians are belittled or they actually sympathize with the Satanic group.

Atheist groups have been known to use similar tactics. In Florida at the Statehouse, for example, atheist groups demanded “equal time” to counter an annual manger display and wound up taking up public space with piles of spaghetti (Richard Dawkins’ Flying Spaghetti Monster) and beer-can “festivus” poles.

Legislators correctly allow sincere religious displays and events on public property, but for some reason no one seems to think clearly when the inevitable smart-alecks pop up to cause trouble.

The First Amendment protects religious expression, but it doesn’t promise the right to take up public space with displays whose primary purpose is to belittle other faiths, almost always Christianity.

It also doesn’t require communities to put up with outside organizations coming to town to make a spectacle and try to force their will on a town’s inhabitants.

The First Amendment protects religious expression; it shouldn’t be allowed to be used as camouflage by groups whose ultimate intent is to tear down America by tearing down Christianity.