Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK) issued a statement Monday ahead of a Satanic “black mass” scheduled to take place at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City in September.
In a statement published at OK.gov, Fallin said, “This ‘Black Mass’ is a disgusting mockery of the Catholic faith, and it should be equally repellent to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.”
“It may be protected by the First Amendment,” she went on, “but that doesn’t mean we can’t condemn it in the strongest terms possible for the moral outrage which it is. It is shocking and disgusting that a group of New York City ‘satanists’ would travel all the way to Oklahoma to peddle their filth here. I pray they realize how hurtful their actions are and cancel this event.”
When Oklahoma officials passed special laws allowing for the display of faith-based monuments and statuary at the state Capitol, they inadvertently paved the way for The Satanic Temple, a religious group based in the New York City, to establish an official presence on the Capitol’s grounds.
The Satanists unveiled a plan for a 7-foot, goat-headed statue of the pagan deity Baphomet, who was appropriated as the symbol of the Satanic Church in the early 20th century. Because the state ruled that faith-based symbology and monuments are welcome on public property, the state government was forced to make room for the Satanic monument.
However, the Satanists who are planning to celebrate the autumnal equinox on Sep. 21 by holding a so-called “black mass” at the Oklahoma City Civic Center are not from the Satanic Temple. On Tuesday, the Satanic Temple demanded an apology from Fallin, who had confused them with a separate, Oklahoma City-based group.
“We have nothing to do with this event whatsoever. For the Governor to display such a complete failure of due diligence, to the point of erroneously focusing public ire on us, is unconscionable. We’re disgusted. We have sown a great deal of good will in Oklahoma and this seems to be a deliberate attempt to undermine that. I feel the Governor owes our organization an apology,” said Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves.
The local Catholic Archdiocese has begged the city not to allow the Sep. 21 ritual to proceed.
Archbishop Paul Coakley has denounced the proposed mass as “evil in its purest form.”
Coakley worried aloud that the Satanic mass would draw demons and evil spirits to Oklahoma City and release them into the community.
“The Satanic ritual that is scheduled to be performed at our Civic Center is to invoke those dark powers, which I believe are very real and call them into our city, into our community.” Coakley said.
Jennifer McClintock, a spokesperson for the Civic Center, said that the center’s hands are tied because of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which holds that no U.S. government entity may show preference for one religion over another.
“We must follow not only the laws of our state, but the United States, and the First Amendment of the Constitution says we cannot deny a rental to any one group based upon the content of their message, even if it offends other people,” McClintock said.
[image of occultist summoning evil spirit via Shutterstock.com]