Satanic Magic vs Catholic Magic in Oklahoma

EucharistOklahoma City Catholic Archbishop Paul Coakley recently filed a lawsuit against a Satanist group, Dakhma of Angra Mainyu. He says “The local organizers of this satanic inversion intend to use a stolen consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church to desecrate it as a sacrifice to Satan” on the Autumn Equinox, September 21.

In the end, the Satanic group has returned the wafer, the group’s leader, Adam Daniels saying,

The reason for this return is based solely on the fact I refuse to waste thousands of dollars fighting over a nasty cookie that some man said a prayer over.

The Washington Post records the Catholic response via “a statement by the Catholic Church’s lawyer, Michael Caspino“:

Without this sacred property, a Black Mass has absolutely no significance, so this group will not be able to hold its satanic ritual as planned….
We stared down the devil and he blinked.

But the facts surrounding wafer and black mass offer some interesting insights into religious thinking, and what better day for that sort of thing than Sunday?

For instance, is there a devil to stare down, or was this entire event a contest between two men rather than between good and evil? And what about the magical elements – not just the cannibalism itself but the process by which wafer and wine are turned into the body and blood of Jesus – of the Eucharist?

According to Coakley, after all, “Catholics believe Jesus Christ is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist and it is the source and summit of our faith.” This is per the Council of Trent (Decree concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, canon III).

Speaking of the Eucharist, Allen Cabiniss wrote of the ideas of early Pagan converts to Christianity about the proper ways to worship that, “These inevitably influenced the Christian liturgy of the first century.”[1] Indeed, by the time of Ignatius of Antioch, the Eucharist was very much a Pagan cult meal and not the seder, or Passover Supper of Jesus and the disciples.[2]

Though some scholars like to take a conservative position with regard to Christianity’s Pagan influences, for example Bruce Metzger’s call for a “high degree of caution in evaluating the relation between the Mysteries and early Christianity,” Helmut Koester asserts that the story of the Eucharist is “technically a cult narrative.”[3] And no caution or warning changes the fact that Justin Martyr, who did not have the scholar’s advantage of hindsight, felt compelled in his First Apology, to defend the liturgy of the Church from the charge that it was an imitation of the Mithraic rites.[4]

Coakley laments in his complaint that, “I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly.”

Funny, but Rome’s Pagans once said the exact same thing about Christianity.

Daniels denied stealing the communion wafer but admited that they certainly did intend to desecrate it in a ritual that will involve “nudity, public urination, and other sex acts.”

Daniels has refused to say where he got the wafer, only that it isn’t stolen, and according to CBS, “told CBS Oklahoma City affiliate KWTV that he would sue Coakley for defamation.”

Basically, they’re trying to defame my character, along with my church’s character, by creating an accusation and bearing false witness to their neighbor, which is one of their Ten Commandments that they’re breaking.

It’s an unholy mess, if you will pardon the pun.

As a Heathen, I find it difficult to sympathize with Coakley, and not only because I don’t believe in the existence of a Satan. Or because Coakley is upset that the Satanist black mass is going to desecrate the Catholic Church’s ritual cannibalism. I’m not sure you can desecrate ritual cannibalism.

My observation is rather, here is a religion – Catholicism – that has stolen so much of what it is – from theology to ritual trappings, including the cult meal narrative of the Eucharist itself, as can be seen above – from Classical Paganism, complaining that somebody has stolen something from it.

Morton Smith made comparisons between Pauline worship and magical practices of the period.

“Such rites,” Smith says, “beginning with an imitation death and ending with resurrection by receipt of a divine spirit, to a new life, are familiar in magical material.” He points to comparisons with “a similar ritual of imitation death, union with the god, and resurrection to a ‘new, superhuman life'” in the Chaldean Oracles as well as Isiac and Mithraic initiations.[5]

Morton Smith believed that it is not surprising that as Christianity attracted more upper class worshippers that the Eucharist came to be treated as a “mystery”: “This development, familiar from patristic material, should be seen as one of the adjustments of Christianity to respectable Roman imperial society.”

And then there is this little gem from Coakley, who represents a religion that daily mocks the beliefs of Pagans in its sermons, saying,

Not all speech is protected if there is hate speech and it is intended to ridicule another religion. I don’t believe it is a free speech matter.

Really? Best stop quoting from your Bible then, which is one long anti-Pagan diatribe. And how about the Catholic Church ridiculing the beliefs of those who find no offense in contraception or in marriage equality?

But I have a question too about whether this establishes a precedent. Does this mean Pagan groups can sue the Catholic church for desecrating what we hold to be holy. Can we sue the Papacy to get back the Pagan title of the high priest of Rome, the Pontifex Maximus? Can we sue him for his theft of his Pagan hat? Can we sue makers of the Jesus fish that is a Pagan fertility symbol? Can we sue them to get Christmas back? And Easter?

And what does all this say about Christian, or at least Catholic, theology?

According to Fox News, “Coakley told FoxNews.com he could not just ignore what the satanist’s planned to do even though their event in the Civic Center’s 92-seat basement theater has sold only 13 tickets to date. The satanists are also planning an exorcism to rid a person of the Holy Spirit.”

They intend to commit an act of blasphemous sacrilege against the Catholic Eucharistic host,” the archbishop said. “It is my duty to prevent this blasphemy from taking place in a public venue.

A couple questions: if God is all-powerful, how can a human rid somebody of the holy spirit? Impossible, unless God is less than he’s cracked up to be. Second, why can’t Coakley turn the other cheek like Jesus tells him to? If somebody stole his wafer, he should offer that person his cassock.

Meanwhile, the magic will go forward: Catholic magic in the form of the Eucharist and Satanic magic in the form of the Black Mass, with Daniels saying,

The Black Mass of Oklahoma will continue as planned with the original host that has been used since 1666, course black bread. We will moved forward using the Concentration found in Black Mass. Nothing has changed and we will still move forward with worshiping the Devil and blaspheming Gawd in the public square.

Fox News makes a big deal about Daniels being a sex offender but that’s something we can say about a large chunk of the Catholic clergy, so let’s call that one a wash.

In the end, Satanists want to piss on Jesus’ body and Catholics want to eat it, and part of me would love to hear the arguments pro and con offered about that in court.

The other part of me finds this all rather disheartening, and at times like this, I find it difficult not to sympathize with atheists.

Image from Marys-touch.com

Notes:

[1] Allen Cabiniss, “Liturgy-Making Factors in Primitive Christianity” The Journal of Religion, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jan, 1943), 52.
[2] Paul describes the Eucharist feast at 1 Cor. 11:23-26; (cf. Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-19).
[3] Bruce M. Metzger, “Considerations of Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Early Christianity,” HTR 48, (1955), 20 and Helmut Koester, “Written Gospels or Oral Tradition?” Journal of Biblical Literature 113 (1994), 293.
[4] Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66.
[5] Morton Smith, “Pauline Worship as Seen by Pagans,” HTR, 73, (1980), 242, citing H. Lewy, Chaldaean Oracles and Theurgy (Cairo, 1956), 204-213.
[6] Smith (1980), 248.

35 Replies to “Satanic Magic vs Catholic Magic in Oklahoma”

  1. I guess it would be asking too much for everyone to get along, and this is coming from someone who is spiritual and has pagan friends (one of them used to be satanic, lost interest, and then converted back to christianity). Then again, having common sense and not dumping all over people whom may have differences apart from you would be too much like right.

  2. As someone who lives here all I can do is snicker because the majority of so-called Christians here think the Roman Catholic church are the anti-Christ.

  3. Basically this tells me several things:
    – Judaism and Christianity are little more then pick up religions.
    – The creation story is now known to be purely Babylonian in origin.
    – almost all biblical stories are from generations before they supposedly occurred. Moses, Noah,Jesus the list goes on.
    – Christians and Judaism have changed their religions over the years to accommodate the people they were converting.
    – The Catholic church tenets are full of ridiculous exercises meant to impress and spellbind people into staying believers out of fear.
    – I am sick of what forcing religion on people is doing to this country. People need to understand if you bolieve in one god then you are readily admitting all the other gods exist or at least potentially exist.
    – Christianity uses hell as its model to scare people into giving their money, conversion or remaining in the cult.
    – Religion is and always has been a power trip. Nothing more nothing less

  4. As a pantheist – I see the groking all ways…Unfortunately, very few organized religions get it and none of the followers of those self-absorbed and tiny-minded ideas even come close to getting it since they tend to be too hung up in a deity made in their own image (and forgetting that all things – the entirety of the multiverse is the image of the cosmic one…nothing was made in any image)

  5. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d been reading “Christian Nation”, a novel by Frederic Rich. I just finished it.

    I’m not laughing at this squabble between the Catholics and the Satanists after reading that book, as well as the book on Sarah Palin’s dominionist evangelical roots by Leah L. Burton, “TheoPalinism” (they’re related, in that the latter is a real-life description of what could be a precursor of the events in the Rich book).

    It’s not like Americans aren’t being warned about the metastases of jealous, intolerant religion in this country.

  6. Shiva, I always ask the question that if the god of Abraham is the one and only god: why did he say in one of his commandments that they shall have no other gods before him? Doesn’t that in fact imply that there indeed are other gods?

  7. The beginning of this article that quotes the catholic church and the Satanic group shows how these two groups are living in the 13th century! What hog wash they both spout about the different kinds of “magic” they can perform against each other. HOW TOTALLY RIDICULOUS EACH ONE IS!!!
    Now I must go and light a candle to the kitchen God so my toast won’t burn.

  8. The comments above are just as daft as the article itself. I don’t understand how people make a whole universe sparse if any knowledge. How one runs one’s life on almost pure conjecture is actually fascinating.

    1. The Catholic Church did not ‘steal’ anything from paganism, not hats, Easter, Christmas and its trees. What the Church did was co-opt them. Celebrate on a day of a pagan festival and give it Christian context. Use a tree celebrating Christian attributes in relation with a Christian memory.

    2. What the satanists did was go to a Catholic Church and ‘steal’ a wafer (an object of Christian worship) to use in their parody. They are not co-opting the idea, they are using an actual Christian object. Obviously this differs greatly in quality with no.1 above.

    My question is, why is it so important to use an actual Christian object of worship for their religion to be valid? The answer might intrigue you.

  9. If money is of ultimate importance to a person then money is a god. Obviously money is not the originator of man or to which man is created. Having money as god obviously doesn’t make it a true being but it remains simply an object. Obviously sense is made within context.

  10. I see you have no idea of the issues in this case. How refreshing. But, before you retort, go look this up on google

  11. Well, Mary T, maybe it would be more 21st Century if the American Constitution was urinated and stooled on and I’m sure it would be much more reasonable to have a dispute over that, wouldn’t it?

  12. As an atheist I must quote Ashley Brilliant, “I used to be disgusted, now I’m only amused”. These two organizations, the Church and Satanists, cannot exist without one another. Christianity needs the “devil” for an enemy to frighten its pin-headed followers and Satanism needs Cristianity to rebel against.

  13. You’re a funny fellow, Shiva. So the issue in this article is whether the wafer was obtained in the US or not. OK then, I seem to have a problem locating that point in the article. Could you please point me to that argument and show me how it is the issue of this article, I’m awfully dumb. Thanks.

  14. Sorry dj, I can’t, it gives me life.

    “A wafer? A nasty ass cracker? Are you serious”

    Indeed I am dj. There is nothing nasty ass about the “wafer”. It is the source for me and millions the world over for a sane and deeply human existence.

  15. Fortunately it is far, far interiorly deeper than your magic pants and requires far, far more human consideration than your concept. Unfortunately that is only how near you are willing to take your mind to, to which you assume you are ahead of the pack.

  16. You miss my point. And no its not my magic underwear but seeing that your dogma is the only nonsense that is righteous all I can say is carry on. Its still nothing more than a tasteless cracker.

  17. lol. The point was not missed. I am actually directing you to the point you have always missed, the Eucharist has no semblance to magic whatsoever! At some level it is interactive self-assessment which I doubt you have ever tried. It actually involves a lot more sense than you are willing to use.

  18. OK eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood makes sense? Look I don’t care if you or anyone believes in hocus pocus magic that is your right and its still a tasteless cookie

  19. All I am hoping for is that it will get past you skull that the Eucharist IS NOT MAGIC. It is only reasonable that you understand what you are talking about. Is that too much to ask?

  20. Look I respect your right to worship magic respect mines when I say bullshit and its still nothing more than a tasteless cracker. Now if you think by taking communion you are becoming one with your Christ then that’s your business.

  21. Uhh! That word ‘magic’ again! For goodness sakes! Who’s talking about whether you respect my right or your right to believe anything? I’m not trying to convert you, I’m trying to get you to understand a simple straight forward thing! If you can’t get over your con-fusion then have a good day.

  22. Actually, it seems to me that the Catholics, by default, are Satanists because they believe in him, even though he is the ‘enemy’ of ‘their own’ God’

    So, having made a big thing out of Satan, now they are going fire and brimstone on an organization that is actually based on one of THEIR OWN beliefs.

    Gods, this is too funny and sad at the same time.

    It seems that this Bishop has forgotten that not only is there Free Speech, but Freedom of Religion in our Constitution, which he must, as an American, abide by.

    And, yes, the Eucharist IS a form of magic ritual. When you do any form of ‘rites’ over a ‘holy object’ of any sort, endowing it with ‘The Holy Spirit’ of your choice, this, clearly falls under what ANY practitioner would call ‘Magic’.

    What they never say is that the Catholic Church has basically has tried to keep a monopoly on ‘magic’ ever since the Inquisitions.

    Call it what you like, it still comes down to magic from unseen beings or the Priest!

  23. Not sure I have any answer for that, they seem to have been ‘fighting him’ for quite some time and don’t seem to be gaining much ground.

    Not sure if that has to do with so many pedophiles in the Catholic Church or it’s ties to the Mob that it seems to cozen to, but we see a lot of them have to keep fighting the Devil Within and so where is the clear division line between them and the Satanists to begin with. Different rituals and mirror practices of each other using the same figures…

    However, I am certainly not for the dark practices and consider myself a Light Worker belonging to no ‘organized religion’ but still trying to bring Light to the World and it’s Peoples. Truth, Honesty and Duty to Others is my way of life. It does not need a formal religion to live that way!

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