Liberty Counsel, which pretends to be “dedicated to advancing religious freedom,” yet which regularly attacks the religious freedom of others, is now asserting that that groups whose religious practices “offend other faiths” should be prohibited. Bob Unruh at World Net Daily tells us that “‘God-loving Americans’ confront ‘filth peddling’ Satanists” over the Black Mass in “the heart of the Bible belt.”
Well hell, sign me up. With the Satanists that is. Not because I agree with Satanism, but because I believe Satanists should have the right to practice their beliefs too. But apparently 170,000 Right Wing Nut Job opponents of the First Amendment signed a petition at TFP Student Action to find fault with my iron-clad reasoning.
They’re offended dammit. So the show must not go on. Even though they’re not actually going to the show unless they bought a ticket.
Just the mere fact of somebody else practicing their religious beliefs is hateful to fake Christians to the extent that they insist those practices must be banned. And it isn’t just Satanism. You remember Bryan Fischer’s horrified objectionto the Obamas letting actual Hindus into the White House to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Now, that isn’t what the First Amendment says, of course. It isn’t even what Liberty Counsel once said, as Right Wing Watch reminds us:
Ironically, Liberty Counsel itself once cited Justice William Brennan’s claim that “[i]f there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
Liberty Counsel is more than happy to champion its own spokesperson’s religious freedom when they are attacking Islam in a public place. But God and therefore the government forbid anyone else should have access to the same rights as a Christian.
The petition by TFP Student Action says,
With my whole heart and soul, I express full, complete and vehement rejection of the satanic ‘Black Mass’ scheduled at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on September 21, 2014. I urge you to cancel this event which offends 1 billion Catholics worldwide, 200,000 Catholics in Oklahoma and countless more God-loving Americans. Sacrilege is simply NOT free speech.
Sacrilege is free speech. Sacrilege is a religious, not a civil law, and America is a democracy, not a theocracy. If sacrilege isn’t free speech, the Religious Right better stop telling people Jesus loved the rich and hated the poor. That’s not only sacrilege, it’s the sin of lying.
Another petition at citizengo.org has apparently collected 96,952 signatures. That’s a quarter of a million people who oppose the First Amendment in the Bible Belt. Color me unsurprised.
According to WND Archbishop Paul Coakley said,
“I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance,” and Bishop Edward Slattery said, “As a part of satanic worship, a Black Mass attempts to invert the action and meaning of the Eucharist in order to mock Christ’s sacrifice and worship Satan through an orgiastic ritual of pain and perversion. It blasphemes everything which we hold as sacred and redemptive; and the spiritual dangers it poses ought not be dismissed. Since the Civic Center has not responded positively to the pleas of the archbishop of Oklahoma City not to host this event in a taxpayer supported public venue, I am asking the faithful Catholics in the diocese of Tulsa to fight this blasphemy through prayer and fasting.”
It is beyond befuddling that a religion which regularly attacks gays in a hateful manner and which also apparently finds no fault in the abuse of children, is so offended by a religious ritual.
Isn’t raping a child “pain and perversion” as well? And the Catholic Church is offended that the ritual is taking place in a “taxpayer supported public venue”? What is this to the Catholic Church, which pays no taxes? Don’t pretend now, only when it’s handy, that you care about taxes. You don’t even get a say where taxes are concerned.
This ‘Black Mass’ is a disgusting mockery of the Catholic faith, and it should be equally repellent to Catholics and non-Catholics alike,” said Fallin. “It may be protected by the First Amendment, 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.
Fallin’s approval rating has been lagging. No doubt she hopes to get back some ideological street cred while leading her state to right wing ruin.
TFP Student Action says :
Every Black Mass is a direct, deliberate and sinful act of hatred against God. Typically, a consecrated host is stolen from a Catholic Church and then used to desecrate, mock and insult the Catholic Mass. The Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ is attacked in a most vile and unspeakable manner. These insults against God are not only offensive to Christians, but also repulsive to everyone of good will.
When government buildings open their doors and allow a satanic ‘Black Mass’ that offends God so deeply, it begs the question: Are we still one nation under God?” the statement continued, “To invite Satan into a community is NO joke. It’s a terrible sin that brings devils to the earth and provokes God to withdraw His graces and blessings.
WND quotes Michael Caspino of the Busch & Caspino law firm as saying, “It’s one thing to allow different religions to come in and celebrate their religion. It’s a whole different thing to allow a group to come in that seeks to desecrate and insult another religion.”
In that case, the Bible must be immediately banned as must all Christian religious services. The Old Testament is one long anti-Pagan diatribe, filled with hate and violence against non-Jews, while the New Testament is filled with hatred of Jews, blaming them for the death of Jesus. And Christian church services are regularly filled with sermons denouncing Paganism. I’ve sat through a few.
This line particularly had me laughing: “These insults against God are not only offensive to Christians, but also repulsive to everyone of good will.”
Au contraire. This is no less than not only fake Christians but actual real Christians do to other faiths in Church each Sunday as they revile Paganism, and the so-called Christians of the Religious Right regularly attack Islam and other religions “in a most vile and unspeakable manner,” as when Fischer called the goddess Lakshmi a demon. I don’t recall Liberty Counsel getting upset by that. What, is Christianity the only religion which cannot be mocked?
Archbishop Coakley told Fox News that, “Not all speech is protected if there is hate speech and it is intended to ridicule another religion,” he added. “I don’t believe it is a free speech matter.”
So in other words, you can ridicule gays and other religions, but other religions can’t ridicule your religion.
The issue here is religious freedom. The Religious Right pretends to champion religious freedom but it opposes it, and it is clear that many rank and file find religious freedom repulsive and a thing to be condemned. What they want is not religious freedom, but religious privilege.
The fly in the buttermilk is that the First Amendment categorically states, “Thou shallt have no religious privilege.”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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