Religious privilege? What do you mean? I don’t see any religious privilege.
Oh, you mean this?
A Harvard club’s plans to stage a satanic “black Mass” were abruptly cancelled Monday after drawing fire from the Archdiocese of Boston and condemnation from the president of the Ivy League school.
Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the New York-based Satanic Temple, told the Boston Globe late Monday that the event was called off because no venue was available.
“Everyone involved, outside of the Satanic Temple, got really scared,” Greaves told the newspaper. “And I don’t necessarily blame them, because I understand that they were getting a lot of vitriolic hate mail, and I don’t think they expected it.”
Greaves was not immediately available for further comment.
A petition to stop the black Mass had garnered 60,000 signatures, according to Aurora Griffin, president of the Harvard Student Catholic Association.
Well but you have to understand – Boston is an officially Catholic city. That’s been decided. The archdiocese gets to say what can happen in and around Boston because Boston is Catholic. They’re not going to say what can happen in your city…unless it too is a Catholic city of course.
The history of black Masses is murky, but Catholics say the intent of such ceremonies is obvious: to mock their rituals and beliefs. The Masses often parody Catholic sacraments, such as Communion, and liturgical vestments.
And obviously that simply cannot be allowed. No one can mock Catholic rituals and beliefs – that’s a national rule, not just a Boston one.
Harvard University President Drew Faust called the plans to reenact a black Mass “abhorrent.”
“It is deeply regrettable that the organizers of this event, well aware of the offense they are causing so many others, have chosen to proceed with a form of expression that is so flagrantly disrespectful and inflammatory,” Faust continued.
The Harvard president said she would allow the black Mass to continue, citing the value of free expression on campus, but planned attend a prayer ceremony Monday night at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge. The Boston archdiocese scheduled the event as a protest to the black Mass.
Ok I’m going to drop the sarcasm now because I’m too disgusted. That’s just pathetic. We are allowed to be disrespectful of the Catholic church.
The Satanic Temple, which announced the Harvard club’s plans last week, is also behind an effort to place a satanic statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of Oklahoma’s state Capitol.
The temple does not believe in a real devil but advocates for religious tolerance and pluralism.
Greaves said black Masses began as a protest by people who felt oppressed by their local religious cultures.
But some Catholics say the “black Mass” is more sacrilegious than satirical.
Faust, a noted historian, said: “The ‘black Mass’ had its historical origins as a means of denigrating the Catholic Church; it mocks a deeply sacred event in Catholicism, and is highly offensive to many in the Church and beyond.”
So what? Catholicism is not some harmless pastime, it’s a massively powerful, harsh, coercive, patriarchal, sex-phobic, harmful religion and institution. However often you use the word “deeply” it remains what it is. We are allowed to mock it. “Sacrilege” is not a thing.
Robert Neugeboren, dean of students and alumni affairs at the Harvard Extension School, said Harvard did not endorse the student group’s decision to stage the black Mass. The school provides evening and online continuing education courses.
“While we support the ability of all our students to explore difficult issues, we also encourage them to do so in ways that are sensitive to others,” he [s]aid.
Except atheists, apparently, because fuck them, apparently.
Neugeboren said the Harvard Extension School worked with students to defuse some of the controversy surrounding the ceremony.
For instance, he said, a consecrated host – known by Catholics as the Eucharist and believed to be the actual body and blood of Christ – would not be used, he said.
Some Catholic bloggers had expressed outrage at the initial plans to use a consecrated host, calling it “sacrilegious to the highest extent.”
We’re allowed to be “sacrilegious.” We don’t buy any of the belief that make that word appear meaningful, and we’re allowed to say so.
Clooney had said the university’s reaction is insufficient, adding that Harvard’s “spiritual sensitivity” is at stake.
“Since there is no empirical way to show that one host is consecrated while another is not—consecrated hosts do not glow in the dark—there is also no way for anyone but the organizers to know whether a host used in a black mass has been consecrated or not,” Clooney said.
“Catholics at Harvard should not have to be worrying about where Monday’s host comes from.”
Ooh, ooh – he’s onto something here! There is no empirical way to show that one host is consecrated while another is not because “consecration” is a meaningless word, just like “sacrilegious.” Consecrating something doesn’t do anything, and that’s why there is no empirical way to show that one host is consecrated while another is not – see how that works? Extend that thought to all the rest of it and then calm the fuck down and let other people say what they like about Catholicism.
As the archdiocese notes, Pope Francis warned Catholics about the devil recently.
“Maybe some of you might say, ‘But, Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ ” the Pope said during a Mass in April.
“But look out, because the devil is present! The devil is here … even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naive, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”
No, we should not, you benighted ignoramus. That kind of thinking gets you inquisitions and witch-burnings and genocides.
(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)