Kinda-sorta Satanists play with fire by promising a kinda-sorta Black Mass at kinda-sorta Harvard

posted at 10:01 am on May 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

In a series of increasingly absurd claims and walkbacks, what’s clear is that no one seems to know just what neo-Satanists affiliated with a Harvard extension school have in mind, least of all Harvard or the Satanists. At first, a group operating as part of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club teamed up with members of a Satanist temple in New York to promise a Black Mass on Harvard’s campus next week — complete with a consecrated host from a Catholic Church. That got the attention of Women of Grace, which reported it to the online Catholic community:

The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club is allegedly hosting a black mass on May 12 to be staged by The Satanic Temple and which will include a consecrated host.

According to a press release from The Satanic Temple, they plan on presenting the black mass at the Queens Head Pub in Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA along with “an academic narration that explores the ritual’s unique history and practice.”

Priya Dua, of The Satanic Temple’s Public Relations office confirmed to us in an e-mail that “Yes, there will be a consecrated host at the black mass.”

That got plenty of attention — and rightfully so — from Catholic bloggers, such as my friends Elizabeth Scalia, Deacon Greg Kandra, and Peter Ingemi. Some of their take was skeptical, as was Thomas McDonald’s, who noted that “real Satanists don’t send press releases.” With the suspected theft of a consecrated host — an act that has a long history in regard to satanists — Catholics nonetheless pressed for answers about Harvard’s involvement in this act.

Suddenly, the satanists decided that they weren’t really satanists after all, but merely performance artists, or something:

Members of the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, who posted fliers and notices on campus and online about the Satanic worshipping happening on May 12, said the event is educational and meant to add historical context to a lecture on the subject that will precede it. “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes, but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices,” the group said in a statement. “This performance is part of a larger effort to explore religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture.”

The group has teamed up with members from the New York-based Satanic Temple, the same organization that has been fighting tooth and nail to get a bronze Satanic statue installed outsideof Oklahoma’s State House this year, to carry out the demonstration and reenactment of the Black Mass. The Satanic Temple will provide commentary and historical background as the ritual is happening, according to event details posted on the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club’s website.

The above-mentioned Priya Dua then recanted his insistence that a consecrated host would be used. That, however, was followed by a “squirrely, and too clever by half” response from another of the group’s members that attempted to parse the word “consecrated”:

My reservation stemmed from what seemed like ambiguous language from Lucien Greaves. After the emphatic walk-back by spokesperson Priya Dua — who stated firmly that no Consecrated Host would be used — Greaves’ remarks to Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Campus Reform seemed squirrely, and too clever by half:

Greaves confirmed the ritual will use a “host” although as the group doesn’t believe in the “supernatural elements,” he couldn’t call it a “consecrated host” as Catholics do.

This is not quite what he had said to me, earlier, and it seems to me to be word-parsing that cannot be overlooked. Did he mean that while he, Lucien Greaves would not call the host consecrated, others would?

At the same time, Harvard was busily insisting that it had little to do with an event that bears its name and will take place on its campus:

In response to some outrage about the planned ceremony, which is scheduled to take place at Harvard’s Queen’s Head Pub, in Memorial Hall, school officials said while they don’t condone this particular type of worship, they have no plans to shut the gathering down. “Students at Harvard Extension School, like students at colleges across the nation, organize and operate a number of independent student organizations, representing a wide range of student interests,” Harvard officials said in a written statement.

As Kate O’Hare and Peter Ingemi note, the entire exercise is a confused mess of relativism and political posturing, not to mention idiocy:

The answers were slow in coming and contradictory, with a spokesperson for the Temple first confirming that a Consecrated Host would be used. However, in a later conversation with Scalia, Temple bigwig Lucien Greaves (a.k.a. former Harvard student Doug Mesner) said that was not the case.

According to an interview conducted with Mesner at Vice.com, the Satanic Temple isn’t the place to go if you really want to seriously worship Lucifer (or any other supernatural being). Mesner sees its mission more as poking religion in the eye and challenging its place in the public square by insisting that Old Scratch also gets a seat at the table (hence the group’s support of a fairly ludicrous-looking statue of Satan and some adoring youngsters at the Oklahoma State Capital, to keep company with a plaque containing the Biblical Ten Commandments).

As Mesner tells Vice writer Shane Bugbee, “While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as ‘Satan,’ none of us truly believed that. I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views ‘Satan’ as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.

“We’ve moved well beyond being a simple political ploy and into being a very sincere movement that seeks to separate religion from superstition and to contribute positively to the cultural dialogue.”

Apparently, for the Temple, “contributing positively to the cultural dialogue” consists of taking the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith, the Eucharist, and using it in some sort of quasi-historical/theatrical evening of entertainment.

Or, as DaTechGuy blog said in an extensive post (referring to some other recent cultural events), “The Harvard Cultural Studies group is hosting an event on campus that includes a Satanic black mass from a group that claims not to actually believe in Satan, never performed a black mass, and when called on to explain the university’s position, equated a black mass to a Shinto tea ceremony and Buddhist meditation.”

If you’re attempting to bolster religion by separating it from superstition, conducting a satanic Black Mass is, er, the wrong approach, no? Plenty of people have denigrated consecrated hosts in the past, which hardly makes this a novel approach anyway, even if the neo-satanists know whether or not they will use one in their “ceremony.” If they’re doing it to make a point for atheism, they’re doing it in the worst way possible, but if they actually believe that religion is helpful, why only insult Catholics?

None of this makes any sense at all, but at least we can agree on one thing: Harvard isn’t exactly improving the critical thinking of its student body, especially not through its extension education. And as a Catholic, I’d add that idiocy isn’t the only danger here. Calling on supernatural forces may result in nothing but adolescent giggling on the part of its participants, but other outcomes may be possible, too, and they won’t be pleasant. Maybe they should learn a little about religion before staging its ceremonies, as performance art or anything else.

As I wrote yesterday to Elizabeth Scalia, this reminds me of a passage from The Screwtape Letters, in Letter 7:

“I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The ‘Life Force’, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work— the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls ‘Forces’ while denying the existence of ‘spirits’— then the end of the war will be in sight.”
Unwittingly or not, that’s the ambition for which Greaves/Mesner strives.

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Bishop

Bakokitty on May 8, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Nothing to see here, move on. Oh, wait! There’s Michelle Obama!

vnvet on May 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM

And you just know that every last one of them voted for 0bama.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 10:10 AM

A bunch of overgrown children who didn’t get enough attention from mommy and daddy, so must continue to rebel..

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Unwittingly or not, that’s the ambition for which Greaves/Mesner strives.

The weirdness of something about that is always striking. Usually, it’s just pure politics where I notice it, not something as spiritually loaded as a “Black Mass,” but some of the behaviors of people seem weirdly “automatic” and much too complicated to be a matter of applied instinct. Automatic evil. Sort of built in.

Axe on May 8, 2014 at 10:15 AM

‘Consecrated host’ seems a lot like idolatry.

So, good on them if they mock the concept of a ‘Consecrated host’.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM

WTF Harvard!

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

‘Consecrated host’ seems a lot like idolatry.

So, good on them if they mock the concept of a ‘Consecrated host’.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Damn Catholics and their strange superstitions!

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 10:22 AM

And as a Catholic, I’d add that idiocy isn’t the only danger here. Calling on supernatural forces may result in nothing but adolescent giggling on the part of its participants, but other outcomes may be possible, too, and they won’t be pleasant. Maybe they should learn a little about religion before staging its ceremonies, as performance art or anything else.

Indeed.

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Damn Catholics and their strange superstitions!

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Only you who rails consistently against Christian would choose to defend another religion. So let’s recap: Satanic religion = good for Good Lt, Christians = bad.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

To be accurately philosophically, it is impossible to ‘know’ anything.

Good Lt on August 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Are we including this statement or no?
Murphy9 on August 19, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Sure, if you want to go around in circles chasing your tail.

We’ve moved on.

Good Lt on August 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Waste of bits.

Murphy9 on May 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Mockery of religion just give credence to their secret belief that there just might be a God. One would not bother to mock something that is not real, as that would be a waste of time. Galatians 6.7 God shall not be mocked, what a man sows, so shall he reap.

Bakokitty on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

If they really want to make a statement, why not burn a Koran?

AcidReflux on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Funny stuff, I didn’t know there were any satanists left, I figured they all grew up and got jobs and a mortgage.

Bishop on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

If there is no separation between State and Church, I don’t see the problem.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

As Mesner tells Vice writer Shane Bugbee, “While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as ‘Satan,’ none of us truly believed that. I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views ‘Satan’ as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.

Everything they’re doing is identical to what the bible tells us how Satan acts within humanity.

They wander about starting fights built on trying to demoralize people’s belief. Then when caught, they deny their own existence.

They’re using the language of Progs to ridicule anyone who thinks they’re legit, and then shame Progs if they don’t see it as performance art.

They’re introducing Satan into society as a mockery, while at the same time, legitimizing Satanism.

Anyone familiar with the Church of The SubGenius knows this game. The difference is this is using Satan, which makes it legit.

budfox on May 8, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Huh, so “Satanists” are confused liars?

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Funny stuff, I didn’t know there were any satanists left, I figured they all grew up and got jobs and a mortgage.

Bishop on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

LMAO! I almost said something similar to the tune of “give them jobs and let them pay taxes, and then they won’t have to rebel against God anymore. They will have something more corporeal to rebel against.”

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

If they really want to make a statement, why not burn a Koran?

AcidReflux on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Because Christians don’t tend to chop your head off with a dull scimitar when slightly offended.

But they’re so brave and edgy, doncha know!

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

And as a Catholic, I’d add that idiocy isn’t the only danger here. Calling on supernatural forces may result in nothing but adolescent giggling on the part of its participants, but other outcomes may be possible, too, and they won’t be pleasant. Maybe they should learn a little about religion before staging its ceremonies, as performance art or anything else.

Let us pray.

Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations. Let us reason our solutions with agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of One or All. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. It is Done. Hail Satan!

… nothing happen?

Nothing happen. I’m just talking to myself. Go figure.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

If once we can produce our perfect work— the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls ‘Forces’ while denying the existence of ‘spirits’— then the end of the war will be in sight.”

Yep. Because while scoffing at things of a spiritual nature (in the context of good), they leave themselves wide open to be used by things of a spiritual nature (in the context of evil).

Too “intelligent” to recognize that King Solomon was indeed correct when he said “A wise man guards his own soul”.

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

complete with a consecrated host from a Catholic Church

Maybe this was actually a publicity stunt for Stephen Colbert’s takeover of Letterman’s show?

somewhatconcerned on May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

As Mesner tells Vice writer Shane Bugbee, “While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as ‘Satan,’ none of us truly believed that. I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views ‘Satan’ as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.

Everything they’re doing is identical to what the bible tells us how Satan acts within humanity.

They wander about starting fights built on trying to demoralize people’s belief. Then when caught, they deny their own existence.

They’re using the language of Progs to ridicule anyone who thinks they’re legit, and then shame Progs if they don’t see it as performance art.

They’re introducing Satan into society as a mockery, while at the same time, legitimizing Satanism.

Anyone familiar with the Church of The SubGenius knows this game. The difference is this is using Satan, which makes it legit.

budfox on May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Only you who rails consistently against Christian would choose to defend another religion. So let’s recap: Satanic religion = good for Good Lt, Christians = bad.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Nice straw man. The ‘Consecrated Host’ is silly and deserves to be mocked. LOL at you people who think it has some kind of power. The only difference between that piece of bread and any other piece of bread is the incantation spoken over it.

Mocking one religion isn’t an endorsement of any other religion.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

If there is no separation between State and Church, I don’t see the problem.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Another one that takes all his chances of railing against Christianity, but will stick up for any religion who sticks it in the eye of those “nasty Christians.”

Just goes to show you that people like Zach and Good Lt. aren’t actual atheists, they are little children that have a lust for revenge against Christians. True atheists would rail at this as much as they do Christianity. I mean what is different: the
spaghetti monster in the sky or under the ground?

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:34 AM

I’m not surprised at this at all. It’s the logical progression of their worldview.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 10:34 AM

I witnessed the theft of a consecrated host. An emo looking chick went up for communion and when the priest placed it in her palm she turned around and bolted (the wrong way) back down the aisle and out the door of the church. Father was very upset but it happened so fast no one could do anything.

ctmom on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Nice straw man. The ‘Consecrated Host’ is silly and deserves to be mocked. LOL at you people who think it has some kind of power. The only difference between that piece of bread and any other piece of bread is the incantation spoken over it.

Mocking one religion isn’t an endorsement of any other religion.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

No, but it shows inconsistency. It shows a bias against ONE religion and not the other. It shows that you aren’t a true atheist- just a baby who has it out for Christianity.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

‘Consecrated host’ seems a lot like idolatry. So, good on them if they mock the concept of a ‘Consecrated host’. Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:16 AM

So tell us, what church do you attend?

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:36 AM

No, but it shows inconsistency. It shows a bias against ONE religion and not the other. It shows that you aren’t a true atheist- just a baby who has it out for Christianity.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition.

Catholicism is, and always has been, the enemy of true Christianity.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

To be accurately philosophically, it is impossible to ‘know’ anything. Good Lt on August 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Murphy9 on May 8, 2014 at 10:28 AM

N.G.O.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

So tell us, what church do you attend?

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:36 AM

You think that’s a good rhetorical move on my part?

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Any type of hocus pocus is superstitious nonsense. Whether it’s Christian, Hindu, New Age-y or whatever. The only difference is that you don’t believe that a 10-armed blue woman created the world by defeating a demonic buffalo; thus you wouldn’t see that as “criticism.”

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Whole thing sounds like a demented sophomoric ploy to look for virgins (for the sacrificium part of the Mass). But this is Harvard. Joke’s on them.

de rigueur on May 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM

I witnessed the theft of a consecrated host. An emo looking chick went up for communion and when the priest placed it in her palm she turned around and bolted (the wrong way) back down the aisle and out the door of the church. Father was very upset but it happened so fast no one could do anything.

ctmom on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

LOL. That’s funny.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Zach doesn’t sound convinced.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition.

Catholicism is, and always has been, the enemy of true Christianity.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Ahh so you don’t like Catholics.

BTW, atheism and Muslims have killed a lot too. Doesn’t mean I hate everyone who practices it. Nor does it mean I mock their beliefs.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

I’m guessing you would say believing in good versus evil is superstitious nonsense as well, eh?

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Sounds like a hate crime to me. Mocking someone’s religion? That really flies these days? Are you sure? Is it performance art to balance a Koran on a ham?

And “Lucien Greaves”? Really? That your D&D character name too?

JohnBrown on May 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

If there is no separation between State and Church, I don’t see the problem.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I don’t either. I encourage more satanists to be open about their satanism.

nobar on May 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

… nothing happen? Nothing happen. I’m just talking to myself. Go figure. ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Well since Lucifer is not a name for Satan, but a misunderstanding based on the object of a Latin translation, no wonder nothing happened. But thanks for demonstrating your ignorance anyhow. It’s always fun.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Any type of hocus pocus is superstitious nonsense. Whether it’s Christian, Hindu, New Age-y or whatever. The only difference is that you don’t believe that a 10-armed blue woman created the world by defeating a demonic buffalo; thus you wouldn’t see that as “criticism.”

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

No, I am an agnostic, so I tend to be neutral on religious belief.

What I see is you and Good Lt. coming on a thread about Satanists, and instead of mocking the “religious Satanist” like you do to Christian on every religious thread, you use the opportunity to mock Christianity. It makes you look inconsistent, and not a true atheist. When I see you mock Islam, Satanists, and Hinduism with the same fever you do Christianity; I might change my opinion.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition.

Catholicism is, and always has been, the enemy of true Christianity.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

… oh geez. You hold 99.5% of the same doctrines as them, and yet they’re villainous crooks who defile the “true” church.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Hmm, Barack Obama is a “Graduate” of Harvard, my guess is that he will be their “Honored” guest. If he were, I wonder if Mainstream Media would bother reporting it?

oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Only you who rails consistently against Christian would choose to defend another religion. So let’s recap: Satanic religion = good for Good Lt, Christians = bad.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Please.

Satanists, to the extent that any of them seriously believe in the supernatural at all, are basically an elaborate send-up of the Christian faith, no matter how seriously they may take it. They’re a farce.

Come down off your cross.

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Please.

Satanists, to the extent that any of them seriously believe in the supernatural at all, are basically an elaborate send-up of the Christian faith, no matter how seriously they may take it. They’re a farce.

Come down off your cross.

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

And YET, you come on to a thread about Satanists, and instead of saying that- you chose to mock Christians. Like I said, completely inconsistent for an atheist.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Someone didn’t get their three wishes.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Ahh so you don’t like Catholics.

BTW, atheism and Muslims have killed a lot too. Doesn’t mean I hate everyone who practices it. Nor does it mean I mock their beliefs.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I agree, regarding atheism and Muslims.

I’m not mocking all Catholic beliefs, just the idea of the ‘Consecrated Host’. I find it absurd that otherwise intelligent and reasonable people think that little piece of bread becomes the actual Body of Christ. I mean, you can look at it and tell it’s still a piece of bread. You can run tests and prove that it’s still a piece of bread.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views ‘Satan’ as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.

TRANSLATION: “I’m a bullshit artist”.

GarandFan on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition. Catholicism is, and always has been, the enemy of true Christianity. Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

1% of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed.

Zero would have been a better number, but this is a common estimate nowadays among people who aren’t just talking out their butts.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

You’ll note that these brave Harvard students don’t pick on Islam. Wonder why.

GarandFan on May 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

TRANSLATION: “I’m a bullshit artist”.

GarandFan on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

You expected something different for people who worship the Father of all Lies?

oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Please.

Satanists, to the extent that any of them seriously believe in the supernatural at all, are basically an elaborate send-up of the Christian faith, no matter how seriously they may take it. They’re a farce.

Come down off your cross.

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

You should do a bit more study into the Occult before speaking on the subject.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:49 AM

To be fair though, there is not only a Satanist but also an atheist mission opening in downtown MPLS this month, they are going to provide free food and shelter to the downtrodden.

Bishop on May 8, 2014 at 10:50 AM

And YET, you come on to a thread about Satanists, and instead of saying that- you chose to mock Christians. Like I said, completely inconsistent for an atheist. melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Uh, no it isn’t. It’s not like there are three sides: God’s, Satan’s, and atheists’.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

the Satanic Temple isn’t the place to go if you really want to seriously worship Lucifer (or any other supernatural being). Mesner sees its mission more as poking religion in the eye and challenging its place in the public square by insisting that Old Scratch also gets a seat at the table

So essentially they’re troublemakers? Hipsters who think it is cool to attack Christianity because they’re bored or something. Not even committed enough to actually worship the Dark Lord even as they proudly display their membership card.

Reminds me of the teens I used to see at the local mall in an affluent area. They dressed the part, had the whole disassociated “life sucks” attitude, etc. Then they got back in their mommy’s Lexus SUV and drove home to their parents’ million dollar homes. In short they were play acting.

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

1% of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed.

Zero would have been a better number, but this is a common estimate nowadays among people who aren’t just talking out their butts.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Typical Catholic propaganda. How convenient that they burned the literature of those they burned at the stake.

Are you surprised that their information has a Catholic bias? I wonder what communist propaganda says about their atrocities?

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

To be fair though, there is not only a Satanist but also an atheist mission opening in downtown MPLS this month, they are going to provide free food and shelter to the downtrodden. Bishop on May 8, 2014 at 10:50 AM

One term for Satan is The Ape of God.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

1% of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed.

Zero would have been a better number, but this is a common estimate nowadays among people who aren’t just talking out their butts.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

It should also be pointed out, that that 1250 figure, was over a 500 year period.

oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

1% of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed.

Zero would have been a better number, but this is a common estimate nowadays among people who aren’t just talking out their butts.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Not to mention that the Spanish Inquisition, as the name suggests, was an institution of the Kingdom of Spain, not the Catholic Church.

But hey, historical illiteracy makes it easier to justify your prejudices, so I can see why he’d not bother to read any of the actual history of the subject.

Inkblots on May 8, 2014 at 10:55 AM

It should also be pointed out, that that 1250 figure, was over a 500 year period.

oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

You didn’t point out that is Catholic propaganda, though.

I guess they couldn’t get away with denying the event entirely.

One wonders what kind of numbers you get from non-Catholic sources.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

“I helped develop us into something we all do truly believe in and wholeheartedly embrace: an atheistic philosophical framework that views ‘Satan’ as a metaphorical construct by which we contextualize our works.”

Atheistic philosophical framework is just another way of saying nihilist.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

And we’re supposed to believe only smaat people go to Haavahd.

formwiz on May 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Typical Catholic propaganda.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Independently verifiable historical fact = Catholic propaganda. Sure thing, pal.

At least I know you’re not worth engaging with now. Have fun being willfully ignorant!

Inkblots on May 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Not to mention that the Spanish Inquisition, as the name suggests, was an institution of the Kingdom of Spain, not the Catholic Church.

But hey, historical illiteracy makes it easier to justify your prejudices, so I can see why he’d not bother to read any of the actual history of the subject.

Inkblots on May 8, 2014 at 10:55 AM

You mean ‘Catholic’ history, right? You folks are quite amusing.

How many non-Catholic sources have you read? I suspect the answer is, none. But you may surprise me.

Don’t get me wrong. I expect Catholic defenders to be just as steeped in their propaganda as Communists are in theirs. But you both end up suffering from the same fault.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Independently verifiable historical fact = Catholic propaganda. Sure thing, pal.

At least I know you’re not worth engaging with now. Have fun being willfully ignorant!

Inkblots on May 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

LOL @ independently verified.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Typical Catholic propaganda. How convenient that they burned the literature of those they burned at the stake.

Are you surprised that their information has a Catholic bias? I wonder what communist propaganda says about their atrocities?

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

No. Every religion does this, not just Catholics. Early Christianity, for example, was incredibly diverse group of religions. You could fill libraries with the amount of “heretical” apocryphal literature they created. You had diverging beliefs within early Christian extending from differing views on salvation (and/or redemption), the afterlife, good/evil, eschatology, church organization, attitudes towards Judaism; all the way to belief in who the true Messiah was — be that Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Marcion of Sinop, Dositheos the Samaritan, Simon Magus, etc.

The only reason Christians today believe in Jesus and their current doctrines, is that that particular flavor of Christians was more popular and purged the earlier belief systems.

That type purging happened in Christianity, yes, but also in Islam/Judaism, and even Eastern religions and philosophies. The ancient Chinese were just as capable of book burning of “unwanted” philosophies as the Catholics.

It’s not a Catholic thing, or Catholic “propaganda”.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

SubjectVerb on May 8, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I need to take more time typing. There’s a dozen typos in that last response of mine.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:04 AM

None of this makes any sense at all, but at least we can agree on one thing: Harvard isn’t exactly improving the critical thinking of its student body, especially not through its extension education

Maybe you’re confusing cause and effect here, Mr. Morrissey?

Cleombrotus on May 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

“You could fill libraries with the amount of “heretical” apocryphal literature they created. You had diverging beliefs within early Christian extending from differing views on salvation (and/or redemption), the afterlife, good/evil, eschatology, church organization, attitudes towards Judaism; all the way to belief in who the true Messiah was — be that Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Marcion of Sinop, Dositheos the Samaritan, Simon Magus, etc.”
And Jesus own brother warned us of these heretical movements trying to infiltrate the Church and condemned them. As did Peter, Paul, John and Jesus himself.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

When they call evil good and good evil…as it has been said: Gird your loins and put on the full armor of God…….

crosshugger on May 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I witnessed the theft of a consecrated host. An emo looking chick went up for communion and when the priest placed it in her palm she turned around and bolted (the wrong way) back down the aisle and out the door of the church. Father was very upset but it happened so fast no one could do anything.

ctmom on May 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Receiving communion in the hand is wrong and has always been outside the norm.

“When Pope Paul VI in 1968 sent out a questionnaire to every bishop in the world asking if the Church should alter how Communion was being distributed, the answer came back loud and clear: in the hand was overwhelmingly disapproved of and should not be allowed. The Vatican agreed, stating that if the practice of Communion in the hand be allowed, “it would be an offense to the sensibilities and spiritual outlook of these bishops and a great many of the faithful” (Memoriale Domini).

Unfortunately, the practice continued to be promulgated by parishes and dioceses alike, most especially in France. So, in 1969, Paul VI granted the French bishops an indult—a special permission (not a norm)—to decide the question on their own. What happened next was an abuse of that indult: parishes around the world took advantage and permitted the practice of Communion in the hand.

Despite the Vatican’s best efforts, the disobedience continued and today, most Catholics are under the erroneous idea that Communion in the hand is the norm, because it is seemingly most common. However, the norm does not mean the most common, but instead is the practice which is supported by the Universal Church and to which the laity should be adhering.

You want to know what that norm is? Kneeling or standing to receive the Eucharist on the tongue and, if standing, to receive with arms crossed or in another way as reverential. Look it up if you don’t believe me. (This is the norm of the Universal Church; in the US, however, as in other countries, the Conference of Bishops have established the norm of standing to receive, and that it is up the the communicant to decide whether he wants to receive in the hand or on the tongue).

Monsignor Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, was interviewed by the Vatican newspaper in 2008 after then-Pope Benedict XVI established that everyone should be kneeling when receiving Communion at a papal Mass. He said, “It is necessary not to forget that the distribution of Communion in the hand, from a juridical standpoint, remains up to now an indult” (emphasis added). He goes on to say that the pope’s return to the traditional practice “aims to highlight the force of the valid norm for the whole Church.”

These days, the practice of Communion on the hand is increasingly frowned upon by bishops, priests, and the laity. Several dioceses in South America have banned the practice altogether, while Sri Lanka never allowed it in the first place—both of which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith fully supports.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis (at whose papal Masses many people have been gently reminded to receive on the tongue if at first they extended their hands), and numerous Cardinals have all spoken publicly and loudly against the practice. Cardinals Thorne (Peru) and Caffarra (Bologna) have banned Communion in the hand, citing reasons of abuse and disrespect.

Pope Benedict was asked why he chose to distribute Communion only to those kneeling and on the tongue and he responded, because it highlights “the truth of the real presence [of Christ] in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful and introduces the sense of mystery more easily.”

http://catholicinsight.com/blasphemy-abuse-communion-in-the-hand/

Pope Francis continues to strongly discourage communion in the hand at Papal Masses.

It would be hard to commit theft and desecration if communion is received properly on the tongue and those that would attempt such would be easily spotted by members of the congregation.

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

crosshugger on May 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Indeed. Those who scoff at things of a spiritual nature are not in the least bit likely to differentiate between what is of good and what is of evil. That being the case, neither are they likely to guard against what is of evil in their every day lives. This leaves them much more vulnerable to be deceived into believing that what is of evil is “good” and vice versa.

Our modern society is saturated with those who have been deceived in this manner.

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 11:11 AM

This reminds me of a delightful story. I read it a long time ago, and perhaps it is apocryphal, but it is still delightful:

A while back, in the 18th century, there were a number of elite “Hellfire” clubs which mocked religion and traditional morality with pseudo-pagan and “Satanic” rituals, among other things. One prominent member fell into disgrace with the other prominent members, and was given the boot. He gained revenge by having their ceremonial altar rigged. At the climax of their ritualistic plea for Satan to appear, the altar open, and a very frightened, dressed up Baboon popped out. Mass panic ensued, and I suspect there were quite a few conversions that night.

RockinRickOwen on May 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Harvard? Satanists? I thought their Grand Goat, or what’s their leader’s title, already graduated in 1991 before returning to Chicago.

Rix on May 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I was very surprised in grad school to learn that “critical thinking” is not what I thought it was. Critical thinking for them does not mean neutral analysis, it means criticizing.

So, we studies various theories by feminists and by Freudian thinkers explaining how our culture is terrible, terrible, and ways we could destroy it.

PattyJ on May 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM

The only reason Christians today believe in Jesus and their current doctrines, is that that particular flavor of Christians was more popular and purged the earlier belief systems.

Nonsense, the Bauer thesis has been roundly refuted many times over the past but gets resurrected every 30 or 40 years. Ehrman is the most recent to dust if off and was soundly shut down by Kostenberger.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 AM

And what is your source for this?

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition. Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

That’s quite a bit of leeway you allow for your guesstimate that, again, you pulled out of your arse.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Instead of studying culture, why don’t they find a course in plumbing or electrical work so they at least have a chance of finding a job doing something that would pay them a decent wage? Satan has already lost the battle.

Kissmygrits on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

And YET, you come on to a thread about Satanists, and instead of saying that- you chose to mock Christians. Like I said, completely inconsistent for an atheist.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 10:45 AM

What I was amused by, if you read closely, was one superstitious sect of the Christian faith mocking the rituals of another superstitious sect of the Christian faith.

To one who is outside of the fold, that’s amusing. The Satanists are just trying to make a spectacle, and look ridiculous.

Relax.

Good Lt on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

“You could fill libraries with the amount of “heretical” apocryphal literature they created. You had diverging beliefs within early Christian extending from differing views on salvation (and/or redemption), the afterlife, good/evil, eschatology, church organization, attitudes towards Judaism; all the way to belief in who the true Messiah was — be that Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Marcion of Sinop, Dositheos the Samaritan, Simon Magus, etc.”

And Jesus own brother warned us of these heretical movements trying to infiltrate the Church and condemned them. As did Peter, Paul, John and Jesus himself.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

So says the Biblical literature. However the “heretical” literature says the same of Jesus. Some of those early Christian religions still even exist today despite the attempts to purge those beliefs. The Mandaeists, for example, who believe John the Baptist was the Messiah, still practice today.

Christianity is a human directed religion. It splits, merges, shapes and changes. What we see as Christianity today did not exist 500 years ago (e.g. before Protestantism vs Catholicism) or 1,000 years ago. Neither will our current form Christianity exist 500 or 1,000 years in the future either. Beliefs change, as does religions.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

If they really want to make a statement, why not burn a Koran?

AcidReflux on May 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Are you kidding? Harvard wouldn’t allow that.

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

It should also be pointed out, that that 1250 figure, was over a 500 year period. oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

More people have been lynched in the US than executed by the SI.

People with brains will at least consider that the church and state arrangement until the Reformation was that the state left such things to the Church to dispose of as it saw fit.

A blow against the Church was a blow against the state and vice versa. Since the king ruled at God’s pleasure, a heretic was the king’s enemy too. That was all policed up and squared away, then atheists started killing people by the tens of millions in the last century. Those numbers are not in dispute.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

No. Every religion does this, not just Catholics. Early Christianity, for example, was incredibly diverse group of religions. You could fill libraries with the amount of “heretical” apocryphal literature they created. You had diverging beliefs within early Christian extending from differing views on salvation (and/or redemption), the afterlife, good/evil, eschatology, church organization, attitudes towards Judaism; all the way to belief in who the true Messiah was — be that Jesus of Nazareth, John the Baptist, Marcion of Sinop, Dositheos the Samaritan, Simon Magus, etc.

The only reason Christians today believe in Jesus and their current doctrines, is that that particular flavor of Christians was more popular and purged the earlier belief systems.

That type purging happened in Christianity, yes, but also in Islam/Judaism, and even Eastern religions and philosophies. The ancient Chinese were just as capable of book burning of “unwanted” philosophies as the Catholics.

It’s not a Catholic thing, or Catholic “propaganda”.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Catholic burned books that were anti-Catholic. They even burned Bibles, as it was a forbidden book (by the Catholic Church) for many years.

The information on the Spanish Inquisition is Catholic propaganda. Just as the Communists have their propaganda. I wonder if anyone posting here can give an example of a non-Catholic source that they have read about this atrocity.

And what’s more, the Spanish Inquisition wasn’t the only occasion of Catholics killing Christians. Catholics have killed Christians throughout their history. (Shocker, I know, for those who are fully baptized into Catholic friendly literature and history.) I don’t blame the Catholic Church for wanting to cover it up. And, I don’t blame Catholics for buy into their own propaganda. People are generally adverse to negative information about their Church.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Is that you, Gary?

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 11:27 AM

What we see as Christianity today did not exist 500 years ago (e.g. before Protestantism vs Catholicism)
ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Catholicism didn’t exist prior to 500 years ago? Bwhahahha. And further, millions of Protestant Christians still subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and still teach it verbatium as it was written almost 400 years ago. Dittos for Luther’s 490 year old “Bondage of the Will”. Boy, where do you come up with this nonsense.

tommyboy on May 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

You’re repeating yourself. We are waiting for your source for your figures. Somewhere between 2k and 200k.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

More people have been lynched in the US than executed by the SI.

People with brains will at least consider that the church and state arrangement until the Reformation was that the state left such things to the Church to dispose of as it saw fit.

A blow against the Church was a blow against the state and vice versa. Since the king ruled at God’s pleasure, a heretic was the king’s enemy too. That was all policed up and squared away, then atheists started killing people by the tens of millions in the last century. Those numbers are not in dispute.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Why wouldn’t ‘people with brains’ seek out non-Catholic sources instead of trusting Catholic propaganda?

Seriously, you guys are worse than Communists when it comes to defending the atrocities of the Catholic Church.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

1% of the 125,000 people tried by church tribunals as suspected heretics in Spain were executed.

Zero would have been a better number, but this is a common estimate nowadays among people who aren’t just talking out their butts.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

It should also be pointed out, that that 1250 figure, was over a 500 year period.

oscarwilde on May 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

1250 is much too high a figure, 350 is a more accepted and reasonable estimate, which mostly occurred over a period of about 120 years.

To put that into perspective, we kill 3,288 babies in the USA in ONE SINGLE DAY.

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

You’re repeating yourself. We are waiting for your source for your figures. Somewhere between 2k and 200k.

Akzed on May 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

As are you.

And, neither have you.

Are you even aware that there are non-Catholic sources?

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Catholic burned books that were anti-Catholic. They even burned Bibles, as it was a forbidden book (by the Catholic Church) for many years.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Oh brother.

Ever heard of the Gutenberg Bible?

http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1990/issue28/2825.html

Get an education…you only embarrass yourself.

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Oh brother.

Ever heard of the Gutenberg Bible?

http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1990/issue28/2825.html

Get an education…you only embarrass yourself.

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I’m not surprised that you’ve never heard this before.

Are you unaware that the Catholic Church forbid the common people from having Bibles for many years?

You mean a ‘Catholic’ education, comrade?

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Catholics killed thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Christians during the Spanish Inquisition.

Catholicism is, and always has been, the enemy of true Christianity.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Ah, so you are ignorant of actual history, then. Protestants killed far more Catholics than vice versa, as any objective reading of historical sources will attest. Atheists kill more on an annual basis. Catholicism IS true Christianity, and a consecrated host is just that. If it isn’t, please explain this:

CanadianB on May 8, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Ever heard of the Gutenberg Bible?

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I’m thinking it’s King James only with ol’ Jack here.

CurtZHP on May 8, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Christianity is a human directed religion. It splits, merges, shapes and changes. What we see as Christianity today did not exist 500 years ago (e.g. before Protestantism vs Catholicism) or 1,000 years ago. Neither will our current form Christianity exist 500 or 1,000 years in the future either. Beliefs change, as does religions.

ZachV on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

ehemmm….Council of Nicaea 325 AD ?

Sheeesh!

workingclass artist on May 8, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Amusing to see some who celebrate any Christian display or ceremony upon public land or in public facilities suddenly become separation of Church and State purists.

Mordaukar on May 8, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Why wouldn’t ‘people with brains’ seek out non-Catholic sources instead of trusting Catholic propaganda?

Seriously, you guys are worse than Communists when it comes to defending the atrocities of the Catholic Church.

Bigbullets on May 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

You seem very informed. Can you give us some links to your non-Catholic sources? I’m sure you can share some good stuff.

Dolce Far Niente on May 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

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