THE OTTAWA BLACK MASS: BECAUSE ALL RELIGIONS ARE BLASPHEMY
Sunday night the Satanic Temple’s Ottawa chapter held what it’s calling the first public Black Mass in Canadian history, so presumably it’s time to turn the maple leaf on the flag upside down and wait for the fires of Hell to finish off those glaciers.
Or not. All told I suspect Ottawa will be much the same in the morning as it’s always been. That is to say, full of heretics.
After all, on Sunday the Ottawa Black Mass had some 50 blasphemers assembled inside of a bar. Meanwhile, hundreds of additional blasphemers protested outside, with heretical religious agendas of their own.
All of these people are heretics–the Satanists, the Christians, and the otherwise inclined. They have to be, because all religion is heresy, and thus all religious freedom is defined by the right to be blasphemous.
When push comes to shove, the most you can accuse Satanists of is doing it better.
Nicholas Marc, Ottawa’s chapter head, called the mass “an expression of personal liberty and freedom,” which is much better although a bit vague, because after all so are lots of other things.
Marc also said that “freeing expression is found in blasphemy,” which hits the matter right on the head, although the head in question is thick and stubborn and sometimes requires several blows to be put down.
Case in point, fundy types naturally assembled to protest the Ottawa Black Mass. When I say that this is natural I really mean that, it’s an instinctual compulsion nested deep in the fundy mind, like salmon swimming upstream to spawn, except absolutely nobody got laid.
Tradition Family Property–the same right-wing Catholic lunatics who break into hives whenever they think transgender Furries are changing your DNA (or whatever the hell this was about)–summoned up a petition asking Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson to cancel the ritual (somehow?), claiming “sacrilege is not free speech.”
You’ll be surprised to learn this didn’t work, in no small part because “sacrilege” actually is free speech, which is necessarily a problem for their argument. TFP probably feels impressed with itself that they got nearly 23,000 signees, but that’s 11,000 less than the time last year they failed to stop a Black Mass in Philadelphia, so what the fuck happened?
Local Archbishop Terrence Prendergast told CHVN radio that the ritual “has the potential of opening a spiritual doorway into the evil realm, giving demonic permission to infest our city.”
I’m guessing the mayor’s office wasn’t very responsive to complaints about that either. Maybe petition some Ghostbusters next time? Anything to avoid policing Ottawa priests, it seems.
Toronto Preacher Dorre Love–who, criminally, seems to opt not to go by the title Brother Love, so what the hell is even the point?–came to picket the bar Sunday night, telling Ottawa Matters, “the participants are deceived, they’re lost.”
Protester Joe Pacheco called the assembly, “a blasphemous act, a form of hatred against our faith.”
My favorite whiner is one Rick Boswick, who notes that “most masses offer salvation with Christianity.” It’s true, you definitely won’t find that at this one, damned if he hasn’t got our number, the magnificent bastard.
You get the idea. The interesting thing about these faith-based fussbudgets is that they are technically correct. Of course a Black Mass is blasphemous. Of course it’s heretical. Of course it’s sacrilegious. And of course that’s a significant thrust of its appeal.
And in that particular context, the Ottawa Black Mass is exactly like all of their own religious gatherings. Up to and including the protests themselves.
To Catholics, it’s quite heretical for the Protestant sects to deny the authority of the Pope and the sanctity of the saints, or to forego the eucharist. You may recall there has been some bloodshed about these disagreements once or twice in history.
Possibly there was again last night, as Shiva Honey noted on Twitter “there was a like a gang war outside between the Catholics and the Protestants.” Presumably she was exaggerating. But if not then it would hardly be the first time.
In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary records that the word “Satanist” first manifested in English not in reference to devil worship or atheism but in an Anglican tract from 1559 smearing Anabaptists–forebears of the modern Mennonites and Amish–as ”swarms of Satanists.”
The Anglicans weren’t spared the devil’s brand themselves, as six years later a Catholic polemic condemning heretic protestants declared “Luther brought his poisoned cup of heresies, blasphemies, and satanisms” to Europe.
It only takes a few seconds on Google to confirm that these sentiments survive into this century. Just in 2017, regressive kook and midwestern Ayn Rand stunt double Marian Horvat admonished fellow Catholics “don’t call Protestants Christians.”
Meanwhile, living mummy John MacArthur offers an eight-part podcast sermon on Catholic heresy; the bit just about the mass alone is a two-parter.
And this is to say nothing of the bitter doctrinal disputes within traditions. As atheist speaker and ex-fundy Matt Dillahunty says, “If you want to know what’s wrong with the First Baptist Church, just ask the Second Baptist Church.”
All of these people are heretics. All of them are sacrilegious blasphemers. They have to be, because the freedom to practice your religion is defined by the liberty to blaspheme someone else’s. You can hardly not, even if you wanted to.
So whether they realize it or not, all of these protesters already know the truth that Sadie Satanas articulated on Twitter: “Blasphemy is liberation.” Everyone is someone’s heretic. Even the very word “heresy” means “choice.”
You may wonder where we would all be without our freedom to blaspheme. But of course, the answer is that we simply wouldn’t be free at all.