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Satanic Mass Not Free Speech, Says Fox News Priest


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Oklahoma City was the center of controversy this weekend, as worshippers of Lucifer conducted a "satanic mass" at the city's Civic Center.

The ritual was reportedly attended by between 40 and 50 people, with several hundred protesting outside, and over a thousand attending a church service nearby.

However, according to Fox News Religion Contributor, Father Jonathan Morris, the event should never have been allowed to occur.

Appearing on Fox & Friends Weekend, Father Morris confusingly stated that although the participants had a "political right to do it" the city should step in and prevent it from occurring:

When you have a group that does this, not just because they want to do their own little worship, but they are provoking anger and hatred among the community, the city can step in and say: "That's not worship, that's not free speech, that's mockery, and you're inciting violence."

Genuine incitement to violence may be a justifiable restriction on freedom of speech, but there is a very dangerous precedent in equating offensive speech—which this is—with direct incitement to violence—which this is not.

What else would count as incitement to violence under Morris' standard? The burning of the Koran, and advocacy of Nazism are both given as examples of incitement to violence, despite them being protected by the First Amendment. But there are an almost limitless number of views, the expression of could conceivably be banned on the grounds that they offend a particular group.

The result of such restrictions on free speech can be found around the world, including in western countries like Canada and Australia, where prominent conservative commentators Mark Steyn and Andrew Bolt were hauled before the courts after their comments were deemed offensive to particular minority groups.

The First Amendment is the world's strongest protection for free speech. If America is able to tolerate the vindictive and hate-filled speech of the Westboro Baptist Church, then it is surely able to deal with speech in support of someone as unpopular as the prince of darkness. It might even serve as a means for Christians to come together in shared opposition to Satanism.

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  1. according to Fox News Religion Contributor, Father Jonathan Morris, the event should never have been allowed to occur.

    Maybe if the good father had prayed harder, God would have heard him and put a stop to it!

    1. Don’t be ridiculous he’s busy trying to kill all the sodomites with Ebola.

      1. My god is an awesome god.

    2. The problem with that is God actually believes in free will. Unlike too many of his fluffers.

      1. It goes beyond belief. If God is real, and is the source of free will, then He just knows it as a fact.

  2. Satanists trolls going to troll. Somehow I think the church attempting to shut this down is going to bring more eyes to the fact that these cults exist than if they had done nothing and just let it happen. Classic example of the Streisand Effect.

    1. I’ve never met a Satanist. Maybe they honestly believe what they claim to believe, but I’ve always assumed that they are just trolling really hard, looking to get a rise out of people, and don’t actually believe any of it.

      1. I went to the church of the flying spaghetti monster in black rock city and found a bunch of well-meaning nerds. Never been to a satanic mass though.

      2. All the Satanists I knew grew out of it by about 10th grade.

        1. After growing into it in the 9th grade.

          Teenage hormones are a bitch.

      3. The best known variant of real Satanism (as opposed to the kind shown in those movies that air at 1 pm or 1 am) is LaVeyan Satanism, which is pretty much for Objectivist-ish people who want to dress up and play church.

        1. Objectivist-ish people who want to make fun of church while getting really into their D&D.

      4. Satanism is basically Ayn Rand mixed with Alistair Crowley.
        With a healthy dose of trolling thrown in.

        1. LaVey certainly meets this definition, I understand that there are some supernaturally-oriented Satanists.

      5. I went to high school with a Satanist. He had some odd ideas – not beyond understanding, just a little different. . . but was one of the most upright, moral people I have ever known. His word was his bond.
        He didn’t make a big deal out of his being a Satanist. . . but neither did he hide it. He simply was what he was. . .

    2. Why assume that the Church *wants* to sweep this under the rug? American Catholics have had *enough* of hushing things up, they’re having to pay for priestly crimes which happened back in the 70s simply because the worldly bishops didn’t have the balls to face up to the issue at the time.

      (This particular Satanist, by the way, was a prison guard convicted of sex crimes against a female inmate – “An inappropriate relationship built up between me and a female prisoner, there was kissing and touching one night, she turned it over to IA, I cooperated with IA,”…..t-involved)

      God willing, the Church has learned from this and won’t just sit quietly “for fear of the Streisand effect.”

      1. I really don’t understand what your point is. He’s advocating force to prevent this from happening. According to the Bible aren’t people allowed to choose their own way? Isn’t that why we have free will? How is forcing these people to submit to your whims and making this a national news story giving these satanists a platform any kind of win for the Catholic church?

        1. See below – I’m not defending Fr. Morris’s remarks. I’m responding to all the responses which went beyond Fr. Morris’ remarks and went after the Church in general – eg, “why pay attention to this?”

          1. Adios con dios.

      2. “This particular Satanist, by the way, was a prison guard convicted of sex crimes against a female inmate”

        A female and an adult? Boy, that religion really is bush league. Major worldwide, 2000 year old faiths prefer young boys of course.

        1. At least 25% of them.

          1. Of hot felons?

            1. I suppose our respective mistakes are equivalent.

              After all, I promptly corrected my mistake.

              And I promptly corrected *your* mistake, too.

              1. Someone else pointed out your article was a hoax, Eddie.

                Perhaps it was your Bishop.

                1. And I promptly corrected my mistake.

                  Without whining about how I *must* be right because they didn’t give me chapter and verse of where I was wrong.

  3. Just a sec. I’m looking for the “incitement to violence” exception in the First Amendment…
    …still looking…
    …still looking…

    1. It’s right there, under the FYTW section.

    2. Dude, it’s a living document, or something…

    3. Commerce Clause.

    4. That the people have the right to peaceably assemble implies that they do not have a right to assemble for a reason that is not peaceable. Since “incitement to violence” is, by definition, not peaceable assembly, the 1st Amendment does not apply.

      1. It doesn’t say “peaceably speak.”

      2. The problem with that analysis is that the bill of rights is *explicitly* not a complete list of our rights.

        Just because its not listed there does not mean that we don’t have that right.

  4. I’m not a silly Satanist, but I don’t find this offensive either. I enjoy the Omen Trilogy as a great comedic series.

  5. It’s times like this that I struggle to understand how Catholic libertarians don’t see themselves as an oxymoron. The roman Catholic Church has been dedicated to statism, either directly by the church, or indirectly through politics, since the early years.

    1. If you substitute the first ‘t’ in statism and substitute it for ‘an’ and place it after the second ‘t’: OMG!!!
      On another note: most modern expressions of religion have huge schisms (heresies) that can’t be resolved as easily as say the Albigensian problem.

    2. One priest doesn’t the Church make, but your point stands. I just tune out when the clergy try to insert themselves into government affairs, or basically whenever I don’t find the argument compelling (e.g., birth control). I don’t surrender my ability to think for myself to the Church. I dunno, maybe that makes be a bad Catholic.

      1. “I don’t surrender my ability to think for myself to the Church. I dunno, maybe that makes be a bad Catholic.”

        I’m pretty sure it does.

        1. I’m honestly not so sure that it does. Church teaching on a wide range of subjects has been reformed and evolved over the centuries. Attitudes towards astronomy and cosmology are a good example. That didn’t happen without someone challenging the official line, so there is room for critical theological and scriptural analysis.

        2. I thought the guy with the hat was supposed to do all the thinking/interpreting.

          1. That’s because you’ve not bothered to actually do any research or exploration of Catholicism.

            1. A Catholic friend of mine once pointed out to me that the Catholic church actually can’t be too restrictive precisely because it is supposed to be “universal”, and if you’re going to be universal, you can’t be excommunicating people at the drop of a miter.

      2. Fr. Morris isn’t my priest, and he doesn’t work for my diocese. So the question of “obedience to priests” doesn’t arise in my case.

        I’ve criticized the good Father in other contexts, namely his tone-deafness on *The Independents* and his ill-advised attempt at pandering to the audience.

        1. But you did once say that you would keep speaking out for marijuana legalization unless your Bishop told you to stop, and if so you would, right?

          1. 25% of the time.

      3. If he’d gone on Fox News and demanded female ordination, he’d be getting defrocked as we speak. So one priest doesn’t the Church make, but the Church doesn’t seem to find this one priest particularly objectionable.

  6. INTERVIEWER: So Father, I thought of becoming a priest because I love children. What was your impetus?
    FATHER: I wanted to be a Satan slayer.

    1. Lotta priests get into it for ‘loving children’ aspect.

      1. Apparently, female teachers, too.

  7. “Which weighs more, the Bible, or this compilation of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons?”

    1. Which one weighs more than a duck?

    2. That wasn’t a preist, it was a preacher. That’s a totally different comedic mileau!

    3. Well if you take all the compilations together…

  8. First amendment also covers freedom of religion, which I think would be more applicable and amusing to see a priest argue against. Fox needs better reporters that ask better follow up questions

  9. When you walk through the garden
    You gotta watch your back

    Well I beg your pardon
    Walk the straight and narrow track

    If you walk with Jesus
    He’s gonna save your soul

    You gotta keep the devil
    Way down in the hole

    1. +5 versions in 5 seasons

  10. What else would count as incitement to violence under Morris’ standard?

    Anything that offends someone enough that they might act violently because of it. His test penalizes speech and the speaker(s) for the way other people react to it, which is one of many reasons why it is an awful position to take.


      1. Trigger warnings for everyone!

        1. Get off my lawn, or I’ll pull this trigger.

          There you go!

  11. Man who represents institution claiming to have monopoly on spiritual truth and that non-adherents are doomed to hell objects to opposing group being hateful.


    1. Not quite a fair summary.

  12. The religious right does not hold a monopoly on the misinterpretation of the first amendment. Clearly this priest is neither a constitutional scholar nor a particularly good priest if he has a problem with the Satanists, but I’ve also seen disgusting interpretations of the FA from the left as well.

    Case in point was U.C. Berkeley’s Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks.

    U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Very Wrong

    1. Oddly Reason never covered that. Shocking I know.

  13. You would think the Catholic Church would at least have a grudging respect for Satanists–at least they still buy into the scam, unlike atheists.

    1. They could band together like brothers in arms against the Godless heathens!

    2. If they were actual Satanists sure. These guys are not Sara sits. They are just atheist douche bags trolling.

      1. Sara sits? Another john-mistype that reveals the truth?

        Satan is really Santa.

        1. He meant Saracens.

          1. PaleoISIS

            1. Sara’s tits.

              1. Go on…

  14. So.. this was offensive how? Don’t go and don’t listen. And it sounds like it was kinda hard to be offended:

    The Oklahoman newspaper reported that between 40 and 50 people attended the ritual, which was held in a small theater in the basement of the Oklahoma City Civic Center.

    1. It wasn’t and no one in Oklahoma I know cared. Reason only cares because the Oklahomans whose voices live in their head care.

      1. “Reason only cares because the Oklahomans whose voices live in their head care”


        1. Reason only cared because these Satanists are Mexicans who like pot and ass-sex.

      2. No one I know voted for Nixon either.

  15. OK, priest. I hope you don’t go around saying “Merry Christmas.” I hear it offends some people.

  16. Fuck off, slaver. Incitement means something in Constitutional law, and that isn’t it.

    OTOH, those on the left who think that the holy freedom not to be offended can only ever be invoked against the right should learn a lesson.

  17. America and reason can tolerate Satan and Westboro just so long as they don’t do anything really bad like start a bakery that refuses to serve a gay wedding. Do that and they are to immediately be told to comply or be run out of business.

    Since Satanist accept gays, they are protected.

    1. That didn’t make any sense.

      1. Red Tony is trolling.

        1. How is pointing out that America will tolerate Satanist as long as they toe the lion on things like gay wedding cake trolling?

          You don’t think the left would turn on them in an instant if they said “Satan doesn’t believe in gay marriage and therefore we will not bake a cake for one.”?

      2. That happens a lot here.

      3. He’s saying that America will tolerate Satanist and the Westboro Baptist fucks as long as their members don’t do anything crazy like open up a bakery and refuse to serve gay weddings.

        If they were to do so, they would immediately be cast out and punished.

        1. America AND reason… John’s bitching and/or trolling.


  18. And this is news because?

    1. It makes the evil fundies look intolerant. And that really what it’s all about

      1. Well, maybe if they didn’t make it so damn easy…

      2. Maybe it was the intolerant part that makes them look intolerant.

      3. Because in this case a Catholic priest is promoting censorship and intolerance. It’s really bizarre that you’ll accuse Reason, of all things, of not calling out left-wing censorship just because a priest on Fox said something stupid.

      4. You have to have something criticizing the right to balance out all the intolerance on display at the climate march, so everyone knows that Reason doesn’t take sides.

        1. Hazel wins!

      5. When you say that a mass, even if it is epic trolling, is not free speech, you deserve to be rightly mocked.

    2. I like how Almighty always says the same thing in threads mocking what some silly MSNBC or Slate commentator says

      1. And this is news because…?

      2. I commented many times about the low hanging fruit that gets picked here. On the left or the right. A preist talking about satan worship? Really?

  19. “that’s not free speech, that’s mockery,”

    If anything, accepting mockery is the litmus test of whether you understand free speech. If you think speech should be banned because it is disrespectful or mocking, then you don’t believe in free speech.

  20. So this just popped up on Twitter:

    Stephen Hayes @stephenfhayes ? 6m
    Just informed I’m on the @DHSgov terrorist watch list. Explains why I have been subject to extra screening each of my recent trips.

  21. someone as unpopular as the prince of darkness.

    Look, the guy isn’t even half way through his 2nd term yet. His unpopularity index has a way to drop yet, but Joe, John, Hillary, Nancy, and Harrry keep his awfulness in perspective.

    1. I think Ozzie Osborne is still pretty popular among his fans.

  22. But people here keep assuring me that socons would never try to use the law to enforce their religious views on the general public, and that only paranoids could possibly think that they do.

  23. Genuine incitement to violence may be a justifiable restriction on freedom of speech, but there is a very dangerous precedent in equating offensive speech?which this is?with direct incitement to violence?which this is not.

    Incitement to violence is when you start explicitly telling your side to attack the other side, not pissing the other side off so much that they want to attack you.

  24. What else would count as incitement to violence under Morris’ standard?

    Drawing cartoons of Mohammed.

    Really. This is exactly the argument that Muslims make in Western countries for making it illegal to say offensive things about Islam.
    Hey, if we riot because we’re offended by your speech, you’re inciting violence!!!

  25. I think this Oklahoma confrontation had the least-bad outcome short of outright cancellation.

    For one thing, the Church recovered the consecrated Host which the Satanists were going to defile in their ceremony. The bishop filed a claim in court for the Host, and the judge told the Satanists not to destroy it until ownership could be determined. Since the ownership wouldn’t have been determined before the ceremony, the Satanists were deprived of the whole fun of having a Host, so they gave it back.

    For another thing, the Satanist ceremony was considerably toned down – they not only didn’t have a Host to desecrate, they had to modify their rituals to comply with Oklahoma laws regarding public urination, public nudity, etc. They were willing to accept these limitations on their religious freedom without a protest, and it made the ceremony much lamer.

    For another ‘nother thing, the audience was limited. We were told that the event was “sold out” – 88 people bought tickets! But only 40-50 showed up, even the tiny room was too large for them!

    Finally, it got Catholics out in the public square proclaiming their faith.

    1. Satan defeated!

      1. 25% of the time.

        1. And the other 75%? Better ask your Bishop what to do Eddie!

          Also, since you’re an advocate of exemptions from general laws for groups engaged in religous exercise you must be pretty upset about how the laws on public nudity, urination, etc. were threatened to be used against this groups ceremony, right?

          1. Which should I respond to first – your frightening legal ignorance, your straw-manning, or your willingness to be “more Satanist than the Satanists?”

            1. Can I recommend “none of the above”?

              Just trying to help, GKC 🙂

              1. Conservatives of a feather…

            2. Is love to hear the legal ignorance one, that should be good. For example, that a compelling state interest is being acheived in the least restrictive way by threatening to apply public nudity and urination laws to this one time, highly publicized and seemingly indoors religous event.

              1. Then I guess the Satanists were cowards for failing to stand up manfully for their rights!

                1. That will be a great bookmark for the next time some Christian is bullied into compliance by a law targeting their religious exercise.

            3. But you do advocate exemptions from general laws for groups engaged in religious exercise, don’t you? Where’s the straw man?

              1. His original comment left out the RFRA test – that the government can restrict religion if it’s the least restrictive means of accomplishing a government interest. In short, he straw-manned me as supporting any and all religious exemptions.

                1. *compelling* government interest.

                2. Speaking of legal ignorance, RFRA is the most generous law of exemptions that someone can invoke against laws bearing on their religious exercise. Notice when he asked which he should answer I gave him the exact test he now falls back on.

                  So why not run the test Eddie, we’d all like to see how you figure these Satanists don’t deserve the exemption.

                  1. I don’t know if they “deserve an exemption” not, and I’m certainly not going to research it simply to satisfy some straw-manning troll.

                    1. As pointed out, there was no straw man. You’re just trying to hide your ‘principals over principles’ thinking

                    2. For the benefit of people who (for some reason) have you blocked, here is the position you imputed to me:

                      “since you’re an advocate of exemptions from general laws for groups engaged in religous exercise”

                      You only brought up the RFRA standard when I called you on your bullshit.

  26. Sorry, but this article so reminds me of the “Seinfeld” episode where Putty paints his face to go to a NJ Red Devil’s game, and scares the shit out of the priest. Hilarious!!

    1. I’d forgotten that – awesome episode.

      But…was Putty sponge worthy or not? i’m trying to remember…

    2. you know what is amazing puddy is only in 10 episodes.

      1. But Brock Samson is god, sorry, GOD.

  27. “That’s not worship, that’s not free speech, that’s mockery, and you’re inciting violence.”

    Catholic priest discussing a Satanic mass or Muslim imam justifying the draconian restrictions on freedom of worship and speech in the Islamic world?

    You decide!

    1. One difference is that when an Imam says stuff like this, there’s a distinct risk that a violent mob will materialize.

      In contrast, the Catholic crowds in Oklahoma were following a strict non-violence policy.

      Let’s see how peaceful a *Muslim* mob would be if it assembled to protest a Koran-burning?

      1. In contrast, the Catholic crowds in Oklahoma were following a strict non-violence policy.

        I don’t doubt that. So that makes Fr. Morris’s words even more offensive.

        1. Like I said, I was criticizing Fr. Morris on H&R before it was cool!

          1. It’s not that cool now. And I say that as someone who spent the last two days decorating his new house in Skyrim.

            1. Ha ha, that’s hilar…wait, what did you say?

            2. Falkreath, Hjaalmarch, or the Pale?

  28. “offensive speech?which this is”

    I’m a Christian, even, and I disagree. Offensive? Don’t listen then.

    Of course, pretty much nothing “offends” me, so perhaps I’m not a good test.

    Normally, I kind of like this guy. But every once in awhile more and more often he swings into the Tard Zone with statist shit like this, so I gotta say to Fr. Morris, “Fuck off, slaver!”

  29. Luckily, he’s not running the country. Obama, Clinton and Waxman, on the other hand…

  30. “That’s not worship, that’s not free speech, that’s mockery, and you’re inciting violence.”

    Why, if people are so confident in their religion, upon being confronted with “mockery” don’t they just shake their heads and pray for the “mockers”? Perhaps they could even be *amused* by the poor fools ….

    1. Well, the progressives have given him this nifty tool… so can we blame him for using it?

  31. So were these people Satanists or Luciferians?

    Lucifer is the Light-bringer (Loki) who brought knowledge (fire) to Man which allowed Man to become like the gods themselves. Lucifer/Loki is the bad guy from the perspective of the gods, but the good guy as far as Man in concerned. (I haven’t seen the Thor movies but can only assume that Thor is the hero and Loki the villain, which is just wrong. Unless you’re Paul Ehrlich and curse the day Man learned about fire.)

    The whole Garden of Eden story shows that God created Man with no knowledge of Good and Evil, no morality in other words. This meant Man was just another animal if you consider that our sense of morality, of right and wrong, is what separates us from the animals. Man was incapable of sin prior to eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge since sin requires a mens rea and God created Man without the capability. It was Lucifer that gave Man that ability, that made Man something more than a mere animal.

    So why does Lucifer get all the bad press?

    1. +1 Milton’s Satan is Actually the Hero

    2. Uh – you know that Loki has nothing to do with Lucifer, right? Completely different cultures and mythologies.

      Not to mention that the origins and characters of these two guys share *nothing* in common.

      Lucifer did not bring knowledge (or light or fire) to man – he rebelled against God and tried to ursup the heavenly kingdom (this is as close as Lucifer gets to Loki and even that’s 99% Marvel and 1% actual mythology).

      For this God created Hell and banished Lucifer (and his allies) to eternal torment in that pit.

  32. Fuck religion.

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