In an official press release Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says she is praying Satanists cancel a black mass scheduled next month in Oklahoma City.
In the press release issued Aug. 11 Fallin condemned the scheduled black mass, calling it “a disgusting mockery of the Catholic faith” and a “moral outrage.”
From the Governor’s website:
Governor Mary Fallin today condemned a scheduled performance of a satanic black mass next month in Oklahoma City.
“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 joins Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley in criticizing the event, scheduled for Sept. 21 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center. The archbishop said the black mass “is a satanic inversion and distortion of the most sacred beliefs not only of Catholics, but of all Christians.”
Oklahoma City officials have said the Civic Center is a public building and the city must abide by the First Amendment and allow it to be leased to any group that agrees to abide by all laws and city ordinances.
The black mass in Oklahoma City reportedly is being organized by the Satanic Temple of New York City, which last year submitted plans for a public monument of a seated Satan on the state Capitol grounds to counter a monument of the Ten Commandments.
(For the record, Friendly Atheist reports the black mass is not being organized by the Satanic Temple of New York City, which last year submitted plans for a public monument of a seated Satan on the state Capitol grounds to counter a monument of the Ten Commandments.)
To her credit, Gov. Fallin recognizes that the black mass is protected by the First Amendment. However, to her discredit, Fallin is using her official position as Governor to speak out against a particular religious view point. That is wrong.
It is inappropriate for an elected official, as an elected official, to condemn or promote a particular religious viewpoint. If Fallin had been speaking as a private citizen condemning the black mass that would not be a problem. However, for Fallin to use her official position as Governor to disparage a particular religious viewpoint, is inappropriate and wrong.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government and government officials from encouraging or promoting religion in any way. As such, Fallin’s official condemnation of the scheduled black mass violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution, and mocks the secular values upon which this nation was founded.