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2 Bumps

Anyone for a dose of irony?

Harvard's 'black Mass' angers Catholics


A student group at Harvard is having clergy of different religions come in to perform different ceremonies, in a program to expand cultural awareness.  The Boston AD and Harvard Admin are having a hissy about one of those ceremonies being done by the Satanic Church, because, despite the church not preaching hate, intolerance or even demanding worship of Satan, they've decided the entire ceremony is an attack on Christians.

The actual beliefs of the church are tolerance and pluralism, and equal treatment of all faiths or non-faiths.  Apparently this message of peace and equality is offensive.

Considering Christianity is the one that preaches anyone not Christian will be tortured for all eternity, shouldn't that be the one considered hostile?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 2:13 PM on May. 12, 2014 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Religious zombies don't bother to learn about Satanism, atheism, witchcraft or anything other than their own beliefs. They don't want to be "tainted" by reading about these things! Atheism could be contagious, you know!!

    Answer by witchqueen at 11:30 AM on May. 13, 2014

  • I agree that Christianity - the way it is typically preached - is more hostile than Satanism. I wonder whether those wanting to nix the ceremony are fully aware of what Satanism is, or whether they are and just don't care about its reputation, etc.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:23 PM on May. 12, 2014

  • It's a shame that it was cancelled. 

    I suspect that the objections to the event were twofold:  First of all, most objections were probably due to complete ignorance regarding the Satanic Temple. Many probably think of it as something along the lines of Rosemary's Baby, full of superstition and "black magic". It's a shame that in this day and age, people still believe in such things and let their decisions be ruled by superstition. I'd have thought we were evolved enough to move beyond such thinking.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:15 PM on May. 13, 2014

  • The second reason is a bit more troubling. I think that many ARE aware of the group's real purpose, which is to insert more rational thinking. Such education could mean fewer followers of religion.

    From the article: “Our purpose is not to denigrate any religion or faith, which would be repugnant to our educational purposes," the Harvard student group had said in a statement, "but instead to learn and experience the history of different cultural practices.”

    I think there's a real fear that if people were to attend the "Black Mass", they might see the superstitious nature of such rituals in a new light, and diminish the aura of mysticism of them. That, in turn, might cause many to question their upbringing and beliefs and lead them away from the church.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:19 PM on May. 13, 2014

  • You'd think...

    good grief

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 6:31 PM on May. 12, 2014

  • Stuff like this makes my brain ache.

    Answer by anime0719 at 6:36 PM on May. 12, 2014

  • I see that this now has been cancelled. It would have been really interesting to hear/experience, in my opinion

    Answer by Thairaze at 9:51 PM on May. 12, 2014

  • Doesn't help that they turned a bad movie (accuracy-wise) into a bad tv show

    Yeah. The made-for-tv show is an annoyance. I think of all the superstitious people who will take a movie like this and apply its bad interpretation of a mishmash of different spiritual paths and turn it into something decidedly Catholic (not meant to insult the Catholics of this section - I just mean that the history of the Catholic Church has focused quite a bit on the notion that we're battling evil supernatural forces, and this movie perpetuates the myth), playing on the fears and ignorance of the masses.

    What they're doing with this movie is the sort of thing that Harvard is accusing the Satanic Temple of: mocking or deliberately twisting certain beliefs for the sake of sensationalism.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 2:28 PM on May. 13, 2014

  • *just don't care BECAUSE of its reputation, I mean

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 2:23 PM on May. 12, 2014

  • Many probably think of it as something along the lines of Rosemary's Baby

    Doesn't help that they turned a bad movie (accuracy-wise) into a bad tv show

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 2:17 PM on May. 13, 2014

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