(Photo: Facebook/The Satanic Temple)
The devil worshiping church hosting the black mass in the Oklahoma City Civic Center in Oklahoma City on Sept. 21 remains confident that the event will take place, despite a recent online petition from an opposing organization.
The controversial ceremony, to be held by a religious group known as Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, has been met with great opposition, with more than 70,000 online petitions being collected urging the civic center to cancel the event.
"The black mass is the most obscene attack against the Catholic mass that can be imagined," said John Ritchie, the director of TFP Student Action, an organization that defends student's moral values on college campuses that started the petition to The Christian Post. "It harms the moral fabric of our nation and that's the primary reason I oppose it. The highest reason is that it offends God."
Ritchie, along with the organization, view the mass as a direct attack on God and the moral values of those who love and revere Him.
"For someone to deliberately attack the supreme good, [God], intentionally, to cause harm [and be] deliberately filled with hatred is something that not only hurts Catholics and Christians, in general, but everybody of good will."
From a legal standpoint, the church has every right to hold this black mass; however, Ritchie believes community leaders also have the right to stop it if they believe it threatens the common good of the people and the values of many American Christians. He sees this as a group taking advantage of American freedom to openly assault people of faith.
"I don't think the First Amendment should be used as a baseball bat to bash Christians over the head, and in this case I think it's being used in that way," he continued.
Member Adam Daniels of the satanist organization holding the event was recently sued by Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City for illicitly obtaining the consecrated host for the black mass and was ordered to return it.
He briefly spoke with CP about the black mass and clarified the beliefs of his group, which revolve around worshiping an ancient Persian deity.
"We are devil worshippers, we are not spiritual satanists," Daniels told CP. "We believe in Angra Mainyu that is the original devil from Persia."
The group's website describes the deity as a "destroyer." The church itself aims to give people "freedom" from religions that try to "restrain them" from following their "natural animal instincts."
Daniels remains confident that the black mass will take place on Sept. 21 and told CP that he does not view the recent petition as a serious threat.
Ritchie described the return of the host as a "victory" in a previous statement, but still plans to fight until the event is officially canceled.
"It's a partial victory, but the black mass itself has not been canceled," said Ritchie to CP. "That's why [we] continue to protest and to pray until it is finally canceled."