(Photo: Facebook/The Satanic Temple)
Over 37,000 people have signed a petition against a planned satanic black mass in Oklahoma City, which has also been protested by the Roman Catholic archbishop of the city.
"The black mass is an attempt to rip God out of the fabric of our nation. That's why more and more people are joining the protest," said John Ritchie, the Student Action Director for the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.
"The sole purpose of the black mass is to attack God, the Catholic Mass and the Holy Eucharist in a most obscene, indecent and hateful manner. Satanists typically steal a consecrated host from a church to desecrate in unspeakable ways."
The black mass is scheduled to take place on Sept. 21 at the local civic center. It is reportedly being organized by local Oklahoma City satanist Adam Daniels, who says he is the high priest of a local satanic group.
Daniels has explained that a satanic mass contains similar themes to a Catholic mass, but participants worship Satan instead of God.
A petition started by TFP against the mass has been signed as of Thursday by 37,877 people, and has a goal of 50,000 signatures.
"With my whole heart and soul, I express full, complete and vehement rejection of the satanic 'black mass' scheduled at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on Sept. 21. I urge you to cancel this event which offends 1 billion Catholics worldwide, 200,000 Catholics in Oklahoma and countless more God-loving Americans. Sacrilege is simply NOT free speech," the petition reads, addressed to Stephen Sharpe of the Oklahoma City Civic Center, Mayor Mick Cornett and Governor Mary Fallin.
Paul Coakley, archbishop of Oklahoma City, has also urged city organizers to intervene and stop the black mass from taking place.
"We're astonished and grieved that the civic center would promote as entertainment and sell tickets for an event that is very transparently a blasphemous mockery of the mass," Coakley said in a statement.
"The 'black mass' that is scheduled for the civic center in September is a satanic inversion and distortion of the most sacred beliefs, not only of Catholics, but of all Christians."
Ritchie further asked why the civic center is "facilitating and advertising sacrilege" by using a tax-funded facility "as a platform to attack God and demean all God-loving Americans."
He added: "This event harms the common good on many levels. It forces civic center employees and government workers to assist, or work in close proximity to, an event that targets the Catholic faith."
TFP's student action director noted that a similar black mass initially scheduled at Harvard University in May was cancelled after a public protest.
"We're praying this one gets canceled too," Ritchie added.