August 15 is a holy day in the Catholic calendar, the Feast of the Assumption. Recently, Satanists in Oklahoma City chose this day to offend Catholics by holding a “Black Mass” that evening, one that included the desecration of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
This was not the first time that a Satanic ceremony was held in Oklahoma City. A registered sex offender, Adam Daniels, pulled a similar stunt two years ago; he also lead the one last month.
Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley handled the 2014 event responsibly; he did so again last month. He asked the faithful not to give Daniels the media platform he was seeking; rather, the archbishop encouraged Catholics to attend a Unity Prayer Service and Walk.
Archbishop Coakley asked why local officials were allowing this “abhorrent act” to take place. The Catholic League joined him in that quest.
Please spare us talk about freedom of speech. The First Amendment is not an end—it is a means to an end. But we have forgotten what the Founders envisioned. Speech must be free, they said, if the public is to choose how best to govern society. In other words, free speech meant political discourse, without which the good society could not be crafted. Free speech was defended because it served a noble end.
There is nothing noble about hate speech, and this includes intentionally insulting people of faith. That this offensive exercise happened in an arena funded by the public, which includes many Catholics, made this “Black Mass” all the more astounding.
The mayor and city council need to answer this question: What liberty was Daniels advancing, and why did it have to be sponsored by the public?