Responding to the issuance of a permit from the city to carry out a Black Mass next month at the Oklahoma City Civic Center, state Rep. Richard Morrissette says that perverting the traditional Catholic Mass singles out members of a particular faith for ridicule, while involving all others by use of public tax dollars.
“The taxpayers and Catholicism are the only things being sacrificed here, on the altar of hate, deception and ignorance,” said Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, House District 92.
The Civic Center Music Hall is a taxpayer funded entity, and in that capacity it honors and upholds relevant state and federal laws including the U.S. Constitution, which allows for the free expression of speech and equal protection among all groups and individuals, but Morrissette takes exception.
“They say that no laws or ordinances are broken during the event, but I contend that our state and city officials should take into consideration the nature of this blatant pointed attack, directed squarely at the Catholic faith, and call it what it is: hate speech! Hate speech is not protected speech.”
Support for programming at the Civic Center, where this scheduled event is set to occur, includes the 1993 Oklahoma City MAPS project, taxpayer dollars that helped fund renovations. Also, the federal Public Works Administration, created in 1933, provided dollars to fund the project with $1.4 million from the PWA and the remaining $1.7 million from a city bond issue. Construction involved other government agencies, including the Civil Works Administration.
The word “mass,” per Dictionary.com, denotes a solemn but positive celebration of the Eucharist without reference to legitimization of any form of negativity. A Black Mass is a non-religious inversion or parody of the Catholic Mass that includes mockery and defamation of the beliefs of those of the Catholic faith and by design attempts to interrupt the constitutional right to practice freedom of expression of religion for all Catholics.
This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at City Space Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall.