Truth be told, I have been sitting out the "black mass" media storms. I have no doubt that, for the ancient churches, we are dealing with sacrilege of the highest order. At the same time, I am very close to being a First Amendment absolutist and oppose blasphemy laws.
So why write about the following ABC News report (as run at Yahoo!) about the new brouhaha in Bible belt Oklahoma?
When you read the story, try to forget the whole black mass thing. Instead, focus on the facts in the story's material about the Catholic Mass itself. Just to keep things straight in some of these quotations, a key voice in this story is the leader of the devil-worshiping group, one Adam Daniels of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu.
The first strange reference is actually pretty mundate.
The upcoming event has generated controversy because black masses mock Christianity and the rituals that make up their services but organizers see it as an integral part of their religion.
Yes, ignore that "Christianity" is singular and, thus, clashes with the plural reference -- "their services" -- a few words later.
Obviously, a black mass is offensive to all Christians, but that's almost beside the point. The dark rite mocks the belief of Catholics, and other ancient Christians, that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass. The whole point is to desecrate what has been consecrated.