A controversial satanic black mass is to go ahead in Oklahoma this month, despite the many protests from the good people of Oklahoma City -- as well as a lawsuit.
ABC News reports that one of the founders of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu said that that the religious and educational organization decided to hold the black mass in public, even though it will be "tamer" than what they had originally planned. They would uses vinegar instead of urine for their ritual so as to comply with state laws.
The event has come under some significant criticism, mainly because the ceremony mocks Christianity, although Adam Daniels from the satanic group told reporters,
"One of the dictates of the church is not only to educate the members but to educate the public, and to debunk the Hollywood-projected image of our beliefs."
Nevertheless, according to Daniels the event is sold out as all 88 tickets for sale have been snapped up already. The group were allowed to rent a place to have their event due to First Amendment protections which allow the group to meet in a public facility.
Even though they rented the venue to the group, Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock said, "Mr. Daniels must abide by our local ordinances, our fire codes and all of our state laws. No bloodletting of any kind will be allowed."
For a mere $17.50, participants at the ceremony will enjoy performance from the band "God in a Machine" as well as readings that call for the renunciation of God. On top of that, male participants and audience members are encouraged to wear black, hooded, full-length robes, but evening wear is also allowed.
An assistant professor of theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Anthony Briggman, told reporters that the main principles behind such satanic groups is to "parody" Roman Catholic liturgy by "demonstrating their opposition to orthodox Christian beliefs and practices."
He said, "The line between parody and mockery is a fuzzy one and it is unclear to me on which side of the line they usually fall. The goal seems to be to acquire some of the spiritual power [and] magic that they associate with the Roman Catholic ritual of transubstantiation, the transformation of the Eucharistic bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ."
Lucien Greaves, the leader of The Satanic Temple, an organization whose belief system is in line with Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, took credit for the inspiration his own group have served as for Mr Daniels, "I have a feeling that they're rather inspired by the attention that our activity has gotten," Greaves told ABC News, "but I don't think there's a particularly higher concentration in Oklahoma than anywhere else."