UPDATE: Harvard group cancels black mass, but Faust still defends it
A Faustian bargain
Harvard University has set the low water mark for tastelessness and outrage. Harvard University Extension School’s Cultural Studies Club is “re-enacting a black mass.” I’m not sure how one goes about re-enacting a black mass, anymore than one can re-enact a Catholic Mass. Re-enact implies a historical event, not one that is done as a regular part of (Satan) worship.
No, this is not education. It’s not a re-enactment. Harvard’s Cultural Studies Club is conducting a black mass.
The club said in a statement ‘‘the performance is part of a larger effort to explore the religious facets that continue to influence contemporary culture.’’
In case you didn’t know, a black mass is a mockery of a Catholic Mass, where the elements of communion are desecrated. The “re-enactment” will be conducted (as a religious service) by the Satanic Temple group, based in New York City. The Satanic Temple group (I won’t give them the favor of a link) is the same group that proposed erecting a statue of the devil beside the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma—something with which, tellingly, the Boston Globe apparently agrees.
Harvard, that bastion of faith and goodness nestled in
Red Harvard Square, Moscow Cambridge defended the outrage:
Harvard Extension School said it supports ‘‘the rights of our students and faculty to speak and assemble freely,’’ and noted that the group plans Shinto, Shaker and Buddhist events.
Despite the fact that 370 students signed a petition opposing the event, and Harvard president Drew Faust [no pun, really] condemned the event, Faust values the students’ right to expression over society’s right to maintain a coherent culture free of evil and Satan worship.
Nevertheless, consistent with the University’s commitment to free expression, including expression that may deeply offend us, the decision to proceed is and will remain theirs. At the same time, we will vigorously protect the right of others to respond—and to address offensive expression with expression of their own.
I plan to attend a Eucharistic Holy Hour and Benediction at St. Paul’s Church on our campus on Monday evening in order to join others in reaffirming our respect for the Catholic faith at Harvard and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is not censorship, but reasoned discourse and robust dissent.
If ever a university, never mind an Ivy League school, has betrayed its roots and foundations, Harvard, once bearing the motto Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae (“Truth for Christ and the Church”), has crushed the last cornerstone of decency and pulled up the last anchor of morality to drift endlessly in politically correct hell.
*** UPDATE ***
The student group canceled the black mass at the last minute after failing to find another place to hold it, but the fact that the school didn’t cancel it is abhorrent.