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Things That Are Probably More Troubling Than Black Mass

Posted in Editorials on May 8th, 2014

Adam called my attention to the outrage of Catholics over plans for a group at Harvard to perform a Black Mass. Being offensive for the sake of being offensive can range from being a waste of time to hurtful harassment. But from what I understand, this will take place in a contained space indoors, and no one who does not want to be there will have to be there, so it seems to fall into the former category.

Amid uninformed people calling this “hate speech,” what’s most bizarre to me is Calah Alexander of “Barefoot and Pregnant” calling it:

one of the most troubling things I’ve heard about in a long time.

Although I am no longer Catholic, I find the concept of a Black Mass distasteful – because I think that trolling in general is distasteful. Much of my moral foundation was formed in the Catholic Church, and I think the reason the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism resonate so soundly with me is because of my early education in the Sermon on the Mount. And that’s why Calah’s statement puzzles me so. In the context of all bad things in recent memory, a bunch of jerks chanting “Hail Satan, We’re So Edgy, LOL” is “the most troubling?” I don’t know what Calah would call “a long time” but here’s a list of things, in no particular order, I would hope that most people would find more troubling than a Black Mass, that have occurred so far in 2014:

1. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which was carrying 239 people.

2. The botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

3. The kidnapping (and probable rape) of hundreds of Nigerian girls by terrorist group Boko Haram.

4. Tornados struck Arkansas in the last week of April killing 35 people.

5. A measles outbreak in the United States infected 129 people.

6. A Chemical Spill in Elk River West Virgina deprived 300,000 people of drinking water for five days.

7. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree at the US Army Base in Fort Hood Texas, killing three, and injuring sixteen.

8. A gas explosion in Harlem killed eight people and injured 60.

9. An outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 155 people.

10. A South Korean ferry sunk, drowning 304 people.

11. A landslide in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of over 2500 people.

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