Purloined Jesus wafer returned to Church after legal threat

I didn’t realize how zealous the Catholic Church was in guarding its crackers. I guess that communion wafers, before they’re blessed, are just crackers, but once they’re blessed all bets are off. (By the way, a judicious bit of Googling reveals that the consecration of the wafers, and their transubstantiation into the body of Jesus, occurs during the mass, when the priest holds up the crackers and says, “Hoc est corpus” [“this is my body’}. One story goes, though it may be aprocryphal, that this is the source of the magician’s phrase, “Hocus pocus.”)

Anyway, according to Thursday’s issue of The Oklahoman, Catholics regard their Jesus-body wafers so highly that when one was taken to be used in a Satanic black mass, the Church filed a lawsuit to get it back (my emphasis):

The Catholic Church on Thursday retrieved a communion wafer that a satanist planned to use in a “black Mass” next month at Civic Center Music Hall.

The wafer was turned over a day after Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley filed a lawsuit seeking its protection and restoration to the Church.

“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the return of the sacred Host, and that we have prevented its desecration as part of a planned satanic ritual,” Coakley said in a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

. . . The leader of an Oklahoma City satanist group, Adam Daniels, plans to stage a black Mass on Sept. 21 in a small basement theater at the Civic Center.

The event is to include live music and the “exorcism” of Christ’s spirit from an individual.

Daniels had said he possessed a consecrated wafer, prompting the archbishop to ask an Oklahoma County judge to issue orders to prevent its use in the ceremony.

Daniels said he turned the wafer over to an attorney in Norman, and the archdiocese said a priest picked it up Thursday afternoon.

Daniels also promised in writing not to use consecrated communion bread in his event. In exchange, the archdiocese agreed to drop the lawsuit.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Mike Caspino, the lead attorney for the Catholic Church. “This is a victory for decency, a victory for all people of faith.”

That makes me laugh.  A victory! (And, of course, some extra dosh for Mike Caspino.) When are we going to start regarding the term “people of faith” as an insult rather than a virtue?  After all, “people of faith” is equivalent to “people of superstition.”

Question for readers: although it’s not illegal to steal a wafer once it’s been given away, was taking it for use in a Black Mass a rotten thing to do? I go back and forth on this, but, given that burning an American flag is for many people the equivalent act, and yet is meaningful and protected speech, I can’t criticize the purloined wafer too strongly. After all, one could consider this protected criticism of religion, since Black Masses are parodies of Catholic masses.

h/t: Pinkagendist, Grania

 

107 Comments

  1. Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    sub

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      sub

  2. steve oberski
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It’s too bad this didn’t make it into court.

    I can just see the lawyer for Adam Daniels and the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate presenting the bishop with a box full of identical looking crackers (the real one marked with say ink that fluoresces in UV light) and inviting the bishop to pick out the “stolen” cracker.

    • bobkillian
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      What a charming idea.

    • Kevin
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      This is falls into a category of arguments that God is made up:

      Guess the number I am thinking in my head. It was put their by your God, therefore you should know it.

      I wish people would see that ALL evidence points towards God being manufactured.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      I, too, which the satanites had let it go to court. Unless it was stolen property, I don’t see how the RCC could have won. Even having Jezuz’s flesh declared to be “property” would have been worth the price of admission.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        been worth the price of admission.

        Do American courts charge for entry to the public benches? I’ve never seen it done in a Scottish court, and never actually attended an English, Welsh or Ulster one to know.

    • Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Ha! That would be great.

      Although, we all know they’d simply come up with some Very Good Reason for being unable to pick out the transmogrified wafer. Still, it would be interesting to see what VGR they came up with.

    • Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Finding the consecrated cracker among non-consecrated would be easy. You just press each of them against Richard Dawkins forehead. The one that burns him is consecrated

    • Marella
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, and how do they know they got the consecrated cracker back? What if they got a stand-in instead of the real magic cracker?

    • N3Cr0Ph0b1A
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Like a good ol’ cracker line-up?

  3. Dermot C
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It’s 1972 since I last had a communion wafer so things might have moved on since then, but I always thought the portion was puritanically mean and tasteless. And as for the priest being the only one to sup the communion wine, well that was plain rude. No wonder the dads used to run like a herd of cats, not sheep, to the local pub when the priest dismissed us. Amen, indeed.

    For the black mass, I would suggest a crispy Scottish oat biscuit to set off the luxurious taste and texture of a mature Blue Stilton: and Jesus being the vine, washed down with a full-bodied Bordeaux red – port at Christmas. As the devil has the best tunes, I imagine Mr. Daniels can sort out his own DJ but I would request ‘They don’t make Jews like Jesus anymore’.

    Slaínte.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Would You have preferred to share the wine cup, including the backsplash? Somehow sharing everyone’s saliva doesn’t seem to be too enticing. Oh that’s right, the zombie’s blood would kill all the germs, right?

      • steve oberski
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        That’s not what true catholics believe.

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          What is a true Catholic? RCC priest from Rome? Orthodox from Greece? Evangelical from Kentucky? Liberal enlightened from Seattle? One who goes to church twice a year?

          • steve oberski
            Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            A true catholic is one whose sense of ethics and morality is completely disconnected from that which increases the well being of other humans and sentient beings with whom we share this planet.

          • GBJames
            Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            A true Catholic is one from Scotland, no?

            • NewEnglandBob
              Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

              It’s not one who drinks Scotch?

              • steve oberski
                Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

                Only if it’s a good single malt, those others are heretics.

      • Michael Sommers
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Episcopalians (and probably others) take communion by sipping from a common chalice. As I recall, after each sip, the priest would wipe the rim of the cup, and rotate the cup a bit. I don’t think I ever saw anyone dropping dead from that practice, or any plagues started.

        • GBJames
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          People rarely appear sick immediately after contact with disease-causing organisms.

          • Michael Sommers
            Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            Obviously. I was being a bit facetious. Still, I am not aware of any substantial health problems caused by using a common cup. I’m sure there have been individual cases, but I expect they were few and far between. If you have evidence to the contrary, please share it.

            • GBJames
              Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

              Here. Google is your friend.

        • Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          While it has always grossed me out somewhat, it’s not as bad as the holy shit water.

        • Dermot C
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

          In vino caritas, in eucharistia infelicitas.

          Slaínte.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      YouTube link for They don’t make Jews like Jesus anymore.

  4. rickflick
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Amusing to think that the Catholics believe in Satanism more strongly than the Satanists. We get the last laugh.

    • SA Gould
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      What if someone were to actually bring forth Satan by using one of the blessed wafers? Think of the PR nightmare. I am with the Catholic Church on this one,they must protect their “brand.”

    • Michael Sommers
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Even more amusing that the Satanists believe in transubstantiation.

  5. noncarborundum
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    hoc es corpus

    A quibble: that should be “hoc est corpus”. (“es” is second person singular; “est” third.)

  6. ascanius
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    typo. hoc est corpus (meum). es is 2nd person sg., you need est, 3rd person sg. not es.

  7. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Assuming that a case could even be made that the cracker was stolen, what the hell kind of monetary value could it possibly have? A twentieth of a cent like a coupon? Even less?

    • Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      I wonder how they’d prove the theft. “Yes, the communion wafer’s serial number is Exodus 32:4.”

      • Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        I’d really like to see a case like this go to court. Even in a civil suit, with the lower standard of evidence, I don’t see how the Church’s case could be anything but laughable.

        What sort of evidence would be presented to prove the cracker was stolen and not taken as it was freely offered at Church? Or that the “thief” didn’t just make his own unleavened bread and stamp a cross in it? More importantly, what evidence would be offered that the thing is consecrated? Presumably, the Church would have to prove ownership…

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Would it have a bar code (and therefore, for some bar code schemes, the Number of The Beast)?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Cracker, 2 cents;
      transubstantiation, your reason & logic;
      stealing jesus in the form of a cracker, priceless!

      • Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Where were you when they were putting together that Visa campaign? I think that one would’ve been very successful.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          I just don’t know why I’m not consulted on these things! :)

          They need to end it with Mastercard: that’s some good tasting Jesus!

          • Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Oh, so many entendres!

            Pardon me while I go gouge out my mind’s eye.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

              Tea spoon is coming up to red heat. any time you’re ready.

  8. Stephen P
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    although it’s not illegal to steal a wafer once it’s been given away, was taking it for use in a Black Mass a rotten thing to do?

    If one was to similarly use an article from a very inoffensive denomination that tries to make society a better place, I’d rate it as rather bad form. But in the case of the RCC I’d rate it a 100.00% justified protest.

  9. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    “When are we going to start regarding the term “people of faith” as an insult rather than a virtue?”

    You mean we don’t already?

  10. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I think it’s hard to be objective about the whole communion wafer thing, since it’s either the body of Christ or a delusional fairy tale without much middle ground. Considering that Catholics would probably consider it heresy and paganism to observe special behavior for things that other, non-Christian religions consider sacred, though, it’s hard to think of a good reason to extend to them any sort of special courtesy. They have every right to ask that people don’t do it, but everyone else has the right to go ahead and do it anyway. If the Catholic Church had the power to do so, they’d probably still be enforcing their requests with armed guards and auto-de-fe’s, so my sympathy is low.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I look at it this way: if someone were suffering from hallucinations and delusions that made them value some stupid thing we’d feel bad for them and try to get it back for them but we wouldn’t really take it too seriously and we wouldn’t spend much time/energy on it. Instead, we’d try to help our poor delusional friend.

  11. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    “a victory for all people of faith”

    I think a better victory would have been for the Church to claim that there was nothing that Satan could do to harm the body of Christ. Indeed, the wafer would purify their rituals of their evil intent, and the greater hope would be that all Satanists would steal consecrated wafers.

    • Posted August 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Good one, Greg. They missed their opportunity. Hmmm, I wonder why that tack didn’t occur to them? The subconscious mind of subterfuge, perhaps?

      • John Scanlon, FCD
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        It would go against a thousand years of church propaganda against Jews and heretics, so they’re not likely to be changing tack any time soon.

  12. Cathy Anne
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see a copy of the lawsuit. Were they going after the satanists for theft or for blasphemy? I wish the case had gone to court. I just can’t see how they could argue theft if the cracker was given away.

    • Michael Sommers
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I would guess that the church wanted a writ of replevin, or whatever the modern equivalent is in Oklahoma.

      A clever lawyer could argue that there was a breach of contract. There was clearly offer, acceptance, and consideration, so there was a contract. The lawyer would argue that an implied term of the contract was that the wafer be consumed on the premises, and that therefore the church was entitled to the writ.

      • Michael Sommers
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Disregard the above. I was unaware that the wafers came from elsewhere.

  13. Erp
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The original black masses were accusations by the Catholic church (or the government) against those it was persecuting; they did not apparently actually happen until much later (as in centuries later).

    The idolization of the communion wafer and violence against those allegedly desecrating it was and is happening. Jews were often accused of desecrating it (along with blood libel where they were accused of killing and eating a Christian child). http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_blib2.htm

  14. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I understand the wafer was bought from Turkey, which I think makes any ‘theft’ claim dubious. At the very least the should have required financial compensation for the loss. I wonder what it costs to ship a box of crackers from Turkey.

  15. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand the legal side of this. Once a wafer is given to someone, doesn’t that legally mean it’s theirs and they can do whatever they want with it?
    I found another Wafergate case where ebay doesn’t just pull the item from sale, but bans the sale of other wafers: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ebay-pulls-sale-of-consecrated-communion-host-after-9000-complaints-receive

    • Draken
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I’d be seduced to buy one and then open a dispute with the seller about it not being consecrated.

      My evidence? Maria appeared to me while I was praying the rosary and warned me.

    • Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Have you not read the EULA?

      /@

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        I wonder if the priests have to sign a godly NDA.

  16. Draken
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    But, don’t the RC Church’s attorneys work pro Deo?

    /dzingboom

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Only if there is an advocata diaboli. I always look for an opening to use that!

      • Dermot C
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Your very own hapax legomenon, Diana. Congrats!

        Slaínte.

      • Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t that a devilishly good liqueur?

        /@

  17. Josephine
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sometimes a cracker is just a cracker.

  18. Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Can’t the priest just do a reverse of the original incantation ritual and make this consecrated wafer change back to being just a wafer? They don’t make priests like they used to do. :-)

    • Draken
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      That’s what the satanists wanted to do, exorcise Jesus.

  19. Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “All people of faith” – except those with faith in Satan, apparently.

    • Zetopan
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      No, the only *correct* interpretation is: “All people of *OUR* faith”. Remember, the Catholic church is the “ONE TRUE CHURCH”, something that they have promoted for man centuries.

      • Zetopan
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        “man” => “many”.

  20. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Re Hocus Pocus.

    Wikipedia reports that it being a corruption of “Hoc est…” is a speculative theory first put forward by Anglican prelate John Tillotson writing in 1694, but an 18th century historian of the Anglo-Saxons thought it might be an appeal to the Norse deity Ochus Bochus, and the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t quite buy either explanation, although WP cites some corroborating evidence for the “Hoc est..” theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hocus_Pocus_(magic)

    The change of the wafer into the body of Christ may be the source of “Presto-chango”. Prester is old English for “priest”, but alas “presto” is also Italian for “quickly”. Wiktionary adopts the latter as the source of “Presto-chango”.

    RE: Superstition & Religion

    The ancients drew a sharp distinction between superstition and religion, but this is kind of in the eye of the beholder!!

    This word “superstition” was first used by classical writers Livy, Ovid, and Cicero, and in their eyes it referred to !*specifically unreasonable*! supernaturalism insofar as such piety had the effect of inhibiting or paralyzing the actions of the holder of such beliefs through terror and fear. This was !*contrasted*! this with “religio” which generated self-examination, a sense of obligation to community. (“Superstition is the baseless fear of the gods, religion the pious worship.” says Cicero in “Of the Nature of the Gods” “Superstitio” and “religio” in the original Latin.)

    However, for Cicero & others, part of the distinction is that religion fosters traditional thinking and worship whereas superstition introduces novelty.
    Hence, Tacitus regarded Jews as “superstitious” (rather than “religious”) and even moreso Christians!! At the same time, traditional Catholicism officially condemns superstition and considers FreeMasonry to be a form of such!!

    It’s mainly Christians that elevated “faith” to the supreme and ultimate religious virtue, so that didn’t enter into discussions of Cicero, etc. all that much.

    Re the wafer controversy,

    it’s not clear here how the wafer was obtained. It was likely obtained under false pretenses if obtainer pretended to be a communing Catholic. Burners of the flag generally just buy or make a flag without any promises made on the sale thereof as to how it will be used. So I kinda side with the archdiocese on this one.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I suspect that religio for the Romans was in line with Roman values of pietas, gravitas. All Romans had household gods and state gods and it was expected that they should respect them and worship them accordingly. When it comes to worship, your rarely hear talk of religio but they have lots to say about pietas, gravitas, and dignitas. They never shut up about it in Cicero’s time (thanks to Augustus).

  21. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I always imagine a bunch of poor serfs standing at a crowded mass and hearing Latin & coming up with the hocus pocus. It’s like the Monty Python Life of Brian scene where people can’t hear Jesus giving his Sermon & hear “blessed are the cheese makers” instead of “blessed are the peace makers”.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      I’ll never forget the first time I heard a (radio) ad for Chucky Cheese’s, which had started up while I was out of the country. I thought they were saying Chucky Jesus & couldn’t figure out WTF it could all be about.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      Jesus wept!

  22. Chewy
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t see how this case could have proceeded anywhere because first the plaintiff would have had to show reasonable cause that the property was his and that it was in the defendant’s possession. The admission of the defendant, if true, shows that the plaintiff had not case. How the judge in this situation properly issued any sort of restraining order is beyond my comprehension.

    I’m not particularly interested in Satanic hijinx, nor do I give any honor to a “black mass” — it means no more than a “white/real” mass. But I am completely baffled as to why the satanists, having got this far, caved in to the foolish blather from the Catholics. I guess they all agree on one thing — that a consecrated wafer (or, one assumes, a consecrated eraser or bottle cap) is truly a Holy Thing that has properties in excess of its scientifically determinable ones. And that’s a shame.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      It isn’t clear to me whether the Satanists actually believe in what they profess or whether they are just folk who are out to make a point. I’d like to think the latter is the case but if they truly believe in the divinity of this cracker and that’s the reason they gave it back, there’ just as loony as the RCC.

      • Draken
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        What little I know about satanism’s many factions, I don’t think they’re very much into the supernatural, or consider Satan to be a demon or person. I think they wanted to take the piss out of the Catholics, who hold Satan to be a spirit who can inhabit and be exorcised out of people or objects.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          I think they wanted to take the piss out of the Catholics

          My quiz-buddy (who is a Satanist on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) is much more even handed – he wants to take the piss out of all religions, quite ecumenically.

  23. Chris Lang
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I’m rather surprised that the Satanists didn’t just say (admit or claim) that their wafer was not really consecrated, that this was all just theater from the get-go.

    But I’m rather hoping that this bit of bullying by the Church–what amounts to a SLAPP suit–is seen for what it is. One thing that particularly irked me was a commentary by Father Roger Landry, in the National Catholic Register, suggesting that Oklahoma enforce the blasphemy laws that are still on the books in those parts.

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/mobilizing-against-black-masses

    Oh, and by the way, please remember that one of the Satanists in question, Mr. Adam Daniels, is a registered sex offender–as Catholic commentators have reminded us. And certainly, the Roman Catholic Church speaks from a position of moral superiority regarding the sexual exploitation of minors.

  24. Sastra
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    … although it’s not illegal to steal a wafer once it’s been given away,…

    Did the Satanists actually claim that they stole the wafer? Or did they simply obtain it from someone who was technically “qualified” to get it the usual way — who then either palmed it or spit it out of their mouth and handed it over?

    This question was of course one of the many issues surrounding PZ Myers’ infamous “Crackergate” a few years ago, in which he pushed back against Bill Donohue’s attempt to get a student expelled from a public university for “blasphemy” by obtaining a sanctified wafer and desecrating it — along with copies of the Quran and The God Delusion — by photographing them in a garbage can. It was a public protest against blasphemy laws as such and an overweening deference to “the sacred” in principle.

    Some argued that even if the priest “gave it away” the eucharist has an implied contractual obligation then and thereafter. I don’t think the ‘implied contract’ thing works, but maybe it does.

  25. cornbread_r2
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Now that it’s been returned, some Catholics are wondering what will become of the host. By custom, it’s supposed to be immediately consumed (eeewww), but some are hoping that it will be placed in storage (in a tabernacle) for a while to see if it turns into something like human tissue — as has been alleged to have happened to other roughly-handled hosts.

  26. Don
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    About “hocus pocus,” an etymological dictionary says this:

    1620s, Hocas Pocas, common name of a magician or juggler, a sham-Latin invocation used in tricks, probably based on a perversion of the sacramental blessing from the Mass, Hoc est corpus meum “This is my body.” The first to make this speculation on its origin apparently was English prelate John Tillotson (1630-1694).

    I will speak of one man … that went about in King James his time … who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery. [Thomas Ady, “A Candle in the Dark,” 1655]

    • Doug
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I’ve also read that “Alakazam” is a corruption of a Muslim prayer, “Allah something-or-other,” but I can’t find any thing about it on the web. Has anyone else heard this?

      • GBJames
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Careful, Doug. You’ll have them rioting in Islamabad if you’re not careful.

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          And that is different then the current rioting in Islamabad how?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          I already have that Steve Miller Band song in my head now with all this magic talk.

          • Posted August 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

            I have a different one stuck in my head about a joker, and something about a toker. But that just may be my beers talking. Magic carpets might come into play with a different type of mind altering substance.

  27. Graham
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m still not sure how many wafers you have to consume in order to eat a whole Jesus.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      And what if you ate some of the same Jesus bits so you got a Jesus with a couple arms & only one leg?

      • Cliff Melick
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        A limp Jesus?

      • Susan
        Posted August 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

      • Posted August 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

        That’s what the Jesus Sum Theory is for. Wafer^2 * hocus pocus^2 = collection basket = (an arm and a leg)*2. You can’t give arms and legs unequally.

      • madscientist
        Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

        I don’t know, but being coerced into eating Jesus in a private school I used to tell my buddy “I think I got the penis again” and he’d say “lucky you, I always get the asshole.”

    • Susan
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Just like Johnny Cash and the song “One Piece at a Time”

      Jesus with only one tail fin.

  28. microraptor
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    There’s a Farscape episode that the RCC should watch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crackers_Don%27t_Matter

    • microraptor
      Posted August 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      And sub

  29. Henry Fitzgerald
    Posted August 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how rotten a thing to do it is, but I don’t think the analogy with flag-burning is a good one.

    The rottenness isn’t so much in the content of the speech act, as how the cracker was acquired. The priest, in giving out the crackers, is saying: “Here is a free cracker, but please use it to participate in this religious ceremony.” Taking the crackers for some other purpose is a breach of trust, and perhaps violates an implicit contract with the priest. Whatever wrongness there may be in using a blessed-by-a-priest cracker in a Black Mass (and there may be very little, or perhaps effectively none), *this* is the source of it.

    A better analogy with flag burning comes about if some local council is handing out free flags for participation in an Australia Day parade (adapting the case to my local circumstances), and a protester takes one of *these* flags to burn – rather than a flag honestly purchased in a non-strings attached transaction with some flag merchant. Whatever (if anything) is wrong with igniting the flag per se, it’s a different kind of wrong from whatever (if anything) is wrong with violating the council’s trust.

  30. madscientist
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    What a silly thing to do – wouldn’t allowing the satanists to eat it put some christ into them?

  31. John Scanlon, FCD
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    So a cracker nicked in Turkey can be (apparently) the lawful property of a diocese in Oklahoma because of the Unity of the Church.

    But Every step in the hierarchy from diocese to Vatican denies, whenever possible, any responsibility for crimes and conspiracies committed by priests because…

  32. Randy S
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Two things that I can’t help but wonder:

    1. Isn’t it kidnapping, at that point? And to refer to it as theft is to acknowledge that it is not, as a matter of fact, the body of anybody?

    2. How are they certain they got the correct cracker back? Couldn’t the satanists have simply switched out the cracker? I wonder if the church could identify a blessed cracker from a non-blessed one. Better still, could they identify, from three crackers, one that was not blessed, one that was blessed by the church, and one that was blessed (?) by the satanists?

  33. Faustus
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    “This is a victory for decency, a victory for all people of faith.”

    Not a victory for Satanism. Is Satanism not a faith?

    If not, does that mean you don’t need faith?

    So therefore satanism would have to be a fact.

    Thus Mike Caspino Believes the tenants of Satanism are factual.

    Therefore he must be a satanist.
    QED

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      eyes the guy with the name, “Faustus” with suspicion. :)

  34. Dominic
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    If the wafer/biscuit whatever becomes the “Body of Christ” as Roman Catholics claim, does that mean the Satanists were being sued for owning a bit of the body of christ…???


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