Thank God, I wasn’t on the list

I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences in my time as a journalist, but I have to admit I hesitated when a news website asked me to cover the infamous Black Mass and the counter-demonstrations at the Civic Center on September 21.
Evil is real, and the Devil is more than a metaphor. As a lad, I took the name Michael – as in “The Archangel” — for my confirmation name. So these past few weeks I asked St. Michael, as my patron, to watch over our city and to guard us from the forces of evil.
The prayer to St. Michael is the same one I said every day when my soldier son was in combat during the early stages of the war on terror.
In the end, I did the job for that website. I found the counter-demonstrators for the most part affable, friendly and serious in purpose. They were offended by the idea of a Satanic service in the building normally home of our best performing arts. And so was I.
I tried to interview some of the folks coming and going from the Satanist gathering, but an Oklahoma City policeman told me I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t on the list. The list, that is, prepared by those sponsors of the service honoring the Prince of Darkness.
I told the cop I didn’t need to be on a list to commit journalism in America, and that I didn’t need anybody’s permission to ask questions. But the fact is I wasn’t on that list, and that’s fine with me. It’s a list I’d just as soon avoid, forever and ever. Amen.
This commentary was first broadcast on KOKC Radio in Oklahoma City, where McGuigan joins “Mitchell in the Morning” every Wednesday. The essay was also first in The City Sentinel, in print and online.

You may contact Patrick at 405-601-3433.