If you grew up listening to metal in the Tri-State area, you listened to WSOU, Seton Hall University’s radio station. Since the ’80s, WSOU has played all the metal, punk, and hardcore that anyone into those genres wanted to hear; they’re also one of the few stations to give some of rock’s heavier alternative acts like Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam airplay early in their careers. But now, this rock institution is coming under fire from Catholic protesters, who claim WSOU is satanic and should be taken off the air.
As reported by MetalSucks, the protest in question comes from The Lepanto Institute, which refers to itself as an “organization dedicated to the defense of the Catholic Church against assaults from without as well as from within.” While the Institute’s enemies seem to be the same as those of any other Catholic organization — abortion, masturbation, sex, fun, free will — they’ve also taken arms against WSOU.
The institute has launched a petition urging Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, to shut the station down, claiming that WSOU “has included graphic first person accounts describing demonically driven murder and mutilation of women and children, genocidal material calling for sadistic execution techniques from the middle ages employed by Nordic pagans against Christians, album artwork depicting a sex act on a mutilated corpse and virtually every form of occult practice, including curses, spells, explicit calls to satanic worship, human sacrifice and even the black mass, which is the satanic ritual desecration of the Holy Eucharist.” So basically, they’ve played Amon Amarth and Cannibal Corpse in the past.
The institute has also released the following video. Viewers be advised: you’ll want to punch someone while watching this.
On the one hand, Seton Hall is a Catholic University, and is therefore under the control of the church. On the other, WSOU has always been careful not to play any music that is overtly satanic or promotes the downfall of Christianity; for years, the DJs would refer to a specific Richmond band as “Lamb of G,” and would refuse to play acts like Slayer. Hell, anyone who’s ever listened to WSOU knows that they bleep out profanity and direct references to religious figures. And finally, if we want to talk about “sadistic execution techniques from the middle ages,” should we examine the interrogation methods Catholics used during the Inquisition, or the psychological techniques employed at Catholic-run gay conversion camps?
This is obviously another example of religious fundamentalists who are angry that not everything is their way, and who want to hurt an organization that does nothing but help thousands of people feel happy and less alone.
You can listen to WSOU via their website, and you can contact the Lepanto Institute via their website to express your frustration at this ridiculous protest (though Lord knows telling hardcore Catholics they’re hurting people has worked oh so well in the past).
Words by Chris Krovatin