Satanists Unveil Design for Proposed ‘Homage to Satan’ Near Ten Commandments Monument
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A New York-based Satanist group has unveiled its design for its proposed ‘homage to Satan,’ which it seeks to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.As previously reported, the Satanic Temple issued a news release about its intentions last month, outlining that the placement of the display may resolve the dispute over the Ten Commandments monument, which is currently the subject of a federal lawsuit.
“[T]he Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma,” the 2009 bill authorizing the monument acknowledged. “[T]he courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions, and acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”
The six-foot display was erected in 2012, but the ACLU said that the monument was unconstitutional.
“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” stated Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, in a news release. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal.”
This past August, the organization filed suit against the monument, with the lead plaintiff being minister Bruce Prescott, the director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Prescott said that mixing the sacred with the secular in such a manner cheapens the display, and asserted that it violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
To solve the dispute, the Satanic Temple offered to to donate a public monument to be placed near the Ten Commandments display in order to “appease the ACLU’s concerns.” This week, it unveiled the design for the display, releasing a drawing of the goat-headed figure Baphomet sitting on a throne with a pentagram overhead and the inscription “The spirit of compassion, wisdom and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.” Smiling children stand on both sides of Baphoment, who is making the hand sign for the occult.
Other quotes will also be included on the monument, including “Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.”
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” spokesperson Lucien Greaves explained in his application to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
“We trust that this unique monument will also prove a favorite tourist attraction to Oklahoma’s Capitol for years to come,” he added in a news release on Monday.
But some have stated that if the display is approved, it will be anything but a favorite of local residents.
“I think you’ve got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland,” Representative Don Armes told the Associated Press. “I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that’s not going to fly here.”
Representative Earl Sears likewise called the monument “an insult to the good people of the state.”
As previously reported, last month, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission issued a temporary ban on new displays next to the Ten Commandments monument until the legal challenge runs its course through the courts.
Satan worshipers want 7-foot-tall statue of devil put at Oklahoma state Capitol
- The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds
- The application includes an artist's rendering of Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard
- They want it to sit where a Ten Commandments monument sat in 2012
- In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him
The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist's rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult.
In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.
'The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond,' temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement.
Satan: This artist's rendering provided by the Satanic Temple shows a proposed monument that the New York-based Satanic group wants to place at the Oklahoma state Capitol
'The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.'
The Satanic Temple maintains that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol opened the door for its statue.
The Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed.
Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
In response, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission recently placed a moratorium on considering any new requests.
Capitol: The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, pictured
'Anybody can still make their request, but we'll hold off on considering them until the lawsuit is adjudicated,' commission Chairman Trait Thompson said.
The push by the Satanic Temple has rankled elected leaders in this conservative state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt, who say such a proposal would never be approved by the commission.
'I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland,' said Don Armes, Republican representative for Faxon.
'I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here.'
While Greaves acknowledges the Satanic Temple's effort is in part to highlight what it says is hypocrisy of state leaders in Oklahoma, he says the group is serious about having a monument placed there.
Statue: The group wants the statue to go where a Ten Commandments monument, pictured, was placed in 2012
The group already has raised nearly half of the $20,000 it says it needs to build the monument.
'We plan on moving forward one way or another,' Greaves said.
Another Oklahoma legislator, representative Earl Sears, called the group's effort 'an insult to the good people of the state.'
'I do not see Satanism as a religion, and they have no place at the state Capitol,' said Sears, Republican for Bartlesville.
On its website, the Satanic Temple explains that it 'seeks to separate Religion from Superstition by acknowledging religious belief as a metaphorical framework with which we construct a narrative context for our goals and works.
'Satan stands as the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness,' the website says.