A New York-based Satanist group is proposing to build its own statue on the statehouse steps in Oklahoma, where a Ten Commandments monument already exists.
A Satanist organization is seeking to build its own statue on the steps of the Oklahoma Statehouse, four years after the conservative legislature controversially approved building a Ten Commandments monument in the same place, in what critics called a blurring of the line between church and state.
The Satanic Temple on Jan. 6 released designs for a 7-foot-tall statue it hopes to install on the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds. The plans were formally submitted to the panel that oversees the site, but the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission has placed a moratorium on considering new statues.
The statue depicts Satan as a goat-headed figure called Baphomet sitting on a throne adorned with a pentagram and surrounded by two smiling children. As of Jan. 6, the Satanic Temple had raised more than $11,100 toward its $20,000 goal to build the statue.
"The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures… 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." Lucien Greaves, Satanic Temple spokesman
"I think these Satanists are a different group. You put them under the nut category." Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville)
An atheist group filed a lawsuit in an Oklahoma federal court Jan. 14 to have the Ten Commandments statue removed. American Atheists contend the monument violates the constitution's establishment and equal protection clauses because it amounts to a religious endorsement on government land.
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