A group of Satanists from New York want to put a 7-foot statue of Satan at the Oklahoma state Capitol. Is someone going to burn in you-know-where for this?
The Associated Press reports that the New York-based Satanic Temple on Monday submitted an official application for its plans to the folks who oversee the Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.
The statue depicts Baphomet – yeah, we had to look it up, too – a goat-headed creature with horns, wings and a long beard often used to depict the devil in occult circles.
The drawing shows Baphomet sitting on a throne decorated with pentagrams with two smiling kids 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. "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."
Because nothing fosters contemplation like sitting in the lap of evil.
The temple folks have reportedly raised more than $9,000 from online crowd-funding donations since last month to build the statue. It needs about $20,000 for the project.
This all sounded like a “Saturday Night Live” skit to us, until we found an interview that Greaves gave to
that explains the temple’s mission.
Heck, they’re not even real devil worshipers.
“The Satanic Temple was actually conceived of independent from me by a friend and one of his colleagues,” he said. “They envisioned it more as a ‘poison pill’ in the Church/State debate.
“The idea was that Satanists, asserting their rights and privileges where religious agendas have been successful in imposing themselves upon public affairs, could serve as a poignant reminder that such privileges are for everybody, and can be used to serve an agenda beyond the current narrow understanding of what ‘the’ religious agenda is ...
“While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as ‘Satan,’ none of us truly believed that.
“We’ve moved well beyond being a simple political ploy and into being a very sincere movement that seeks to separate religion from superstition and to contribute positively to our cultural dialogue.”
Which explains why they’re bedeviling the Bible Belt. The group is trying to make a point.
Oklahoma legislators allowed a Ten Commandments monument to be placed at the capitol building in 2012. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to get the privately funded monument removed.
Until that issue is settled, the state’s preservation commission has put a moratorium on new requests like the devil thingie and a request for a monument to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (How cheesy.)
The devil in Oklahoma? It wouldn’t be the first time a state capitol has housed a controversial figure.
See: John Brown mural in Topeka and Rush Limbaugh bust in Jefferson City.