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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Satanists Want Monument Near Decalogue Statue

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) - A Satanic group wants to erect a 7-foot-tall statute of a goat-headed Satan near the Oklahoma Capitol - since Oklahoma City Council allowed erection of a Ten Commandments monument nearby.

The New York City-based Satanic Temple submitted its application to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission on Monday.

The design depicts Satan as Baphomet - a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a beard - sitting on a pentagram throne with two smiling children standing beside him.

"The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves told The Associated Press.

"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 temple claims the state Legislature's approval of the privately funded Ten Commandments monument opens the door for its statue.

The Ten Commandments monument was donated to the state in 2009 by Mike Ritze, a lawmaker and ordained Baptist Deacon, according to the temple.

Identical requests from animal rights groups and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, among others, have been filed, also.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued last year, demanding removal of the Christian monument, citing the "self-evidently exclusive" religious message "that supports and endorses the faiths and creeds of some churches and sects."

The Satanic Temple has launched a crowd funding page to raise money to fund for the Satan statue. It has already met its $20,000 goal. Contributions can continue to be made until Jan. 17.

"By accepting our offer, the good people of Oklahoma City will have the opportunity to show that they espouse the basic freedoms spelled out in the Constitution," the Satanic Temple said in a statement. "We imagine that the ACLU will also embrace such a response. Allowing us to donate a monument would show that the Oklahoma City Council does not discriminate, and both the religious and non-religious should be happy with such an outcome."

If the city refuses to allow the donation of the statue, the money raised will go toward appeals and/or erection of another monument to Satan somewhere else, the crowd-funding page states.

City Commission members could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

The temple says on its website that it seeks to encourage "benevolence and empathy among all people."

"In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice," the temple states. "As Satanists, we all should be guided by our conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity. As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate in public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights."

According to legend, Satan was an angel who was thrown out of Heaven for disobedience. Satanic figures appear in most of the world's religions.

Follow @davejourno
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