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January 7th, 2014
10:00 AM ET

Satanists unveil design for OK statehouse statue

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Satanists have unveiled their design for a proposed statue at the Oklahoma state Capitol, including a place for people to sit on the devil's lap "for inspiration and contemplation."

The New York-based Satanic Temple submitted its proposal to Oklahoma officials this month after applying for a spot on Capitol grounds late last year. The Satanists say their statue would "complement and contrast" with a Ten Commandments monument placed at the Capitol in Oklahoma City in 2012.

The Satanists' proposed monument depicts Baphomet, a goat-headed pagan idol sitting on a 7-foot-tall throne inscribed with an inverted pentagram. In an artist's rendering provided by the Satanic Temple, smiling children look adoringly at the devilish figure.

"The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures," Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, said in a prepared 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.”

According to its Indiegogo page, the Satanists have raised more than $16,000 toward their goal of $20,000 for the monument, which Greaves said would "be a historical marker commemorating the scapegoats, the marginalized, the demonized minority and the unjustly outcast.”

The Temple of Satan is less a religious body organized around rituals and regular meetings than a roving band of political provocateurs, according to Greaves. They believe Satan is a "literary construct," the spokesman said, not an actual being with horns and hooves.

READ MORE: Satanists want statue next to Ten Commandments

The proposed statue includes quotations from poets Lord Byron and William Blake.

“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion” runs the Blake quotation. The 18th-century poet was a Christian, albeit one with a mystical bent and little use for traditional morality.

The statue's main figure, Baphomet, has long been associated with Satan, Greaves said. In the 12th century, the Knights Templar, a group of Christian crusaders, were accused of worshiping Baphomet in their secretive rituals.

"From the mythology created by these accusations against the Templars, we now have a symbol for Satan pictured as a goat-headed beast," Greaves said.

Since the 1960s, a variation of the horned goat head has been the official symbol of the Church of Satan, which is not affiliated with the Temple of Satan. The head of the Church of Satan has told CNN he does not approve of the idea of a Satanist statue on public grounds.

Oklahoma state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft told CNN that he doesn't think the Satanists' statue will be approved.

“What will disqualify them has really nothing to do with Satan as such; it's that it has no historical significance for the state of Oklahoma,” he said.

Trait Thompson, chairman of Oklahoma's Capitol Preservation Committee, said he has not received the Satanists' proposed design yet. He also said that no applications will be considered until a lawsuit over the Ten Commandments monument is settled.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued over Oklahoma's Ten Commandments monument, calling it an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

After news broke of the Satanists' proposal, the state was flooded with requests from religious groups seeking to erect monuments to their own faith, including Hindus and Pastafarians, a satirical religion that "worships" the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

An Oklahoma lawmaker told CNN that the Satanists' message wouldn't fly in the Bible Belt state, where nearly two-thirds of the population is Christian.

"Any monument displayed on state property should reflect the values of Oklahoma or memorialize those who built or defended our freedom," Rep. Bob Cleveland said Tuesday. "In my opinion, this Satanist monument does not meet with the values of Oklahomans."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Satanism

soundoff (3,489 Responses)
  1. Gatorfan

    Doesn't Satan coach in Tuscaloosa?

    January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  2. Sunflower

    my guess is voodoo doll of Pope with a bucket of pins for people to push.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Me

      <>< ™
      ‾‾‾

      "

      Ξ ≡


      &hearts

      January 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
  3. Oppy

    The easiest thing to do would be to simply remove the Ten Commandments monument, as there shouldn't be any religious monuments on government property anyway. However, I think it would be immensely entertaining to see this Satan statue up in a Bible belt state, right beside the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Gatorfan

      R'amen.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • NeoKat1

      The commandments are more than religion. Without these commandments the whole world as you know it falls appart. What are the satanic rules you believe in and this world should live by??

      January 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • Nate

        Bull. Many of the commandments relate to God (not taking his name in vain). The Code of Hammurabi are a longer version of rules similar to those like 'do not kill or steal' and came before the 10 commandments. The world would be just fine without the 10 commandments. And people don't just randomly starting murdering and stealing because they don't believe in some all powerful being carefully watching every move they make.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • Uncommon Sense

        Kat: You had to go to church to find out it's not nice to kill? Pretty crappy household you must of lived in.

        January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • PWoggs

        from the 5,000-pound granite behemoth inside the Alabama State Judicial Building to the little wallet-cards sold at Christian bookstores — is bogus. Simply reading the Bible will prove this. Getting out your King James version, turn to Exodus 20:2-17. You’ll see the familiar list of rules about having no other gods, honoring your parents, not killing or coveting,
        and so on. At this point, though, Moses is just repeating to the people what God told him on Mount Si’nai. These are not written down in any form.
        Later, Moses goes back to the Mount, where God gives him two “tables of stone” with rules written on them (Exodus 31:18). But when Moses comes down the mountain lugging his load, he sees the people worshipping a statue of a calf, causing him to throw a tantrum and smash the tablets on the ground (Exodus 32:19).
        In neither of these cases does the Bible refer to “commandments.” In the first instance, they are “words” which “God spake,” while the tablets contain “testimony.” It is only when Moses goes back for new tablets that we see the phrase “ten commandments” (Exodus 34:28). In an interesting turn of events, the commandments on these tablets are significantly different than the ten rules Moses recited for the people, meaning that either Moses’ memory is faulty or God changed his mind.
        I. Thou shalt worship no other god.
        II. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
        III. The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep.
        IV. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
        V. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest,
        and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
        VI. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
        VII. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
        VIII. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
        IX. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.
        X. Thou shalt not seethe a kid [ie, a young goat] in his mother’s milk.

        There was rules for civilization well before this religions bible.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
  4. PWoggs

    Come on USA where is your seperation of Church and State you are no better than the countries you rial against in the Middle East. Plus the 10 Commandments in front of the State House are wrong anyways from the 5,000-pound granite behemoth inside the Alabama State Judicial Building to the little wallet-cards sold at Christian bookstores — is bogus. Simply reading the Bible will prove this. Getting out your King James version, turn to Exodus 20:2-17. You’ll see the familiar list of rules about having no other gods, honoring your parents, not killing or coveting,
    and so on. At this point, though, Moses is just repeating to the people what God told him on Mount Si’nai. These are not written down in any form.
    Later, Moses goes back to the Mount, where God gives him two “tables of stone” with rules written on them (Exodus 31:18). But when Moses comes down the mountain lugging his load, he sees the people worshipping a statue of a calf, causing him to throw a tantrum and smash the tablets on the ground (Exodus 32:19).
    In neither of these cases does the Bible refer to “commandments.” In the first instance, they are “words” which “God spake,” while the tablets contain “testimony.” It is only when Moses goes back for new tablets that we see the phrase “ten commandments” (Exodus 34:28). In an interesting turn of events, the commandments on these tablets are significantly different than the ten rules Moses recited for the people, meaning that either Moses’ memory is faulty or God changed his mind.
    I. Thou shalt worship no other god.
    II. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    III. The feast of unleavened bread thou shalt keep.
    IV. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest.
    V. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest,
    and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
    VI. Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God.
    VII. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven.
    VIII. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
    IX. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God.
    X. Thou shalt not seethe a kid [ie, a young goat] in his mother’s milk.

    Funny that they have the wrong list up.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Troll. This topic is on satan.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
      • bostontola

        I regard the topic as separation of church and state.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
      • PWoggs

        Why Troll, this is all about Separation of Church and State and how it is back firing on this State. I simply added the fact that most people who post the 10 Commandments don't even know the one listed in the bible they are fighting to have posted in a State office in the first place so also very relevant. Just becasue my post does not suit youre narritive does not mean its a troll.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  5. JJ

    You see Christians, your bullying tactics of forcing your religion down everyone's throats is now backfiring. We are not a Christian theocracy as you keep trying to make us. It's either all beliefs in the public square or none.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • NeoKat1

      The whole worl is made up by those commandments. Like it or not. Even at work, with your own boss, you fullfill these commandments or you're fired...

      January 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
      • G to the T

        Really? Think I could get fired for worshiping a graven image? How about having another god before Yahweh?

        At most 3 of the 10 commandmens made it into the laws of our land. That's not a good percentage to consider anything "christian" is it?

        January 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • Erick Holmes

      No ones forcing you to be a Christian. You can be whatever religion you want to believe. Apparently, you're misled.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • G to the T

        Maybe not, but by using christian icons they are showing favoritism to one religious belief over others and that isn't OK for the government (which is supposed to represent EVERYONE) to do.

        January 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
  6. Leopolt

    “What will disqualify them has really nothing to do with Satan as such; it's that it has no historical significance for the state of Oklahoma,” Wesselhoft said.

    Actually, I believe you will find that Satan has had a long and illustrious career in the state of Oklahoma.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  7. NeoKat1

    Satan is the ruler of America anyways.... Put this statue right infront of the white house.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Fairway

      Right. The courts are corrupt and rip people off. It is not Christian.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Red

    Right, wrong, or indifferent, I expect that any Satanist statue erected in a public place such as this gets defaced beyond public recognition in record time...

    January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  9. Barcs

    Wait a sec. Satanism is supposed to have nothing to do with the devil or Satan. It's essentially worshiping yourself. I don't understand why they'd want a Baphomet statue.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • NeoKat1

      just shows how twisted and confused these poor demons are..

      January 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
      • G to the T

        Maybe you both should read the article again. I'm pretty sure it say exactly why...

        January 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
  10. Light of Purest Truth

    I can tell by most of these commenters that they and these Satanists are the same vile creatures that are fornicating in odd ways and trying their best to destroy this country that God Almighty blessed long ago. If these animals only knew how soon they face His wrath, they would drop trembling and beg for His divine love and mercy! The mark has been put upon the land and His time is near! Repent or you shall all soon burn in endless agony and pain in the cauldron of fire! Amen.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Gatorfan

      You should lighten up. Maybe try fornicating in some odd ways. You may like it.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • Barcs

        But god hates pleasure and any kind of possible fun.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Time For You To Grow Up...

      Poe's Law

      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Luciafurr

      We've been waiting patiently for 2,000 years.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • moment of faith

        9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.[a] 2 Peter 3:9-10

        January 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • G to the T

          1) This is known as a classic case of "Back-peddling".
          2) There is NO WAY Peter wrote these passages (an illiterate fisherman from a small backwoods town somehow learns to read/write in Greek, learns Greek rhetorical devices and then masters the jewish bible in Greek. Now that would be a miracle!).

          January 7, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • Barcs

      Oh god no! They fornicate in odd ways!??? The end is nigh!!!!

      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • bostontola

        I'm constantly looking for odder and odder ways myself.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Hahahahahaha... oh, you're serious... you don't sound insane at all

      January 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  11. Luciafurr

    Eat it, Christians. You've done it to yourselves.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Piehole

      The only thing we did to ourselves is let too much trash in. Time to clean house.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • Luciafurr

        Well good luck. God is on your side.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Deus Vult

          January 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  12. Piehole

    Since every dingbat with a fairy tale belief gets a monument now, I would like one done in my town in honor of my personal idol, VIggo Mortenson.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Can you pay for it?

      <><

      January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  13. Hank P

    Somebody should tell these "Christian" Oklahoma yokels that Oklahoma values consist of herding the people who originally owned Oklahoma into glorified concentration camps and stealing everything they own. A century of ethnic cleansing by self-proclaimed moral leaders sounds Satanic to me. Bring on the goat!

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  14. PushingBack

    Can we also have a 50 foot tall statue of Thor (shirtless of course)?

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Ophelia Austen

      If and only if the statue of Thor is made in Chris Hemsworth's image. While you're at it, throw in a Tom Hiddleston Loki statue as well. They are both friggin' HOTT!

      January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • PushingBack

        I'm good with that!

        January 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  15. moment of faith

    At least we know what they worship " A CREATURE " but this will be a good time to talk about religion and lay it all out for everyone to see. What do you chose ?

    And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. Romans 1:23 - kind of sounds like " A CREATURE "

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Gatorfan

      Goob, they do not actually worship a creature.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
      • moment of faith

        Who do they worship? Themselves ? So they are god? Who said I will be like the most high, I will place myself above the most high ? Satan himself so what does that make these people?

        January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        • G to the T

          They worship... wait for it... no one! It's really more of a philosophy than a religion in reality, but I think their point is still valid.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Religion is NOT healthy for children and other living things

      You are really missing their point entirely! They DO NOT "WORSHIP" anything nor anybody! They DO NOT "believe" in this mythical creature, they merely use it as an visual concept and construct and do not take it to be a literal being of ANY kind! ONLY delusional religious people actually "believe" in imaginary beings!

      January 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • moment of faith

        So they are erecting a statue that Christians believe in ? So as I was saying it's a great discussion piece to talk about Jesus. Thanks

        January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • G to the T

          Happy too. 🙂

          Any time you like.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
  16. Time For You To Grow Up...

    I don't understand... Why a statue of Dick Cheney???

    January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  17. James Harpel

    More appropriate in Wichita

    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
  18. truth exists because we face it

    I find it interesting that religions run around telling us what % is christian,, yet in most advanced states, most claim they are not to one another. I guess reality is growing

    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
  19. bostontola

    Can't we all agree that it would be better if the Govt kept out of religion and didn't put religious things on our joint property? There is plenty of private property out there to put religious statues and monuments on. Doesn't the God of Abraham warn against graven images anyway?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      not any more.. This GREAT!!! stuff. It will help kids see the silliness in religion

      January 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • E

      The Ten Commandments are being displayed as an early form of law, maybe also in the religious sense, but I look at it from the law perspective. Satan or Baphomet, or whatever they want to put there is a symbol of a religion with no connection to law, rather it connects to anti-law or chaos.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • bostontola

        Then put the Code of Hammurabi, it's older and non-religious.

        January 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • E

          I agree and I think some places actually have done that.

          January 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  20. Mark

    The trolls are active and hungry today ...

    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      because you need to protect your voodoo?

      January 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.