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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. Rose

    This statue looks creepy to me...

    January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I think it's pretty reserved considering the mentality of the average Satanist.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Brrrrrr!

      Yeah, sort of like that dead man on a cross that was the ONLY was to please and appease his angry daddy!

      January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • Brrrrrr!

        *was = way

        January 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  2. barbarianofgor

    Boy, this'll make the Conspiracy crowd wilder than since the Georgia Guidestones! Might look those up, they are for real.

    Personally I'm into David Icke so should have a hideous Reptilian statue proclaiming dominance over mankind, with images of the guide-stones, Bohemian grove, maps of Washington to show the Owl lines, etc.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  3. M

    I'm glad to see this happen. It's a nice little object lesson to the folks who want to have the government promote their religion. Nice way to poke them in the eye by reminding them that, once you let one religion in, you have to let all of them in, even those you find utterly repugnant.

    Of course, I'm not sure if they're smart enough to see the point of this exercise.

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

      Doubtful.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  4. be kind and love oneanother

    what is wrong with being kind and loving each other? why are evolutionists so angry and hateful towards people of any kind of faith? it actually takes a great leap of faith to believe that life spontaneously generated from amino acids and self folding peptide chains in a toxic atmosphere millions of years ago. let's be honest, nobody really knows how we got here or why we are here. we each choose to believe what we want to believe. choosing to believe there is a greater spiritual purpose to life may not be a bad thing. even if it is not true. no one will know until they are gone. so try to be nice to each other. ok?

    January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      By "evolutionists", I presume you mean "everyone in the developed world except for a creepily large number of Americans"?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Evolution is fact.
        Even the Catholic church accepts that!
        There is an ever growing mountain of evidence from different branches of science accu.mulated over more than a hundred years that verify evolution.
        Creationists have yet to advance a single shred of evidence to support their assertions.
        As a matter of fact, the leading rabble rousers in the Creationist world – The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
        In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

        The Journal of Religion & Society published a study on religious belief and social well-being, comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand.
        #1 on the list in both atheism and good behaviour is Ja.pan. It is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. Over eighty percent of the population accept evolution.
        Last on the list is the U.S. It has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Ja.pan.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Those who pretend that dino soft tissue can survive for million and millions of years and still be elastic!

        January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Even after 150 years, nobody has falsified Darwin's 5 laws.
          Piltdown man doesn't invalidate all fossil evidence, nor does you insistent harping about dinosaur tissue disprove modern evolutionary synthesis.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Nogods

          It is all a huge conspiracy involving thousands of scientists right? I am glad to see you figured it all out.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • be kind and love oneanother

        have you done the research to fully understand the difference between observable science and theoretical science? micro evolution and macro evolution? nobody knows. that is scientific fact.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          "Micro" and "Macro" evolution are obfuscatory terms made up by creationists once they got backed into a corner and could no longer deny that there are observable instances of evolution in action.
          It is like calling a raindrop "micro-moisture" and an ocean "macro-moisture".
          Matters of degree, not principle.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          be kind
          You may want to look into the life forms at deep sea volcanic vents, no toxic or clean atmosphere required; not hard to find the information, try.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • michael walker

      faith is a religious term bro...just so you know. Educated scientists don't have faith, they have evidence and base their beliefs off the knowledge they have obtained form the evidence.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'why are evolutionists so angry and hateful towards people of any kind of faith?'
      Why are you so angry and hateful towards 'evolutionists' that you would make such a sweeping statement? Besides which, what has evolution go to do with atheism? After all the last pope said the church has no problem with the idea that god used evolution to populate the Earth.

      'it actually takes a great leap of faith to believe that life spontaneously generated from amino acids and self folding peptide chains in a toxic atmosphere millions of years ago.'
      It takes a far greater leap to believe in a spell casting supreme being making such a flawed system that it takes to believe in a natural process.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • david saint

      why? because many Christians have taken it upon themselves to be judge and jury to any that either dont believe, or those that are in contrast with their extreme views (like gays). Then, claim they are being persecuted when some like Phil Robertson suggest being gay means you like to hump animals and people get outraged at it. I predicted this a few years ago, that some would manipulate Christianity to conform to their extremist views just like the taliban and Bin Laden did with Muslims in the late 80's-early 90's. If people dont wake up, they wont be Christians anymore..they'll be fascists.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  5. boger

    BULLSHlT!!!!

    January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      SATAN!

      January 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Brainwashed Christians

        It's church lady!!!!

        January 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
    • Rocket J. Squirrel

      Bullwinkle

      January 8, 2014 at 4:22 am |
  6. Christian

    Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Why those two kids are next to him. Volunteers to HELL? .

    January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • AmericanPatriot

      it's the Republican thing to do.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
    • Shootmyownfood

      Perhaps in the beliefs of your particular religion. Obviously, not in all religions.

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

      That is not what the satanist believe.
      Theyt are just as entitled their opinion as you are to yours.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • bcs2006

      God killed around 2 million people in the bible, pretty much out of spite or jealousy

      God commanded the isrealites to take land from other people by force (this is stealing) because the people who occupied it "werent worthy"

      God destroyed all life in a flood, ordered the isrealites to destroy cities including killing all the livestock of its inhabitants, single handedly destroyed two cities by himself etc etc etc.

      Satan killed about 10 people in the bible. 10. We have mass killers that have done more damage in an hour than the embodiment of evil managed in thousands of years.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
  7. Rosse

    They should use it at their own templo only!
    Government Property should not be allow to promote any religious belief !

    January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • Rick

      You mean like the ten commandments that are sitting a permeate fixture at the location? Hypocrite.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
    • d

      i agree with you on that!!!! there are too many different religions in this country to have certain leans towards certain groups, but fact is government is always going to have some form of religion there.... it always has and always will whether it's right or wrong!!!

      January 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • RemoveThe10

      Precisely, Rosse, precisely.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Selami

    Selam alejke
    Selami Mustafa

    Ted. Boys

    January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Bulos Qoqish

    What about Cthulhu the Ever-Squirming, Hastur the Unspeakable, and the Necronomicon? I mean, if ANYONE deserves a statue in the State Legislature, THEY do! I can just see it, emblazoned in prominent gold letters above the Oklahoma State Legislature entrance :

    ""Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn""

    (Note to self : "Get Oklahoma Republican state representatives to have a good read through the Necronomicon, as it can't make them any crazier than they already are.")

    January 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      If you get together $20k in the name of his squiggle-faced-ness, you too can have a statue in the OK state capitol!

      January 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • Frank Mondana

      But that will make everyone mad, I tell you, MAD! In my classes at Miskatonic U. I learned that no good can come from effigies of the Great Old One! You want us ALL TO DIE!

      January 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • t3chn0ph0b3

        Maybe that's what he wants. How do you know I'm not him?

        January 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Because you're one of Nyarlathotep's masks. I knew I recognized you!

          January 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
  10. Aeos Navi-Com

    Flying Spaghetti Monster? Ok, there goes the planet.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
  11. Snafu

    We already have places where monuments and proclamations to individual religions can be erected, even as an individual. We call them cemeteries. Erect your statues there.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      Don't forget churches... Another place to pray over dead or non-existent things.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
  12. Topher

    You guys really want to destroy our culture, don't you?

    January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • BRC

      Topher,
      Destroy no, fundamentally change to make more accepting yes.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • Egg

      whudda mean "You guys"???

      January 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      What is the antecedent of "you"?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • Topher

      So ... you want evil to be "accepted?"

      January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • asdrel

        There are those that believe Christianity is evil.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Rick

          Not just Christianity...... ALL religion is hateful.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Red

      They do, they most certainly do.

      And will lament what they loose when they realize that Christianity is almost solely responsible for the 'western world'.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • Frank Mondana

        I'm not sure that's something to be proud of...

        January 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries - Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands - all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • boger

      BULLSHlT.

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

      Topher- I want evil to be determined by the people who are living adn dealing with the consequenced of that dertimination now, not by a book written thousands of years ago by people whose views are irrelevant to people today, or by what some people claim are the wishes and whims of an unprovable diety.

      Red- People belonging to many different churches and faiths, Christian and otherwise, are responsible for the Western World being what it is. To say that it is predominantly thanks to Christianity is foolish.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • Science Works

      No topher looks like it is the christians.

      Dysfunctional Republican Christians Vow To Destroy the First Amendment
      By: Rmuse more from Rmuse
      Tuesday, December, 31st, 2013, 10:13 am

      http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/31/dysfunctional-republican-christians-vow-destroy-amendment.html

      January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Topher, this is protecting our culture of freedom and fairness. After all, our right to worship or not worship as we choose is guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore if christians want a monument on public property, it is fair and just that the satanists get an equal monument. If you can't respect the rights of others, then you probably don't belong in this nation at all.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • Topher

      So people should determine morality?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
      • Pest

        People (societies) already determine morality. It evolves over time. That's why even Christians and Jews no longer practice slavery, even though their religious text explicitly condones it.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Topher

          So ... Hitler wasn't wrong.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'So ... Hitler wasn't wrong.'

          hitler claimed he was doing gods work in killing the jews so you tell us.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • Topher

          If people get to determine morality, then you can't say what they did was wrong. You can only say you don't prefer it. So since society gets to determine it, what Hitler did wasn't wrong.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Topher, not sure how you jumped to that Godwin's law of a conclusion. We don't need a god to tell us what Hitler did was wrong. Besides, Hitler considered himself to be doing God's work.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Topher
          Morality is a covenant by and for human beings that allows us to live as a cooperative group. The rules followed are not the same for all communities – hence we've had so many different types of religion and government throughout history.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
      • BRC

        Topher,
        People do determine morality. Your morals are a personal thing, they are somehting you feel that are influenced by many different sources, and EVERYONE's morals are individual to them. That's not an inherently bad thing.

        And your Hitler example is ridiculous. Yes what Hitler did was very wrong, and I think the fact that half the world fought and died to stop him, and nearly ALL people now condemn his actions gives credence to the point that many people thought so.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          "People do determine morality. Your morals are a personal thing, they are somehting you feel that are influenced by many different sources, and EVERYONE's morals are individual to them. That's not an inherently bad thing."

          So if my morality is to due serious physical harm to someone you love, you can't really say it's wrong. Because it's just your opinion verses mine.

          "And your Hitler example is ridiculous. Yes what Hitler did was very wrong, and I think the fact that half the world fought and died to stop him, and nearly ALL people now condemn his actions gives credence to the point that many people thought so."

          Of course it's wrong. And people died to stop him because we have a morality-giver. His standards are higher than man's. And that's why I can make a moral decision like it's bad to murder 6 million Jews because God said not to do that. With out someone higher to give us a standard, it's just your opinion verses mine.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'So if my morality is to due serious physical harm to someone you love, you can't really say it's wrong. Because it's just your opinion verses mine.'

          If my friend and I say you are wrong then it becomes our opinion vs yours and that is how society declares morality. come on, you know this.
          And i dont need a god to tell me that killing 6 million people is wrong, i really dont. I dont why you think you do.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Topher

          cedar rapids

          'So if my morality is to due serious physical harm to someone you love, you can't really say it's wrong. Because it's just your opinion verses mine.'

          "If my friend and I say you are wrong then it becomes our opinion vs yours and that is how society declares morality. come on, you know this."

          So again, if a majority favors something, that makes it OK?

          "And i dont need a god to tell me that killing 6 million people is wrong, i really dont. I dont why you think you do."

          Why is it wrong?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          Your morals are indifferent to me and mine. Someone trying to harm one of my loved ones is wrong, because I believe causing undo harm to other popel is WRONG. Because of my moral code, their actions are wrong, so I will act to stop them. And what's more important than personnal more code, is societally accepted laws. And people came together to show that it was in the best interest of the whole to not allow people to wantonly harm others without cause, as it would damage our society as a whole. Even if a huge group of people had deviant morals and believed that there was nothing wrong with harming people just because you could- the rest of the society would act (hopefully through legislation but extremem scenarious could cause extremem solutions) to stop them.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          Of course I'd agree with you harming you or anyone else would be wrong, but you see the rub. Without a higher standard-giver, it's all opinions. You WILL run into a group of people who have a different standard than you do. While today, that man-boy-love group is seen as disgusting, but who's to say they don't put on the full-court press in the media and get enough people to feel compassion toward their stance until they're the majority or can sway state laws. Should they be able to perform their acts legally? I hope you still say NO. But again, without a higher-than-man standard, it's all opinion. Even if you don't believe in God, you have to see how His ways are better than man's.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'So again, if a majority favors something, that makes it OK?'
          As based on the morality at the time then as far as society goes it is 'right'. There was a time when slavery was not only considered to be ok but you had christian clergy claiming there was nothing wrong with it. Now you view it as something wrong because that is how you were brought up. That is an example of how morality changes over time. You and I will say it was always wrong but there was a time when society did not see it as morally wrong.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          If a society that widly accepts pedophilia becomes a reailty (again), then I'd say we're in a really dark place; but I don't consider it likely, and I know that the bible will do nothing at all to stop it.

          "Even if you don't believe in God, you have to see how His ways are better than man's."

          Very much the opposite. I conside rthe "God" of the Bible horrible and reprehensible. He calls for unspeakable acts on a regular basis, kills at a whim, and executes an entire city's worth of children because of an act by adults that he himself compelled. "God" is not a direction that I would ever want my moral compass to point to. And even if he is real, his system doesn't work at all. You claim that he has "higher-than-man" morals that he has laid out, but he does nothing at all to enforce them. IT is left to us, the people who live in this world, to make the laws and form the societies that protect one another and enforce our laws. I see no reason to base those laws on the whims of a diety who doesn't participate. IF "God" was serious about his moral code, he wouldn't allow people to defy it, he wouldn't allow people to be born with psycological isssues/brain dissorders that make them incapable of determining right or wrong, or completely indifferent to emotion adn the harm they cause in others.

          Maybe you can give me a way that your "God's" method is better, because I certainly don't see one.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Topher

          cedar rapids

          "As based on the morality at the time then as far as society goes it is 'right'."

          Exactly my point. Man got together and said it's OK to murder the Jews. So at the time, they weren't wrong. But if we hold to a higher standard the Nazis wouldn't have been able to claim it was morally OK.

          "There was a time when slavery was not only considered to be ok but you had christian clergy claiming there was nothing wrong with it."

          But those clergy didn't have a Biblical standard to support their argument.

          "Now you view it as something wrong because that is how you were brought up. That is an example of how morality changes over time. You and I will say it was always wrong but there was a time when society did not see it as morally wrong."

          Again, exactly. When we make up morality ourselves it allows for all kinds of evil.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Exactly my point. Man got together and said it's OK to murder the Jews. So at the time, they weren't wrong. '
          Except my point is a greater majority said it was wrong and condemned it.

          "There was a time when slavery was not only considered to be ok but you had christian clergy claiming there was nothing wrong with it. But those clergy didn't have a Biblical standard to support their argument."

          The clergy used the bible to justify slavery. You may claim no standard these days but at that time they were happy to quote Leviticus passages that declared it was ok to buy slaves.

          "Now you view it as something wrong because that is how you were brought up. That is an example of how morality changes over time. You and I will say it was always wrong but there was a time when society did not see it as morally wrong. Again, exactly. When we make up morality ourselves it allows for all kinds of evil."

          Dont deny it can allow all kinds of evil but that unfortunately is how it operates.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          "If a society that widly accepts pedophilia becomes a reailty (again), then I'd say we're in a really dark place; but I don't consider it likely, and I know that the bible will do nothing at all to stop it."

          You've not read the Bible, have you? Of COURSE the Bible would stand against it! Why do you think we argue against other morality issues in our society today?

          "Very much the opposite. I conside rthe "God" of the Bible horrible and reprehensible. He calls for unspeakable acts on a regular basis, kills at a whim, and executes an entire city's worth of children because of an act by adults that he himself compelled."

          If God had an entire people group wiped out, it's because they deserved it. He gets to say when EVERYONE's time is up. He's the Creator and will even say what day you and I will die.

          "You claim that he has "higher-than-man" morals that he has laid out, but he does nothing at all to enforce them."

          He will. We have all been given the death sentence because of our sins. And while our number might not be up today (by His grace alone) we will be given justice.

          "IT is left to us, the people who live in this world, to make the laws and form the societies that protect one another and enforce our laws."

          I agree with this. We have free will. And not only will we be judged individually, but I believe society/countries will be judged also. We see this in the Bible with those whole groups getting wiped out. Not saying we're all going to be wiped out tomorrow, but you'd agree it wouldn't take much to remove us as the top world power.

          "Maybe you can give me a way that your "God's" method is better, because I certainly don't see one."

          Can give you a LOT of ways God's are better. Want to commit adultery and sleep around, get a disease and die. Want to get drunk/hi, get in a car and kill people.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Topher

          cedar rapids

          "Except my point is a greater majority said it was wrong and condemned it."

          After the fact. If you're arguing the reason any country went to war with Hitler was because of the Holocaust, I suggest you pick up a history book.

          "The clergy used the bible to justify slavery. You may claim no standard these days but at that time they were happy to quote Leviticus passages that declared it was ok to buy slaves."

          One, Biblical slavery is not the same as the race-based kind we had in this country. Two, if they applied any verses to support slavery, then they were twisting scripture.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          "You've not read the Bible, have you? Of COURSE the Bible would stand against it! Why do you think we argue against other morality issues in our society today?"

          I'm in process of reading the bible front to back. It's poorly written and slow so it's taking a long time. I speak out about morality issues because there are things that I consider wrong, not because of the Bible. ANd what's more, if the Bible is actually going to stop these things from happening, why hasn't it?

          "If God had an entire people group wiped out, it's because they deserved it. He gets to say when EVERYONE's time is up. He's the Creator and will even say what day you and I will die."

          Explain what the 6 month old infant of a family in Egypt did to deserve to die when "God" killed all the first born? what was that child's crime that made it deserve death. And remember, the book even says that "God" hardened Pharohs heart, and made sure he would not let the Hebrews leave.

          "He will. We have all been given the death sentence because of our sins. And while our number might not be up today (by His grace alone) we will be given justice."

          That means absolutley nothing to the men, women, and children killed and abused throughout the world, as "God" waits to hand out his justice, when he feels like it.

          "... but you'd agree it wouldn't take much to remove us as the top world power."

          That we are still the top world power is a topic worthy of debate, not a given, and "God" has had nothing to do with it (at least nothing readily apparent or that can't be better explained by non-supernatural means).

          "Can give you a LOT of ways God's are better. Want to commit adultery and sleep around, get a disease and die. Want to get drunk/hi, get in a car and kill people."

          Use protection, sleeping around does not always require adultery, adn there is nothing wrong with responsible consenting adults having bouncy times, it's how "God" made us aftertall. And you go ahead and find the part of the bible that mentions DUIs, pretty sure that came from humans, alone. Even if the Bible actually addressed the modern world, it doesn't, it's still just words on paper from another time, with no IMMEDIATE enforcement. That comes from people, baased on the laws that we decide on, and those ar ewhat matters more.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'After the fact. If you're arguing the reason any country went to war with Hitler was because of the Holocaust, I suggest you pick up a history book.'
          After the fact was known it was condemned. And no I am not claiming at all that was the reason why war was declared.

          'One, Biblical slavery is not the same as the race-based kind we had in this country. Two, if they applied any verses to support slavery, then they were twisting scripture.'

          One: slavery is slavery. It still involves keeping a person as property. Skin colour is beside the point to the nature of slavery.
          Two: What you call twisting scripture now they were declaring was following scripture at the time. You say they were immoral, they would say there was nothing immoral, both of you using the same book. Nothing has changed in the bible over that time, what has changed is how society views it. Society declared something that was moral to now be immoral.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          "I'm in process of reading the bible front to back. It's poorly written and slow so it's taking a long time. I speak out about morality issues because there are things that I consider wrong, not because of the Bible. ANd what's more, if the Bible is actually going to stop these things from happening, why hasn't it?"

          Glad to hear you're reading it. If you're finding it difficult, I suggest, 1) a study Bible (The John MacArthur Study Bible is probably the best one out there) and 2) either the New American Standard or the English Standard versions ... they're a little more like our modern English if you don't care for King James language. And as far as why do these things still happen when the Bible stands against them ... it's because people love their sin more than they love God and so reject Him.

          "Explain what the 6 month old infant of a family in Egypt did to deserve to die when "God" killed all the first born?"

          I know that makes God sound like a meany-head. But also know this promise found throughout Scripture ... that children/babies go to Heaven. Plus, you're also making a fallacious as.sumption that they hadn't sinned. Children sin. Just go to a Chuck E. Cheese to see them in action.

          "Use protection, sleeping around does not always require adultery, adn there is nothing wrong with responsible consenting adults having bouncy times, it's how "God" made us aftertall."

          It does mean adultery. You don't have to be married. Jesus said if you even look at someone and lust for them you commit adultery.

          "And you go ahead and find the part of the bible that mentions DUIs, pretty sure that came from humans, alone."

          It doesn't have to specifically mention DUIs. It says not to get drunk.

          "Even if the Bible actually addressed the modern world, it doesn't, it's still just words on paper from another time, with no IMMEDIATE enforcement. That comes from people, baased on the laws that we decide on, and those ar ewhat matters more."

          Just because it's old doesn't mean it isn't relevant. ESPECIALLY if it's true. Then it's relevant whether you like it or not, whether your justice comes today or not.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          I have to go unfortunately. But in parting, I'm fine with old english, it's the writing that's bad. 6 month olds don't sin, they lack the physical coordination or mental capacity to form adn carry out a bad act. Some religions say all babies go to heaven, others say unbabtized children burn forever, it's not a free pass, and it's absurd (glad you're not on the horrible side of that debate). If Jesus really feels that way, he shoudl take it up with his dad/self, who designed the human brain to react to physically pleasing forms with arrousal and thoughts of procreation. According to religion they made us, it's unfair to blame humans for their own design. True, opinion has no effect on truth, fortunately that works both ways, and I'm confident that if there are any gods they're nowhere near as bad as I percieve the "God" of the bible to be.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Topher

          Have a good one, dude.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'If people get to determine morality, then you can't say what they did was wrong. You can only say you don't prefer it. So since society gets to determine it, what Hitler did wasn't wrong.'

        except a greater number of society declared what he did was wrong.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • Topher

          So because a majority says something is OK, that makes it OK? What if that majority is that all Jews shoulld be killed?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'So because a majority says something is OK, that makes it OK? What if that majority is that all Jews shoulld be killed?'

          'Ok' is the wrong term to use. If society declared that jews should be killed then they will say it is not immoral to do so, no matter how repugnant that idea is to you because of the way you were brought up in todays society. It easy to look back at earlier times and declare something that happened then as immoral but at the time that was not viewed as such, where society said it was acceptable, such as the burning and hanging of witches for example.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Morality changes, Topher.
          Racism was the norm until very recently.
          The loudest voices opposing integration came from Christian groups like Wallie Criswell's Southern Baptists.
          Scarcely half a century later, the zeitgeist has shifted so radically that such open racism is considered abhorrent to the very same Christian sect that spouted scripture to justify insti.tutionalized bigotry.
          The same thing is happening with gays. Condemnation of ho.mose.xuality will soon be viewed with the same sense of shame that the memory of segregation elicits.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • Madtown

        Before you get to the predictable place where you say God's word(bible) is the moral standard, be again reminded that God hasn't seen to it to evenly distribute "his word" out to everyone he created. So, it can't possibly function as a supreme moral standard. You'll again try to jitterbug around this logical problem, but it's not possible.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Tallulah

      I'm not saying people don't have the right to worship whatever religion they want.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • tallulah13

        So why do you claim that this statue is ruining our culture? It's not. It's simply representing another religion.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Topher

          I'd say it's representing an evil value system and immorality.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          Do you say that because it is by the group of Satanists, or just because it is any group OTHER than Chrisitianity?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Madtown

          it's representing an evil value system and immorality
          -----
          You'd say this without first investigating the tenents of the system, and what they stand for? How irresponsible.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • Topher

          BRC

          I'd say you can be something other than Christian and still have good morals.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • BRC

          Topher,
          Then you should do mor eresearch into these Satanists views before you judge them as evil and immoral. You're never going to agree with them because they don't teach any proclamation of or obedience to "God" or Jesus, but they don't recommend, advise, or encourage acts that are harmful or evil. They don't even believe Satan exists. So, unless you have a specific view they hold that you really dissagree with, then you're basically saying that ALL religions that aren't Christianity are evil adn immoral.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
  13. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Freedom of expression applies to everyone, lest we ever forget.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
  14. Jeebusss

    This is hilariously amazing. The Christians will be forced to admit that either no religious displays have any business being on state property, or they will have to wave hello to Satan every day at the statehouse, and who knows what else in the future.

    Somehow the simple minded fools though they could work it so that only Christianity would get to be on public property. Surprise bâstards!

    January 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I just can't believe it took this long to happen. Well, considering how lazy Satanists are, I guess I can't be all that surprised. 😉

      January 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
  15. Conrad Shull

    That won't get vandalized immediately. Nope, no way.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Mercury

      Christians showing their love of law and order?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        There were numerous attempts to open 'new age' shops in my home town when I was a kid. Each one failed after they were vandalized numerous times by 'christians' who objected to them.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Mein

    All these atheists want scientific, tangible and logical evidence that God exists. How about they break out their lab coats and all knowing minds and prove scientifically, tangibly and logically that God doesnt exist? Or at least prove that we dont have a soul or spirit that lives on after physical death. Anyone? Anyone?

    January 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • JJ

      *groan*...how 'bout getting out of your trailer once in a while.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • DL

      good try – can't prove a negative

      January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • michael walker

        I am a researcher and I've never fully excepted that premise. I know bigfoot does not exist and I don't have to prove it's non-existence, the phenomenon it's self has proven that already by providing no tangible proof. We knew for centuries giant squid were real but had never seen one alive until a few years ago, but there was always proof they existed. Are you telling be that the premise that we are all just merely characters in a giant cyclops dream right now is valid, because I can't prove that our reality is not such???

        January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'i know bigfoot does not exist and I don't have to prove it's non-existence'

          but you cant PROVE it. That is the point.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • MattD

          You're a researcher? And you can't spell accepted?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • SB

          No. What he's telling you is that unfalsifiable claims are indistinguishable from nonsense. This is a fairly basic bit of logic.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • MattD

          You're an intellectually superior researcher, and yet you don't know that "it's self" is incoherent?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • asdrel

          How do you know that Bigfoot doesn't exist? Up until the mid-1800s the gorilla was unknown to western science, and tales of a giant hairy man-beast were disbeleived by many. It is disappointing that a researcher would sound so close-minded.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
    • K-switch

      Wow, that is the first time I have ever heard that argument. you are so original and insightful.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • Snafu

        CIRCLE JERK!!!

        Who wants in?

        January 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • shoveoff

          go back to reddit where your sarcasm is seen edgy

          January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Jeebusss

      I'll do that right after you break out your lab coat and prove that a parade of pink bubble färting donkeys isn't flying around the far side of the moon. Hey, you can't disprove it so it must be true right?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Conrad Shull

      Sorry, but when it comes to proof, which is impossible either way, the scientists have a lot more going for them than the theists, who have nothing but an hypothesis, old as man, yet never advanced to the level of theory, let alone fact.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • Mein

        I doubt it. I could argue the existance of God using science. But a scientist cant argue it the other way around.

        January 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • Uncommon Sense

          Mein: Go ahead, I'm listening. Be ready to show verifiable sources.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'i could argue the existance of God using science'

          go for it. That should be good for a laugh.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Mein

          Answer me this and I will continue with my explanations. How was one single cell organism able to reproduce itself into a a sperm cell, an ovary to the first human, or first anima, an animal egg and a seed to bare a tree? This is the basics of science right? Let's hear it

          January 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • asdrel

          " How was one single cell organism able to reproduce itself into a a sperm cell, an ovary to the first human, or first anima, an animal egg and a seed to bare a tree?"
          It's called evolution. Look it up.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Answer me this and I will continue with my explanations. How was one single cell organism able to reproduce itself into a a sperm cell, an ovary to the first human, or first anima, an animal egg and a seed to bare a tree? This is the basics of science right? Let's hear it'

          is that it? is that your using science to prove god?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Mein

          Is it not science what I am talking about? These are tangible things I am talking about here. Things we see everyday with our eyes. Scientific observation. Answer the question? Or is it too much? Once you answer it I will continue with my claims

          January 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          Oh I am not clever enough to understand the biological/evolutionary systems required but then I am not the one that claimed I can use science to prove god.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Mein

          cedar rapids,

          Ok, thanks for a great debate. wise up so when that when you receive a challenge you can at least be prepared to make a strong arguement. Good bye

          January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Ok, thanks for a great debate. wise up so when that when you receive a challenge you can at least be prepared to make a strong arguement. Good bye'

          except you made the claim you could prove something and when asked to do so you cry off and leave?
          i suppose we shouldnt be surprised.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Mein

          I'm surprised by your inability to hold a logical arguement.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'I'm surprised by your inability to hold a logical arguement.'

          Again nothing. Are we to assume you have just been trolling?

          January 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • Mein

      All your copout answers are great. I didnt expect anything different from this lot. Thanks

      January 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
      • Snafu

        Where was your soul before you were born?

        January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        you mistake pointing out your faulty logic as being a cop-out.

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

      That's not how the burden of proof works. As usual, you want special privileges.

      January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      The person claiming something does exist is the one that needs to provide the proof, not the person that claims they dont see it.

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

        yea that makes total sense. I'll just take your opinion without evidence. The evidence of God exists in the changed lives of those who have been changed by God. But you all make yourselves blind to it so you could never see it

        January 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Uncommon Sense

          "Changed lives" is hardly evidence. People change all the time. Shoe me any tangible proof that some sky fairy waved his magic wand and "changed" somebody. Tangible proof. Nothing, you have nothing. Thanks for playing Mein.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Pest

          Well, if you're willing to accept bad evidence, you can "prove" just about anything. People of different, mutually exclusive religions use the same sort of faith-based nonsense to "prove" their mutually exclusive claims. The only reasonable conclusion is that such evidence cannot be relied upon.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Mein

          All change is not the same. There is no greater proof in the universe than a changed human being. Spiritual change or not. Great game. Lets do it again

          January 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'The evidence of God exists in the changed lives of those who have been changed by God. '

          Yeah except that doesnt prove anything. Each and every religion will have members that will have the same claim. As each religion cannot be correct then some were therefore 'changed' without god. If change without god is possible it therefore means that the claim that someone was changed because of god is something that cannot be proved.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • QuestionEverything

      School closed today due to bad weather? "prove scientifically, tangibly and logically that God doesnt exist? Or at least prove that we dont have a soul or spirit that lives on after physical death." – proving a negative is not possible.

      This would be akin to asking someone to prove scientifically, tangibly and logically that we are all NOT figments of an ancient alien race from the 8th dimension, or that there is NOT an invisible leprechaun named Harry that lives in my backyard.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Snafu

      E=M(CC). Prove me wrong.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • Darrell C

      Mein....We don't have to, you see...and this might be hard for you to accept....The burden of proof does not lie with the one REFUTING a claim...It lies with the one making the original claim...that this thing exists. Until that happens....it does not. You need to read some Aristotle (yes this basic premise of logic really is that old)....specifically read, Treaties on Rhetoric...its only 80 pages...I'm sure you could get through it.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Hannover

      I'm pretty sure the burden of proof lies on those who are claiming God exists. Those who don't believe don't have to prove something doesn't exist if there is technically no evidence. (aside from the same old stale argument that goes 'Then who made us?', which isn't really an argument.)
      If I run around claiming that Santa Clause exists, the burden would be on me to prove that. It wouldn't be up to the people who don't believe me to prove he doesn't exist since I'm the one claiming he does. You have to prove existence where no proof exists.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • bcs2006

      You make the claim of god, you have to prove it.

      My position is just "Your evidence is not sufficient to support your claim" Atheism is just that. Its not "I have proof there is no god" it is "I have no confidence in the existence of god due to lack of evidence."

      Come up with better evidence and we will believe. Until then, the burden of proof rests with you, not me.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • Brainwashed Christians

      @mein..........You make the claim that something exsists, you must provide the evidence. Try and wrap your tiny mind around that simple concept.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
  17. craniumlogos

    This is the sort of absurdity that ensues when society concludes that all goals and lifestyles are of equal value to mankind, or as many liberals put it, "there are no absolutes." This is often expressed even though few of those saying it would ever actually live their life as though there were no absolutes, and if they did, they wouldn't last long.
    True religion encourages the denial of self for the good of others. Satanism does not, although it is not above saying that it does in order to achieve its goals.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • Pest

      I checked my dictionary. Your definition of "true religion" has nothing to do with the actual definition of religion.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  18. John N Florida

    The fools broke down the wall of Separation. ANYBODY of ANY belief has an EQUAL right to put their statue or whatever on THEIR state's property.
    Majority Rule does not effect Minority Rights.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • Deborah

      Indeed!!! Thank you my fellow Floridian!

      January 7, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  19. sinclair001

    People anymore will do anything for attention.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • DL

      I agree – believing in mythical beings, build monuments to them & go to groups chants everyweek is weird & a cry for attention

      January 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
  20. Johnny 5

    Satan doesn't exist so have a blast with your goat man statue.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • Egg

      Does it come in teal?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • ME II

      They believe Satan is a "literary construct," the spokesman said, not an actual being with horns and hooves. – the article.

      Apparently you agree with the Satanists. Does that concern you?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
      • Shootmyownfood

        Did you read the part that said they are more political agitators than religious observers? Thought not.

        January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • ME II

          I did... what's your point?

          January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
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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.