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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. Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

    I would LOVE a monument to the pastafarians! Baphomet too. Way to represent!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Cecily

      Yes! Complete with outdoor cafe to the side. They would have to ask for extra space though.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  2. Uncle Rufus

    LOL, I'm not surprised that there are libs here actually taking up for Satan!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Anthony Crispino

      I know. He's nothing to play around with. My wife's groin doctor knows a fella that saw him walkin around in broad daylight. Also, that supreme judge Scalia saw him walkin around somewheres too. He could wack the mail man and show up at your door just like that.

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

      Teatardy idiot.

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

      I am not a 'liberal', but if I had to choose between the 2 religious folks, I may indeed 'take up' Satan.

      I feel Satan is a lot more realistic, and a better representative for humans. He (or is she a She?) is not perfect, but he brings a lot of differing opinions, and all of us know how sick we get of people who force their opinions on us.

      I think everyone on here is being a bit judgemental, and we should all stop to think for a moment about all the good things that the Devil and Satan have brought to us. The godsters are just too damn passive – I'll take this Satan guy anyday over some religious pansy type. Heck, that's why I am a Forty Niner fan rather than watching bowling on Sunday – and I guarantee Satan watches football while God watching bowling. It's just in their genes.

      So stop bashing the devil – He hasn't done anything wrong to any of you, and he's brought a lot of good things into our world.

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

      Isn't Satan an angel? I don't see why not!

      January 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
  3. Logic

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

    Going out on limb there? Ya think?

    January 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lacey

      The 10c shouldn't have been approved, either.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I can't wait for the lawsuit to go to the Supreme Court. I smell some ACLU pro bono work on this case. 🙂

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

        I'd like to see that too. It will awaken the sleeping dragon of White Christendom and fill it with a terrible resolve. The last time that happened the enemy was eviscerated from the planet, same as they do in Heaven – literally, physically removing their enemies from this world. Hurry, the sooner the better.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Why do some christians think it's a good idea to put up a statue of the ten commandments when they don't even bother to follow them? "Thou shalt not kill." Thou shalt not bear false witness".... It's like some christians think that if they display the commandments, their god won't notice that they don't follow them.

          January 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
  4. Mikey

    Shemhamforash! Hail Satan!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  5. jgayler70

    ?satanic figure Christian poet smiling children they are clearly confused or trying to sell a image its worse than mixing religion and pagan to make the converts more agreeable!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Melo

    "I believe that only monuments that reflect Oklahoma values should be allowed on the capitol grounds" Then why are the 10 commandments there?

    January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  7. SB

    It's sad but perhaps not surprising that the point seems to be lost on so many people posting here.

    January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • James Madison

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • cc423

      Oh... oyu mean the part where a State government is forcing their religion down the throats of tax payers?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
  8. Real Talk

    it shows in the movie and music so this is kinda not a surprise it crazy but to each is own i guess

    January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      Real Talk: How about using real English?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  9. joshua constantine

    "The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,"
    So Satanists believe in compassion and empathy? Wouldnt that be counter productive to the views of Satan? lol

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

      No, it wouldn't.
      Unless you believe all the lies christians tell about Satan.

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

      I don't believe Satan was ever allowed to express his views. Anything you know about Satan was told by his enemy.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
    • John

      Why? Because christians say so? Not much of a reason.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • Bill Z

      Satan is evil about as much as Darth Vader is.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
  10. Haroldwolf

    New Yorker are happy with exporting liberal ideas not they want to export statues of their leader.

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

      You folks have no problem with an organization based in Utah throwing money into an anti-gay campaign in California, but you're going to have a cow at the thought of a NY based organization putting up a monument in OK to counteract OK blatantly disregarding the 1st Amendment?

      Freaking hypocrites.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Glenn

    Evolution-facts.org. Youtube The Privileged planet. What's out there in the cosmos? Take a good look we are not alone, we are being watched by the whole universe, what does the word universe mean anyway? Well if you divide the word into two parts like uni, it means single, and verse mean, spoken sentence, that's it, we live in a single spoken sentence!!! Amazing, and God said let there be light and there was light. He spoke and it stood fast, this world and the universe was spoken into existence. There's your Big Bang theory, God spoke and bang it happened

    January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow. It's like you've never taken a science class in your life.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'what does the word universe mean anyway? Well if you divide the word into two parts like uni, it means single, and verse mean, spoken sentence, that's it, we live in a single spoken sentence!!! '

      problem with that is the latin foundation of the universe means 'turn to one' or 'all-together', its nothing to do with the word 'verse'

      January 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • ME II

      Origin:
      late Middle English: from Old French univers or Latin universum, neuter of universus 'combined into one, whole', from uni- 'one' + versus 'turned' (past participle of vertere)

      (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/universe)

      January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • brahman1

      You are a retard

      January 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • Deborah

      Oh Glenn .... Stop embarrassing yourself! Did Pastor Ted Haggard personally teach you that?

      January 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Squeezebox

    Little girl, do you want some candy? Come and sit on my lap. >:)

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

      Now Father, shouldn't you be self-flagellating to make up for yesterday still?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
  13. Alias

    The christians put up a monument that says it is a sin to worship any god except theirs.
    The christians don't want any other monuments.
    They can't understand why people who do not believe in their god have an issue.
    I think cathoilic schools are over-rated.

    January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  14. Honey Badger Don't Care

    In the bible god kills an estimated 2 1/2 million people. The devil kills 13. Who is the bad guy?

    January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • The truth is out there

      The devil.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • Alias

        Right. Those 21/2 million were bastards that really deserved it, but those 13 were different.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
  15. NSL

    This is the nonsense begat by idiot politicians who think it's okay to bring religion into government, who think it's okay to subvert the First Amendment establishment cause, and that it's okay to do so, as long as all religions are represented. Frankly, no religion should be a part of government in the US. I think our founders are turning over in their graves over how our governments, federal, state, and local, have perverted the First Amendment. Take down the 10 Commandments and any other religious symbols there and tell this group to find private property, not taxpayer funded property to erect their statue, and require the same of the other symbols as they are removed.

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

      where can this comment be up-voted?

      January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • Alias

      +1

      January 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
    • aldewacs2

      Methinks you nailed it.

      January 10, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  16. helen

    When did become satanic religion oh America bad people are uding the goods of America freedom and responsibilities are go's along because you have freedom you can't reflect your bad habit to oter people I dont see any good about satanic but the ten Comandante is what is good for us as selfe and other around as

    January 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You probably should proof read your comments before you hit the "post" button. Unless, of course, you intended your comment to be complete gibberish.

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

      what???

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

      This has nothing to do with good or evil. This has everything to do with the First Amendment. I find it highly offensive to have any religious symbols on government property. All current religious symbols, including the 10 commandments should be immediately removed from the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds and buildings, and this new statue's erection refused. All these religious symbols should only be displayed on private property, not property owned by the taxpayers.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • ironman59

      It's their choice in freedom of religion so deal with it. If you are going to have the 10 commandments up they have a right to their symbol. Besides yours has no meaning without the literarly counterbalance of their deity.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • Damocles

      What the hell do udders and otters have to do with any of this??

      January 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • brahman1

      ummm what? are you okay? gimme some of what you are smoking

      January 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
  17. Right is Wrong

    This is so funny.

    January 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  18. The old goat looks like he's copping a feel.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

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

      Now you would think that, Father. Shame on you.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Maybe it's really a catholic priest.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  19. Bribarian

    Adult trolls....liberals....

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

      I believe more in the existence of trolls and tooth fairies than your Satan and Jesus.

      Sorry – there is a reason 95% of scientists, and 85% of people with graduate degrees, do not beleive in your Satan God.

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

        cool story, you know you fanatical atheists are every bit as annoying as jehova witnesses?

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

          Such nonsense you spout. All these religious symbols are First Amendment violations as they support specific religions. None should be permitted on public property. It doesn't matter what religion or lack of religion anyone believes, these symbols of religion or no religion have no place on government, tax payer owned property.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • Frank

        Please list the source of your percentages or I'm calling BS. Hell with it, BS.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • sly

          Facts, Frank, which I realize don't mean a whole lot to you godsters.

          These figures are well publicized, and are cited on almost every story on this god-blog.

          Since you do seem a bit ignorant of the facts, I'll add another one: 65% of college educated people vote Democrat, and a similar percentage of people in cities. Republicans get their 35% support from the country – the outbacks of West Virginia and Alabama and places like that.

          January 7, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Yes, this statue is the ultimate troll, using the OK state capitol as a historical version of a comment board, and it's succeeding masterfully.

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

        The ultimate troll is permitting any religious symbol on public property. It's offensive and a violation of the First Amendment.

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

          That is the point being made with this statue!

          January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      This whole phoopheraw is a prime example of Poe's Law.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • NSL

        No it isn't. You're intimating the above posts don't clearly indicate the authors' intent and that it is therefore difficult or impossible to tell the what they are saying and therefore whether or not what they've said is an expression of sincere extremism or a parody of extremism, but that isn't true. I think the posters have been quite clear that it's okay to have a religious symbol on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol, as long as it's a symbol they think is a good one. Of course, that's exactly part of what the First Amendment is trying to protect the American people from, the establish of any particular religion by the government.

        January 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
  20. jgayler70

    ?they don't even know what their talking about satanic figure Christian poet smiling children that's even more mixed up then mixing religion and pagan to make the converts more agreeable please!!

    January 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Perhaps you should pray to the god of punctuation and grammar.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      ↑↑ perfect reaction ↑↑

      January 7, 2014 at 3:21 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.