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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. joldham

    If these clowns aren't from Ok or live there permanently then they should not be allowed to put the statue up.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • Econ301

      Do all Christians live in OK?

      Do you think no Satanist live in OK?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  2. Bob

    If Christian monuments are OK, then everything's OK. This is hilarious!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree, once you put it on public property you've opened the door.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Pete/Ark

    My proposal would be a statue of Flip Wilson to represent the Church of What' Happenin" Now Baby ...

    January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
  4. Christian100

    Wow... i wish people would stop idolizing the evil spirits that are among us such as baphomet and all of his soul-less followers like celebrities and government who are obviously embodied by evil. If this gets approved i will personally be there to make sure it gets removed ...DEMOLISHED more like it... horrible example to our kids.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Free Holiday Nuts ^^^

       

      January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • Kip Oliver

      Government can't be evil. According to the Bible, no man is in power unless God wills it. So...all those people in charge...yeah, that's God's Will. Even Obama.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      That's Christianity all over. Violently destroy anything you don't agree with.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Christian100,

      Looks like we'll see you on tv in prison. Many viewers will be laughing.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
  5. CNET

    hahaha...idiocracy at its finest.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Pete/Ark

      ...or satire ...

      January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  6. QS

    The true motto of this country is not "In God We Trust"; it's "E Pluribus Unum" – from many, one.

    Take "under god" back out of the pledge.

    Remove "in god we trust" from our currency.

    End the practice of the 'inauguration invocation prayer' when inaugurating newly-elected Presidents.

    Tax religions and churches that take donated money and use it for political purposes.

    Get religion away from my rights!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Econ301

      The real reason to do this which should appeal to conservatives who believe in supporting our Founding Fathers intentions... is that "E pluribus Unum" is the motto that our Founding Fathers approved!

      How can you say you want to do as the Founding Fathers intended, yet support an replacing the Motto they approved with a motto passed to spite the USSR in 1958.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • Steve

        You seem to have read the exact opposite of what what written.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Econ301

          How so?

          "E Pluribus Unum" is the national motto that was approved to go on our currency and on the National Seal in 1795.
          "IN God we Trust" is what our National motto was changed to in 1957.

          Do you support the wishes of the Founding Fathers or the Red Scare Era Politicians?

          January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Frank

          civil rights act was passed in 1964. Our founding fathers would poop their pants if they knew we had an African-American president.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Why do you want to impose your religion upon elected officials (like Obama)?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • Observer

        Live4Him,

        The whole point here is that NO ONE'S RELIGION should be on government property.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : The whole point here is that NO ONE'S RELIGION should be on government property.

          Everyone has a religion, so the only way you could accomplish this is NOTHING was on government property.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • Observer

          Live4Him

          "Everyone has a religion, so the only way you could accomplish this is NOTHING was on government property."

          Now you've got the point. Nothing RELIGIOUS on government property.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Econ301

          Yes.

          No monuments to religion should be on government property. That's the smartest way to solve this problem.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Samson

          Nature is my religion. So you can't put up any statues of birds, trees, flowers or water.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Frank

          PC Police!!!!

          January 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Observer : Now you've got the point. Nothing RELIGIOUS on government property.

          Everything is influenced by one's religious values – be it a cross or the lack thereof. You're religious values include 'Nothing RELIGIOUS on government property', so why should your values trump other's values?

          p {font-size: x-large}<><

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

        Stop, liar.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • wiki

      -And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."-

      – From The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem

      January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Econ301

        No that was made our motto by law in 1958. Prior to that the Motto was E Pluribus Unum, as voted for by the founding fathers in 1795.

        Why are you against the wishes of the founding fathers?

        January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • Observer

        wiki,

        It took almost 150 years after 1776 for that to become our official national anthem.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • wiki

        Our founding fathers also supported slavery and opposed equal rights for women. I think they were very wrong about some things.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • Econ301

          Yes, clearly.

          But was the National Motto something they were wrong about?

          January 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • wiki

          I don't know. I never said it was. I just said the Star Spangled Banner contains the phrase "In God is Our Trust".

          January 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Econ301

          Interestingly the Star Spangled Banner was not written until 1812, long after the founding fathers voted to have E Pluribus Unum show up on our currency and be on the National Seal.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • wiki

          Equal rights for all human beings didn't start to become a reality in America until the 1960's. And even still we have a lot to improve on.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • RBG

      "In God We Trust" only recently became a National motto. The phrase did not appear on our currency until 1957.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • Frank

        Civil rights act was passed in 1964. Seems like things got better after we changed our motto.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  7. juan jose

    I wanna get laid on top of that statue

    January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  8. Tealiban is antiAmerican

    Ban it!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
  9. bostontola

    "Pastafarians, a satirical religion that "worships" the Flying Spaghetti Monster"

    You mean the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't real?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Snafu

      Oh' he's real. And so are His sons and daughters, Ravioli, Spaghetti, Fettucini and many others!

      Ramen!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
  10. milesandmiles

    Great! So, you can sit on Satan's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas. Oh wait...

    January 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      How about a statue of a Native American god weeping as cross-adorned Christians shoot native women and children? It's a traditional Oklahoma value, and historically accurate.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • Thinker

        Good one!

        January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  11. Reality # 2

    Satan, the demon of the demented !! Next topic!!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Nat

    I support a statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster 🙂

    January 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      The pay for one to be put up! Unless you are joking 🙂

      January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  13. Chris

    Isn't it enough that the Satanists have control of the White House?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • Mercury

      I'm thinking it's more the HoR has a lock on devilish legislature.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Not too bright.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  14. Anthony Crispino

    Ya shouldn't mock Satan. My wife's groin doctor knows a fella that saw Satan walkin around over in Elizabeth in broad daylight. True. He can turn himself into something else at any minute tho.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JuSfRgh0Vo&w=640&h=390]

    January 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • kev

      When all is said and done, it makes good toast. lol.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • JMO

      That is totally awesome.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • DJPsiPhi

      anyone else notice the toaster isnt plugged in and the chord is severed?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  15. Rosslaw

    I'm pretty sure Satan represents Oklahoma values, but I don't know about those Pastafarians.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • JMO

      The Pastafarians, and their great deity, the flying spaghetti monster are not to be trifled with. It is through his noodley essence that the world was created in the great cosmic colander.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  16. bostontola

    “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,”

    What about the 10 commandments? Was Mt. Sinai in Oklahoma?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • mainepotter

      Burning bush: "No comment"

      January 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  17. Kev

    I wonder if graffiti was painted on the statue would Satanic Temple be upset over it?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • milesandmiles

      I bet if you spraypainted "Satan Sux" on it it would burn them up!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • Kip Oliver

      I dunno. Would Christian Churches be offended if someone spray painted graffitti on a statue of Jesus? Or is it Christian to distroy anything that is non-Christian?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • Kev

        Why would it have to be Christians doing it?

        January 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • Kev

      Although the point is made. They may get upset over it not for the content of the graffiti but making it a discrimination issue.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  18. Woody

    " They believe Satan is a "literary construct," the spokesman said, not an actual being.........."

    That's an accurate description of all of the manufactured gods and demons since the first one was contrived many thousands of years ago.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Live4Him

      What facts lead you to this conclusion?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • ?

        Don't bite, Lie4Him is the most disingenuous lying troll on this blog? No matter what is said to refure his ignorance it will continue spewing out its ignorance.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • pauleky

        All of them. What facts lead you to believe in a deity? A book written by Bronze Age sheep-herders is not enough.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • ?

        Don't bite, Lie4Him is the most disingenuous lying troll on this blog? No matter what is said to refute his ignorance it will continue spewing out its ignorance.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • UncleM

        The fact that there is zero evidence for any gods. Duh!

        January 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • Rochester NY

        All of the facts lead to that conclusion. All of them.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • DJPsiPhi

        The evidence not taken from a 1400 year old book written about non existent figures from 600 years prior. Oh.. and intelligence, logic, and reason. I wouldnt expect you to understand. Once people get hooked on the god-aide they refuse to drink normal water.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Woody

        "What facts lead you to this conclusion?" – Live4Him

        The fact that led me to this conclusion is the total lack of facts, or any kind of proof or evidence, supporting the existence of supernatural beings.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
  19. Mercury

    The little girl's arms and hands look positively alien-like...

    January 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Because only aliens will bother to look at it.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
      • Mercury

        I'm thinking crappy design flaw, but okay.
        Tsk tsk. OK should be careful at what doors they open on government land.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • bostontola

      Do you think aliens have visited earth?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
      • Mercury

        I wouldn't discount the possibility. I think it's awfully arrogant to think the we are alone in the universe.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Who said we are alone? I asked if we've been visited.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • Plejarins

        Shhhhh!

        January 19, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
  20. Carl

    Like the 1% of Americans that are Gay Satanists want the majority to bow down to them. They are children seeking attention, hey look at me I'm different...please look at me. Ok now your going to be sorry!!!!!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Carl,

      You're sad and funny at the same time.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Observer

      Carl,

      Based on your statistic of "1%", you don't do ANY RESEARCH. Try to learn facts.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:14 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.