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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. truth exists because we face it

    don't know which one is worse,, this one? or the dead guy on a cross out to commit suicide.

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

      Don't forget that the dead guy nailed to the plank wants you to cannibalize his corpse.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  2. Alex

    Even if one Oklahoman is a Satanist than a statue to Satan would represent Oklahoma values contrary to Rep Cleveland's assertion. I would rather see Native American tribes press to erect statues to their cultures and histories especially since Oklahoma bills itself as the Native American State

    January 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      it's a huge witchcraft state of christians though

      January 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  3. Mentalle Condeshawn

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
  4. Mopery

    They must also make a statue of the Great Old One, Cthulhu. Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • G to the T

      Rise! Rise! Rise!

      January 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    1 Samuel 5:2-3a When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. And when those of Ashdod arose early in the morning, behold, Dagon had fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD.

    Dagon or Satan, it's all the same to God. He'll bow before the Lord of Lords.

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

      FICTION you silly half-wit! Grow up, it's a bedtime story for adults afraid of dying who need to be promised a B.S. story like eternal life.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Some are incapable of a logical discussion. Are you capable of one?

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

          "Some are incapable of a logical discussion"

          L4H, you have proven countless times that you are one that is incapable of logic.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • ?

          Lie4Him
          You have never conducted a logical discussion in your life, quite right, you are too deluded. Lies do not fit in well with conversation and running away like the coward you are is even more desp!cable.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • Johnny

          Starting with a quote from the bible to try and prove that satan will bow down to Jesus is no way to start a logical conversation.

          January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Johnny : Starting with a quote from the bible ... is no way to start a logical conversation.

          Using mockery doesn't help your case.

          <><

          January 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • truth exists because we face it

        I agree with mary

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

      Live4Him,

      God and Satan get along fine. They even make bets with each other according to the Bible.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Observer : God and Satan get along fine. They even make bets with each other according to the Bible.

        Of course – God tricks Satan who does God's bidding. Works just fine 🙂

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

          Live4HIm,]

          Satan tricked God into WATCHING TEN CHILDREN, some slaves and thousands of animals die JUST TO WIN A BET.

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

      Lord of Lords?

      Are there other Lords?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Live4Him

        Yep. Satan is the lord of this system. Lord is just a title for the ruler of a given area – be it king, president, governor, or mayor.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  6. diverdog52

    When an individual comes to believe in Jesus Christ, it isn't a bunch of philosophical precepts that he or she has embraced. Rather, it is a salvation in the truest sense. It means that someone has come to realize he or she is in rebellion against God and everything He stands for. Many lives have been turned around by repenting from your sins and accepting Christ as your savior, including my own.

    What does a human being deserve when he dismisses God, disregards His law (that is written on our hearts), then even goes so far as to say He does not exist? When someone recognizes his rebellion and turns to the Lord for forgiveness, it is natural that excitement would exude from Him. That exuberance is best expressed by sharing the joy found in Christ with others.

    This excitement is often misunderstood as being pushy. But, it is simply the desire to see loved ones and acquaintances experience the same joy and freedom that the new believer has found in the love of Christ.

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

      While I would not consider myself Anti-Christ exactly, I am against the spreading of these lies of Christ. So maybe I am antichrist?

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

      repenting from your sins and accepting Christ as your savior, including my own.
      -----
      To do this, you first need to be aware of Christ's existence. God continues to create many humans in different parts of the world who will never learn of Christ. Curious, isn't it?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  7. bostontola

    "In December, state lawmakers told CNN that the satanists' message wouldn't fly in their Bible Belt state, where nearly two-thirds of the population are Christian"

    Over three-fourths of the US population is Christian, and they call themselves part of the bible belt. Pikers!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      glad to see the number going down

      January 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  8. Nino

    Is this a free country?? so what, Satan and Jesus can hang out!!! Lets build it!!!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
  9. humtake

    Technically, these guys have just as much right to put up this statue as the Ten Commandments. From what I'm hearing, the only real debate is that it has no historical significance. But, that would mean that Satan is being disregarded as a major influence in the Bible...Old and New. So, every person who agrees with the Ten Commandments statue for religious reasons MUST ALSO agree with the Satan statue because Satan, although not mentioned by name in the Old, is still known as the only other omnipotent presence in all of our lives next to God. Satan has just as much influence as God, and having a statue of him actually commemorates that OK persevered through his evil influences and became the great state it is today.

    I should be a lawyer. 🙂

    January 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • Pete/Ark

      You will be judged by the company you keep - I'd rather be a Satanist or homeless ...^o^ ...

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

      Umm. Read Job. The Satan plays rather prominently in it.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  10. JesusSaves

    See satan cast out at emmanuel. tv sometimes it is live. His time is short and it is trying to take as much people with it to the lake of fire to be tormented with it. It is the father of like. It decieves it own followers to think there is pleasure in hell.

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

      Wow...you saw it on tv, then it MUST be true.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  11. Sheila

    TO: ImvotingforHillary
    – you said:
    What I find so amusing is the CONservative Christians have done more to advance the cause of satan an any satan worshipper ever could. I have never seen a satan worshipper jump all over gays, yet turn a blind eye to the adulterers and fornicators in their midst. I have never seen a satan worshipper say all manner of vile racist things toward a black president and then lie and claim they just don't like his policies. I have seen no satan worshipper do all they can to hurt the poor and sick while throwing money at the rich and trying to repeal Obamacare. These CONservative Christians should put down the GOP Bible and pick up the REAL Bible and start reading it instead of playing into the hands of the devil with their corrupt version of Christianity that does nothing, but turn people away from Christ.

    You are twisting the Bible for your own purposes. Vote for Hillary and you will be a part of the continuing destruction of the country. She has a lot of explaining to do and people like you won't expect her to do so. As for Conservatives and the poor, the Democrats/liberals are doing more to keep them in that state than Conservatives ever have. Who do you listen to? Oh, MSNBC, right?

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

      The Cat. Church created Satan Worship when they created the propaganda piece WItches Hammer after roughly 1000 years of denying that any magic was real.

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

        I forgot to add that there was absolutely no evidence of anyone in Europe worshiping Satan before the Church created the threat to use against those they did agreed with. Note nearly all those burned or abused for being witches were Christians, even though there were still a few Pagans in Europe who had not been wiped out yet.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
  12. nay88

    wow seeing that made me cry, what is this world coming too?

    January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      It's senses.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • t2vodka

      Why? Christian leaders turned that into the image of the bibles satan to demonize pagan worshipers. Pagans do not believe in your Satan. Still though, it is just another stupped and childish belief like all religion is.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Phil

    What if it turns out that Heaven is like a never-ending church service and Hell is like Las Vegas? I have my doubts on this, but many Christians might feel silly if in the afterlife if this turns out to be the case. What if Satan welcomes atheists offering a beer with one hand and an illicit drug with the other and says, "Come on in. You're one of my boys. Could you stand a beautiful call girl? How about two? Endless fun with no downside."

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

      Yes, I imagine that hell is a lot like it is in South Park, and who wants to spend eternity in heaven playing charades with the Mormons.

      January 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  14. Pete/Ark

    GOT IT !!!! A big BLANK space ... Atheists and Agnostics need love too ....

    January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
  15. ug

    If it goes up...I will take it down personally.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      Yet another threat of violence and oppression by a Christian. Thanks for showing your true colors

      January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      too funny.. and take down the silly dead guy on a cross too?

      I would hope so with that comment

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

      Are you currently working on taking down the Decalogue monument?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • nay88

      i would like to help you.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • G to the T

        So you don't believe in freedom of religion? What are you a communist?

        January 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • Muddy

      FBI please take note, since unless ug
      meant he would get it removed by legal action, his statement is clearly a terroristic threat.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
  16. Brian Cooley

    Jeremiah 16: 9 Lord, my strength and my fortress,
    my refuge in time of distress,
    to you the nations will come
    from the ends of the earth and say,
    “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,
    worthless idols that did them no good.
    20 Do people make their own gods?
    Yes, but they are not gods!”
    21 “Therefore I will teach them—
    this time I will teach them
    my power and might.
    Then they will know
    that my name is the Lord.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • Thoth

      my lord, your lord, so many lords!
      (good thing that they are ALL FICTIONAL 🙂

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

      Ph'nglui Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  17. Al M.

    The point here is not to promote Satanism. The point is that once you allow one religion to put its statue on State grounds, how do you deny that to other religions. Whoever is behind this chose the most outrageous and fringe religion, Satanism, to make a point, that point being that no religion should have its stuff on any public property in our country.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Bollucks

    Perhaps now the "christians" will see how they are not the only ones who get to display their wares from the buy-bull. You reap what you sow.

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

      I will take it down...now try and stop me boy!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
      • Flint Fredstone

        Christianity: the church of hate and intolerance

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

          True. 'christians' are their own worst enemy. They're walking and talking hypocrites.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
  19. JesusSaves

    See statan cast out at emmanuel. tv sometimes it is live

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

      Statan?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:24 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.