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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. lolz

    wow OK is okay with me!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  2. Yuck

    through our eyes we SIN..

    January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      yeah,, make sure you reduce your children and call them 'sinners' too.

      After all, reducing victims, as calling them sinners, is the first step to brainwashing

      January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  3. jed clampett

    I would like to see muslims try to put up a statue of Mohammed.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Econ301

      Based on the article it seems like it's open season on applying to put up religious monuments in OK. So maybe that will happen.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • igaftr

      Are you kidding? Muslims FREAK OUT when you even so much as draw a picture of Mohamed...They cannot put up an image of their "prophet".

      January 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
      • Fan2C

        igaftr,

        Interesting trivia:

        "In 1997, the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for the image of Muhammad to be removed from the marble frieze of the façade. While appreciating the fact that Muhammad was included in the court's pantheon of 18 prominent lawgivers of history, CAIR noted that Islam discourages depictions of Muhammad in any artistic representation. CAIR also objected that the prophet was shown with a sword, reinforcing long-held stereotypes of Muslims as intolerant conquerors. Chief Justice William Rehnquist rejected the request to sandblast Muhammad, saying the artwork "was intended only to recognize him, among many other lawgivers, as an important figure in the history of law; it is not intended as a form of idol worship". The court later added a footnote to tourist materials, calling it "a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor to honor Muhammad".–http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Supreme_Court_Building

        January 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
  4. Robin Jones

    Makes just as much sense as any other religious symbol – none.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  5. capnmike

    Religion is nonsense. Satan no more exists than god...they are both made-up imaginary figures, and no more real than the Tooth Fairy. Obviously a lot of people need to grow up and realize they have been brainwashed and believe a bunch of fairy tales.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Zeus

      I AM ZEUS! I AM REAL!!! ....and I have a CNN account to post, so that proves I am real!

      BTW, the tooth fairy is a real piece of meat.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Lucifer

      Listen ok, i believe in the tooth fairy. And since neither of us can prove he/she doesn't exist thus we must assume they DO, simply because i once read a book that says it is.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Fairway

      I've not been brainwashed by religion to believe in God.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
  6. Frenetic

    .....what a stupid article. Running out of biased misinformation to post, CNN?

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

      Why is it stupid?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • truth exists because we face it

        I think the poster recognizes how stupid religions are.. We hope so.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  7. PushingBack

    I have a hard time understanding how Satan is different than the Christian God anyhow. Seems like a god that lets evil exist when he/she can snuff it out is no better than a devil. Hurricanes, tidal waves, volcanoes, floods, famine, drought, pestilence, disease – all brought to you by the good guy himself! Why would the devil even need to lift a finger?

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

      Uh? Hello!! To prove he is the ONLY god he has to PUNISH and THREATEN HIS children. He has to withhold his miracles and blessings for special occasions. Don't you know anything about GOD? (sarcasim)

      January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • PushingBack

        Oh and don't forget free will too!

        January 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • JJ

      Because it's all mythology and one is delusional if they actually believe in any of it.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • bcs2006

      And god's confirmed kill count in the good book is WAY higher than the guy with the pitchfork

      January 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • PushingBack

        Exactly!

        January 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
    • J. Goolsby

      The Statue is of the Zodiac Capricorn, the goat. The Anglo-saxon people had this image for God of the Old Testament. Most people don't know this. There is a reason why there is so much animal sacrifice in the Torah. IHVH is both devil(right hand of God) and angel(left hand of the angel of the Lord).

      Religion = Astrology = Kingdom of Heaven

      Astro = Stars = Light = God
      Logy = study of or words of
      logy comes from a Greek word Logos, which means study of, or words of
      Astrology = Study of God, or Words of God

      January 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  8. Yuck

    Lucife has no place,and by reading this article it gets too show that alot of people are blind and are attracted to darkness(your word is your wand.)we all have a chose to use black magic or white magic,white magic is telling the truth and being good,black magic is you like to lie steal and kill,but the most amazing thing is that we all have a chose in who are we going too serve in our Personal lives."what ever faith you have keep it within yourself and do GOOD."

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

      LOL...do you even read your post to see how silly you sound?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Lucifer

      See you when you get here....

      January 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Zeus

      Yuck, The Dungeon and Dragons meeting has been rescheduled for Sunday. Don't forget to bring your mom's special pot brownies for Larry.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • bcs2006

      talk about killing

      God's biblical kill count: around 2 million

      Lucifer's: 10

      January 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • jed clampett

      White Magic = Good
      Black Magic = Bad

      Hahahaha! You religious racists are killing me. And I'm guessing you are a conservative too.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  9. myrtlemaylee

    I figured for sure it would look like Richard Perle. Or Cheney or Rumsfeld...it doesn't even resemble Inhofe. Is it white?

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

      LOL...well said.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  10. Dave Green

    This was only a matter of time. What did you expect? You insist on making public property a religious battle ground and then you whine like victims when someone takes you up on it! Enough! Believe what you want. Practice what you want. But leave the government and government owned property out of it!

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

      Exactly!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • You're Right

      I completely agree with you. That's why the Christians and Jews shouldn't have put up their monument to the Ten Commandments.

      January 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • ThinkFree

      Here here! Does anyone else feel the tilt steepen yet again toward a secular nation? We all know the outcome...just let it happen. Religions have their churches...thousands of them! Why oh why must they commandeer the courthouse?

      January 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
  11. Ronald D Cooper

    Why don't these folks go ahead and set themselves on fire now. That's going to be their ultimate destiny anyway.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • tom jones

      Oh, just feel the christian love expressed here.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • Madtown

      Is their destiny different than your destiny?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • Econ301

        Based on how he's violating on of the tents of his faith in casting judgment upon people. (This is to be left to God) then yes his fate is likely the same as the people he condemns.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  12. jake

    Looks like Republicans to me.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  13. truth exists because we face it

    I want to have a giant spaghetti monster sculpture with a sign beneath it with "Creator of this vast universe"

    January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Got the funds to pay for it?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      • truth exists because we face it

        yep

        January 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Live4Him

          Then when should we expect you to put it up?

          January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Econ301

          If you read the article they already applied to put it up.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
    • Zeus

      mmmm... noodles taste good

      January 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  14. RayJacksonMs

    Love it. Now let's get Satan back in the schools where he belongs.

    January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      satan was the cool guy.. Odd christians bash him, yet they never gave him a chance.

      Satan never wrote his own bible with his side of the story

      January 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
      • Live4Him

        So, you find truth in a non-existant book? WOW!

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

          Lie4Him
          As you do in your ancient book of fiction and lies, enough said.

          January 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • truth exists because we face it

        as opposed to a the Marvel Bible Comic?

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

        "Satan never wrote his own bible with his side of the story"

        Are you sure? It looks to me that Satan inspired the bible, since the end result of its existance has been murder, wars, increased spread of disease, death and destruction on a huge scale, all for belief in this book. If we look at the end result, either god is a vindictive evil creature, or the bible was inspired by satan.

        Just look at all the things that this book has inspired men to do....now try to tell me that it hasn't led to chaos, death and destruction...satan's playthings , no?

        January 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
    • MoodyMoody

      As long as there is standardized testing in the schools, Satan will be present!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  15. Michigan Bill

    I am a Christian. The 10 Commandments should be removed from the State house. If you want someone to view your religion as the proper path to spiritually go, then don't legislate it or mandate it. Live it. Show other people what it is like to be a Christian – compassionate, trustworthy and loving. You should not have to yell in someone's face, "I'm a Christian!". Someone should be able to look at you and your actions and say "wow, he's a Christian".

    January 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • truth exists because we face it

      I say,, let them all be there.. maybe then will our children see the silliness in religions

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

        religion I have no use for, belief and faith I do. Get rid of the religious markers from the public areas.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • myrtlemaylee

      Bravo!

      January 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • myrtlemaylee

        Apparently I need to specify that "Bravo" for Michigan Bill!

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

      This.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • zoe jean

      Well said.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  16. shapooy

    Blind faith. It's all you need.... but I am sorry all of you need hard, physical, beyond-a-doubt, scientific proof.....And you think people like me are weak minded?? hahaha, IMO, it takes a stonger mind to believe in something you cannot explain, describe, fully understand or even comprehend, and which others mock you for, then it does to shout out in a crowd, "so where's the proof? How come God just doesn't show himself to the world?... why does God let people suffer?" yadyadayada.....Faith, is all God wants for everyone to have.....you want your Satan statue? Have it. Feel proud about yourselves too, you've all earned it.....

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

      You completely missed the point, didn't you?

      January 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      Here's a simple test for your logic:
      You have some disease. If untreated, it will kill you in two weeks. You have two choices. You can not choose both.
      1. You can go and have a simple, low risk operation to cure the disease.
      2. You can use your faith to have God cure you.

      Which do you choose?

      How strong is your faith? Do you belief the Bible is 100% true? If not, why do you lack faith? If you do believe it is 100% true, why does your loving God kill so many people in the Bible? How old is the earth? How long did Moses live?
      So many of these things directly oppose the absolute scientific truth. If you don't agree with some science, shouldn't you throw it all away?

      January 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Shelton

    Wow, Christianity and these monotheistic and polytheistic faiths are incredibly silly. What god? LOL!

    January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  18. truth exists because we face it

    no different than christian or muslim

    January 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Tri0de

      All religon is a mental disease. Anyone with an invisible sky friend should be comitted, disenfranchised and kept far away from children.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • Nope.

        Nope.

        January 7, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
  19. Frank

    Don't people have anything better to do with their time. The human race is getting dumber by the second.

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

      Agreed

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

      I blame Faux News.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      But Frank, That's what happens when the state illegally allows a single religion to place a religious icon on public (state owned) property. So who doesn't have better things to do? The people who violate the First Amendment or the people who protest such illegal action by forcing the issue to a higher authority that will get the statue removed?

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

    Neither Satanism nor Atheism are "religions." This country was founded on Judao-Christian values. You liberals might just be sorry one day when you have to go before the Lord and answer for your ills!

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

      thankfully our founding fathers were smart enough to keep religions in their place and out of government

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

        Didn't exactly work here... This is a backlash from OK's arrogance in ignoring the 1stA.

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

      You're half-right. Atheism isn't a religion just like not collecting stamps is not a hobby. However, satanism is a faith-based belief in imaginary things, just like any regular religion.

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

      Sheila
      You'll never get a seat near Zeus on Mt. Olympus with an at!tude like that.

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

      Sheila – Unfortunately the Pagan gods of our ancestors would encourage you to open your eyes to the world around you and foresake your false Idol worship. We will welcome you with love, understanding and education in these things we hold sacred. Our Gods will not threaten you with a punishment nor reward you in the eternal afterlife, instead we hold you accontable during this life time. So mote it be

      January 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • Econ301

      It's hilarious to me that you assume that Liberals can't be Christians.

      January 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Sheila,

      The United States was not founded solely on Judeo-Christian values. Have you ever been to Washington D.C. and taken a look around at all of the ancient Greek and Roman gods and goddesses who are featured all over the place - Athena, Minerva, Themis (Lady Liberty), etc. The Supreme Court building has many ancient lawmakers' & philosophers' figures on it, including Mohammad, Solon, Lycurgus, Pericles, and even Aesop! –http://washingtonspirits.blogspot.com/2012/10/tha-classical-architectureand-pagan.html

      The founders drew from a great many philosophies, including ancient Greek, Roman, and the 17th century Enlightenment to name a few.

      The Ten Commandments are not even a great part of U.S. law:
      1: Have no other gods – NOT A LAW
      2: Make no graven image – NOT A LAW
      3: Don’t take the name in vain – NOT A LAW
      4: Honor the Sabbath – NOT A LAW
      5: Honor thy father and mother – NOT A LAW
      6: Thou shalt not kill – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY (long pre-dated it)
      7: Thou shalt not commit adultery – huge number of Christians commit adultery by LEGALLY remarrying
      8: Thou shalt not steal – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      9: Thou shalt not bear false witness – NOT UNIQUE TO CHRISTIANITY
      10: Thou shalt not covet – NOT A LAW

      January 7, 2014 at 12:45 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.