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."
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.
I say let the 17 satanist in this country have a statue in Oklahoma. ROTFL Love it.
Come on people!
The point here not to erect a statue to baphomet but to show up the christians as hypocrites. As not really caring about freedom of religion at all, but only trying to push their own particular brand of bronze age voodoo.
The fictional character Yahweh was a villainous demon in his own right. Responsible for horrific genocides and the whole sale ｒａｐｅ and slaughter of his own kids and others.
There is nothing at all moral about Yahweh or the wish to be a slave of this fictional villain.
Catholics and other Christian groups slaughtered native Americans and other native groups in the Americas during the "conquest"... Yes, including women and children... Whats the difference?
You do realise that Yahweh is the Christian god right? So what exactly are you trying to ask me?
What does any religious monument have to do with law? None of these statues should be in front of, inside or around any place having anything to do with government.
Why do atheists have buildings nowadays called churches?
apparently there are a few nuts in every group.
Just a few? When you generalize every religious people to be nut cases. Why is this that only in atheism you can only find just a few nuts? A few only applies to gays and atheists?
they don't. That's just a fool CNN article.
We don't. And atheism isn't a religion. It's the absence of one. No matter what the rightwing media says ... doesn't make it true.
They aren't officially called churches, but it's just an easy term that people understand.
They are called churches, don't lie.
Tax write off. Why would anyone want a church unless you can get free money and not pay any taxes on it?
Easy: Name me one Atheist church and tell me where it is.
Don't lie to yourself, if you really want to know where are those atheists churches, then i suggest you call your Atheists National Spoke Person and he or she will tell you where these are.
Because like it or not, this country's laws are based on Christian morality and standards.
@topher, nonsense. our laws are based on humanistic morality.
Do you mean like slavery and discrimination against women, gays, and the handicapped?
Christianity doesn't discriminate against any of them.
The Bible says that God does. Please read one.
@Topher You need to read the Bible ... old and new testament instead of just going to church and having it explained to you. It absolutely does.
@topher, then why would it be so common in christians?
Where are women and handicapped discriminated against in the Bible?
The Bible is very male-dominated. It is just MEN who can sell their daughters into slavery. If a woman is injured, usually compensation goes to her husband or father.
God didn't want his priests to have any handicaps. He specifically banned those with bad eyesight and even those with crushed testicles.
If the bible is male dominant, then why are you gay atheists not happy about it?
"If the bible is male dominant, then why are you gay atheists not happy about it?"
I'm not gay and I'm not an atheist (I'm agnostic) and you're apparently not too bright.
Being "male dominant" doesn't mean it's anti-women.
And are you saying not hiring someone who can't physically perform the job is discriminatory? Ridiculous.
Observer? , i seen your post for the last 8 months, don't be such a lying atheist sob, you are indeed a devout atheist militant.
Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, I doubt that you'd want Hindu scriptures on the court house.
Why would Hindu beliefs be there? Our laws and this country were not based on Hindu standards.
In Santa we trust? Are you saying that God is like Santa? Are you saying you know the secrets of the universe? I feeble mind, that hasn't been more than 35k feet in an infinite universe? Please.... teach me all knowing.
That's the point – you wouldn't want Hindu, Islamic, etc. texts. Tyranny of the majority and all that.
"Are you saying that God is like Santa?"
They are both imaginary creatures.
"Are you saying you know the secrets of the universe?"
I'm saying that the secrets of the universe are not contained in religious texts.
Actually they were inspired more by the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. Locke, Rousseau, etc.
actually US laws are based on English Common Law.
How can you be so sure Topher have you studied...
Wiccan ethics, etc.
and compared them to the laws of this country and noticed the differences or similarities? If not, why not? Could it be that only your brand of god has a lock on all morality in the world.
this country's laws are based on Christian morality
The Founding Fathers disagree with you.
They do? Please explain.
Explain? Why, you can't read?
Explaining anything to you that you do not already believe is an exercise in futility your closed mind can never be changed. Your childish views and questions are tiresome.
Well, from what I've read you're wrong. Now, if you want to argue that the Founders were themselves Christian, you won't get much of an argument from me. But their own writings seem to say they based that stuff on Christian principles. So if you know of something different, I'd like to hear it.
You mean besides the 'No Religious Test' Clause, the Establishment clause, and the Freedom of Religion clause?
Thus, separation of Church and State...
Well the Ten Commandments and Moses in particular have a lot to do with Law as they are considerred some of the first laws in history. Even if you take a non-religious standpoint to it, this is important in the concept of Law. Note that in the Supreme Court we also venerate Moses as a lawgiver along with other Ancient Lawgivers such as Hammurabi for instance. So one does not nessecarily have to be religious to have respect for the concept and theory of Law.
What Supreme Court decision was it where Moses was cited exactly?
he is talking about the art on the building, which is incredibly pertinent in law.
Refer to snowboarder's comment/reply he hit the nail on the head.
It is not so much that we follow the Law of Moses, but rather his importance in the Theory of Law. This is why likewise in the artwork of the building other influential and Ancient Lawgivers, as I gave as example Hammurabi, are also venerated as some of the first people to give forth the concept of Law. We do not follow the Code of Hammurabi, but we still have respect unto Hammurabi as an Ancient Lawgiver. Same is with Moses.
If you are then talking about architecture, then you need to include Muhammad, Napoleon, Louis the 9th, Confucius, and many others. And if you read up on it, the original Justices that moved into the building hated it for the pomp of the place. But architecture aside, show me where the Supreme Court (not the architect of the building has ever used Moses as a reference in a decision.
I am not referring to the Supreme Court referencing Moses in decision. I am referring to Moses and other ancient (non-christian) Lawgivers importance to the Theory of Law as explained in all my comments here on this page. This is not about religion which you erroneously think it is. It is about Theory of Law.
Thou shalt have no other gods (not a law)
No graven images or likenesses (not a law)
Not take the LORD's name in vain (not a law)
Remember the sabbath day (not a law)
Honour thy father and thy mother (not a law)
Thou shalt not kill (hit #1)
Thou shalt not commit adultery (not a law)
Thou shalt not steal (hit #2)
Thou shalt not bear false witness (sometimes a law 1/2 marks)
Thou shalt not covet (not a law)
2.5 out of ten. Nope America isn't based on the laws of the 10 commandments
As stated below they had to change thou shall not kill to thou shall not murder, slaughtering the perceived enemies of Christiandom has always been practiced, often gleefully. Topher would approve, he would have enjoyed the Indian wars the country waged.
'Well the Ten Commandments and Moses in particular have a lot to do with Law as they are considerred some of the first laws in history. Even if you take a non-religious standpoint to it, this is important in the concept of Law'
No they arent, not even close. The first recognized laws (Code of Ur-Nammu) appeared about 600 years before the first suggested appearance of the 10 commandments, and they were proper laws and not simply religious commandments.
For one point you do not know whether Moses or Ur-Nammu came first as it is impossible to accurately date anything past 200 BC as the Gregorian Calendar and its basis the Julian Calendar were not in existence.
Secondly we do in fact give respect to Ur-Nammu just like Moses and Hammurabi as Ancient Lawgivers whom gave forth the Concept of Law. This is why they are venerated in the Supreme Court artwork. It's not so much to do with religion but moreso with the secular concept of Law.
It is also on this basis that one could fairly support a Ten Commandments statue as its important basis in Ancient Law Theory and likewise deny a satanist statue as Satan is of coruse the non-religious basis for Lawlessness. Therefore if you put up a statue of Satan you would be condoning lawlessness. If you took down a statue of the Ten Commandments you would be condoning lawlessness.
It is not so much about saying you must follow this religion or that religion, but rather having respect for the Theory of Law.
'For one point you do not know whether Moses or Ur-Nammu came first as it is impossible to accurately date anything past 200 BC as the Gregorian Calendar and its basis the Julian Calendar were not in existence.'
sorry, why do you think its impossible to date past 200bc? It might not be 100% accurate but we are talking 600 years here and that is a huge swing.
@cedar The reason I believe it impossible to accurately date is given in the quote you have taken, because our modern calendar, the the calendar which it is based upon were non-existent. You will even notice in the most secular of histories that past the 200 BC mark no one can accurately give a date for anything. You yourself say that it might not be 100% accurate when Ur-Nammu lived or when Moses lived. How then do you know there is a 600 year difference? The simple answer is, you do not know, accurately, what date Ur-nammu nor Moses lived or even whom lived before whom, but are merely speculating.
This is a problem I believe with even secular and biiblical historians of this current day and age. That they always try to affix dates in our current calendar to times the pre-date the calendar. I would say, why get so hung up on dates you cannot prove. I would say look to the events, people groups, and civilizations that surround these figures to more accurately figure out whom lived before whom.
'The simple answer is, you do not know, accurately, what date Ur-nammu nor Moses lived or even whom lived before whom, but are merely speculating.'
i am sorry but to claim that archaeological and historical dating is 'merely speculating' is most disingenuous.
you do know that Hammurabi considerably predates Moses, by as much as 500 years depending on who you use for an estimate for the lifespan of the hypothetical Moses. (At least we're pretty confident that Hammurabi was a historical person).
Even if we accept that biblical figures have some basis in historical people, Abraham came from Sumeria and would likely have brought the code of Hammurabi with him – there's plenty of evidence even down to "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" appearing in both the code and the Bible.
Yes I understand your point and I do believe both Hammurabi and Moses are historical persons. Though I would argue you do not know whether or not Moses or Hammurabi existed first as it is impossible to date anything past 200 BC due to the Gregorian and Julian calendars not being in existence.
Secondly, by your own testimony that Abraham came from Sumeria, which I do beleive, you have therefore shown that Abraham could not have imported Hammurabi's Laws as Hammurabi was a king of the Babylonian Empire which existed well after the Sumerian and Akkadian Empires.
I believe similarities in the Hammurabi Code and Mosaic Law probably moreso arise from the conditions of their time rather than plagiarism. It would make perfect secular sense for cultures to have similar laws in a World with similar conditions I believe.
Kudos to you, very intriguing and meritorious of research indeed!
"Though I would argue you do not know whether or not Moses or Hammurabi existed first as it is impossible to date anything past 200 BC due to the Gregorian and Julian calendars not being in existence."
Wait, what? Have you every read anything about archeology, textual critisicm etc? We can most definitely give dates before 200 BCE (you do know they didn't use "BC" back then either right?). Granted the error of margin goes up (in general) the further back you go, but nothing like what you are trying to argue here.
Where did you even hear this argument?
Religion has to do with law as many of our common laws and laws that we still have today were designed around religion. Study it before you talk. Also, this country was founded based on religion so the ten commandments statue has every reason to be there. Read then ten commandments and you will see that out laws follow the same thing.. thou shall not kill.... we are not suppose to kill it is against the law. i could go on and on.
You can, go ahead, you have only stated one law, which applies in every form of ethics, religious or not. BTW they even changed that one to thou shall not murder so they could form armies to kill whomever they deemed enemies.
Shanelle: Please go on and tell us how many of the Ten Commandments are Federal laws. Then of those laws please point out which other of the world's major religions do not consider the same to be truths or law. I'm waiting to see this.
"... Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." – T. Jefferson
Needs more goat.
True. That thing doesn't look anything like a goat. Let me guess, some city boys designed it. 😉
Looks more like a dog with horns!
Satanists, Christians; same thing.
Agreed. They are all religious nuts completely out of their minds.
Atheism is also a religion.
Of course. And NOT collecting stamps is a hobby.
My hobbies include not skydiving, not deep sea diving, not bull riding, and not F1 racing.
Only in the minds of the mentally challenged.
Atheism is a religion the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Yes, and not collecting stamps is a hobby.
whoa! too many folks with the same non-hobby here!
scuze me while I don't collect some more stamps...
Wow. I didn't know you had the same hobby. Cool!
You all need to branch out and be more daring with your hobbies.
I for one enjoy, not Space tourism, not rock climbing, not running with the bulls, and not alligator wrestling, as my hobbies.
I know you are all wondering where does he find time to not do all these amazing things, but you can squeeze it in if your manage your time well.
Atheism is a religion? Really? Is not believing in Santa Claus a religion? Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? If you don't then, you have at least two religions! Make up your mind Easy! And careful, your God is gonna be mad at you for NOT believing in false idols! By your twisted logic, two negatives probably equal a positive.
No, it is not. It's the absence of. No matter what Rush and the wrecking crew tell you.
Next thing you know you'll be saying the lack of a belief in fairies is a religion.
This thing is an ugly and creepy eyesore. Who wants to sit on a seat where your bum will get burned?
Apparently this is a different group than the Church of Satan, who dont believe that Satan exists
Although we have the right to freedom of speech and religion, this disturbing statue has no significance, not only in Oklahoma, but in this country. This is a christian nation, it would be an absurdity to authorize this.
this is a secular nation.
America is NOT a Christian nation. If you want a Christian nation, there are plenty in Europe that you can go join. America was founded as a reaction AGAINST Christian nations.
I don't think there are many Christian nations in Europe. they outgrew that nonsense long ago.
American was founded by religious pilgrims who fled persecution Europe so that they could worship the way they wanted to. America is supposed to be a secular state in that the founders wanted a separation between Church and State and I think that we would all be better off if this was done. While I am a Christian, this group's efforts does serve to highlight that there should be a line between Church and State.
This is not a Christian nation.
This is not a christian nation... It is a nation with multiple religious attribute, or lack there of. That being said, I believe all religious value should be removed from government grounds. That way, no one can say one party is being treated more fairly than the next. In addition, there is to be separation between church and state, wasting public funds on this issue is insulting.
That's why our money says "In God we Trust" ... thats why our pledge of allegiance says "Under God" .... just because you say it isn't so, doesn't make it not so.
Both of those examples did not exist before the 1950's, and are not proofs that this is a Christian nation. They only exemplify that the country was trying to differentiate itself from Communist Russia, i.e. Red Scare.
Wow... totally embarassing yourself there bud. You may want to pick up a history book sometime instead of believing what your friends told you. (PS – you can TOTALLY get pregnant the first time).
So you are saying "although we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, I declare some people don't have either because I don't like them." Well who elected you King of America? OH, that's right, No one.
And no, history shows we have never been a Christian Nation. Except for maybe Glenn Bec'ks wacky classroom chats with chalkboards on Faux News.
We have the right to freedom of speech and religion, this disturbing statue has great significance, not only in Oklahoma, but in this country. This is a Satanist nation, it would be an absurdity to not sit on this.
what an ignorant , that is not even satan, its just an fugly image which cannot hear, speak nor see. satan is DOOMED and will be vanquish, satan is a dog on a leash being control by his master, and his final destination is h e l l for eternity along with his followers.
Ah the old "pagans worship the idol of wood" line. Never happened. Polytheists used statues as a focus for speaking to their god of choice, not the god itself. Otherwise there would have been hundreds if not thousands of Zeus'. There wasn't, there was one Zeus, but many statues dedicated to him.
We are a free nation not just a Christian Nation. We also have separation of church and state. Christianity is not exempt.
Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
HA and that is the main reason why evil has taking over this nation, and the reason why we are no longer the "biggest country" on the world, and why we will be in no time what we will be. 🙂
nations rise and fall. stop pretending it is because of some imaginary deity.
TruthHurts: Uh, this country is not the "biggest" country because we don't have the land mass of Russia, Canada or China. The US has been the fourth largest country for a while and will likely continue that trend.
Exactly what "evil" are you referring to? And point some direct correlation from the "evil" to the downfall. Please show all your work.
Take them all down, we don't need any, period.
satan seems to be the victim of a smear campaign perpetrated by the followers of the cruel monster that inspired the jews.
🙂 🙂 Route 66 🙂 🙂
Hey, I have the perfect solution! Remove the Ten Commandments display and you won't have to allow any other display, including the one by the Satanists. They really have three options:
1) Remove the Ten Commandments display voluntarily.
2) Keep the Ten Commandments display, but allow other groups to have their own display, making the Oklahoma State Capitol an "open forum."
3) Waste hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars fighting the ACLU's lawsuit (which they WILL lose and be forced to pay the ACLU attorney's fees) and have the Ten Commandments displayed removed by a court order.
The choice is theirs.
Please please please please please, to all the gods in the seven heavens and all the outer planes, please let the courts force them to abide by #2.
I don't think the courts can force them to abide by #2. They would have to voluntarily open this up as an open forum. However, if they do make this an open forum, but they refused to accept the Satanist's monument, the Satanist could sue as a violation of free speech and then the court could (and probably would) compel them to accept the monument.
Hmm, so let's indulge these satanists for a moment.
If they believe Satan is a merely a literary construct; why do they worship what is literally considerred the most stupid and unwise of all literary characters?
As the article said they dont actually worship satan.
Yes I am aware of this. As the article say they worship Satan as a "literary construct."
Thus my question: why worship the most stupid and unwise of all literary characters?
if you are aware of it why do you insist on still claiming they 'worship' satan?
Observe how it is They who claim They worship Satan. They worship Satan as a literary device, but worship him nonetheless by their own account.
So I posit thrice more:
If they worship Satan as a literary character, why worship the most supremely unintelligent literary character?
'Observe how it is They who claim They worship Satan. They worship Satan as a literary device, but worship him nonetheless by their own account.'
no they dont claim to worship satan, at all, not in any place in the article do they claim 'worship' of satan. satan to them is more a symbol. Think of it as people know sherlock holmes is a literary device but that doesnt stop people using him as a symbol of what they think a detective should be like.
Does anyone get the point here?
The point here not to erect a statue to baphomet but to show up the christians as hypocrites. As not really caring about freedom of religion at all, but only trying to push their own particular brand of bronze age voodoo.
none of the religious ever truly believe in freedom of religion.
You miss the point. It has nothing to do with "poking fun" at Christians. It's about showing that once you let a religious group put up a statue or whatever in a public place, you have to let others do so as well, and that that is NOT okay with most fundamental Christians. For them freedom of religion means freedom to worship Jesus alone.
it is about time for the minority in this nation to find their voice and stop being trampled by the majority.