January 7th, 2014
10:00 AM ET

Satanists unveil design for OK statehouse statue

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Why?

    Why does this statue give me dejavu?

    January 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
    • coral

      The Pieta without the face of Mary or the Christchild across her lap? Or a few Greek temple statues with different heads.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
    • Where the Wild Things Are

      It looks like that kids' book/movie Where the Wild things are.

      January 8, 2014 at 4:07 am |
  2. TIm

    The Moral of the story is in a country that was founded on the premises of separation of Church ans State, and no not all the Founding Fathers were Christians as some believe if you don't believe me look it up its a matter of public record and history, also that believes in Equal protections for all, not just Christians, when you give one group special privileges others are going to follow, if this group is denied for any reason that sounds like a case of favoritism it leaves grounds for a suit based on discrimination. If they didn't want situations like this to arrive then don't put religious items on public state grounds simple as that.

    January 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
    • stillaramsfan

      Separation of church and state simply means that the federal government cannot force people into a specific religion. It does not guarantee that citizens will be separated FROM all religion. Unfortunately, there have been many over time, including members of SCOTUS that put their personal ideologies on the meaning of the 1st Amendment, rather than stick to it steadfast. Moreover, if a branch of a state/county/city government chooses to erect a "statue" because it is in-line with what the citizens believe/practice, then so be it. The erecting of a statue isn't "FORCING" anyone into Christianity. So, while you are correct that there were some of our founding fathers that were not Christian, what you are overlooking is the real meaning of the 1st Amendment, which is the whole reason that all agreed to it - so a government couldn't force it's citizenry (which protected those of them that were non-Christian) to practice a particular faith. But, it doesn't automatically protect citizens from religious symbols, churches, statues, etc., in their communities, towns, states.

      January 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
      • Alton Copland

        The problem with your logic is that if Oklahoma only allows Christian imagery to be erected and excludes other legitimate religious organizations from participating they are favoring one religion over another and are therefore endorsing said religion. As such, if they are to deny this statue the right to exist (and presumably the right to erect statues from the Hindus and Pastafarians as the article has suggested) they've denoted one religion as being more meaningful or worthy than the others, which IS state endorsed religion and IS a violation of Church and State.
        The second point you raise is moot. Private citizens and religious organizations are certainly allowed to erect whatever religious imagery they'd like on their properties. That's their right. However, this isn't about that at all. This issue concerns a government owned piece of land, and is therefore subject to different rules and regulations.
        I'm sorry, but you're way off base with your logic.

        January 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • bcs2006

        The establishment clause is a two parter:

        The government wont establish a religion explicitly by law, or implicitly by extending unequal legal benefits to one faith over the other.

        Pretty much every single legal precedent on this subject affirms that.

        January 8, 2014 at 9:40 am |
  3. A Banana Republic needs a mutant chimp statue, with a barrelful of lies.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    January 7, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
    • Billy

      I have to assume this is lol??'s new modus operandi. (Or maybe Salero/His Panic) I like it, especially since even more meaningless than before.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
  4. Robert Raulerson

    " My brother had lucid moments and he could be funny. He once told Peter that he was the 'rock' he would build his church on. Me and Judas were the only ones who got the joke. We both fell down laughing. Hoo Boy! What a shaky rock!"

    Jessica Christ
    The Missiah.

    January 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
  5. Jose Diola

    Atheist World, the psychopath's heaven!! Future looks good in Oklahoma. I can't wait to hear a satanist pastor in TV!!!

    January 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
  6. Fern Brooks


    January 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Dear Fern,

      please don't SHOUT. It hurts my eyes.

      Thank you.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jorgen

      Your stupidity is astounding. First of all, turn off your caps lock. Secondly, try reading a book (besides the bible) once in a while. People like you are the reason your country is in the toilet. Disgusting.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
      • End Times

        You know, if people like you would spend even half as much time defending God as you do defending the Devil, then even someone like you might could be saved. By the way, Lucifer says, "Thank You", and your reward is waiting for you. In hell...

        January 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Yeah, your god's a bigger glutton for torture than bin Laden or Hitler. We get it. He's still an azzhole, even if he can inflict eternal torture.

          January 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • BREAD

          Cool!!! Hope it's an i pad

          January 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Euell Gibbons

      Fern Brooks... Fern Brooks... sounds familiar

      Did you ever lick a river?

      January 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • coral

      Get off it. Deities are amoral – they have nothing like or to do with – our moral standards. Actually, that isn't necessarily always a bad thing. I suppose that Jehovah was always a good guy?

      January 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • JWT

      Satanism is not evil.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
      • End Times

        Rest assured, you'll have plenty of time to discuss that issue in hell...

        January 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Any evidence of heaven and hell and the entry criteria?

          January 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I'm sorry, schadenfreuder, but I just couldn't hang out with some azzhole who allows human beings to be tortured forever and ever in a pit of fire. I'd be so busy vomiting between begging your terrorist d!ck of a god to allow those people out or just end it all to really enjoy such a "heaven" from a terrorist tyrant like you worship. Good luck. Osama bin Laden and Hitler got nothing on your god who slaughters an entire planet's worth of women, children, and fetuses by drowning. Can anyone think of a bigger azzhole? No.

          January 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • JWT

          I'm going to Saskatchewan ? Fancy that and noone told me..

          January 7, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
    • Venn

      The only people who view Satan as evil are rival, enemy religions. Kinda how only rival, enemy countries view the USA as evil, right? If we can see through that for ourselves, why trust what Christians have to say about Satan?

      January 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
    • bcs2006

      God kills a few million people out of jealousy or spite in the bible

      Satan racks up a massive kill count of 10-13.

      AND God was nice enough to create satan, so theres that.

      Really, who is more evil?

      January 8, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  7. Satan

    This is how I planned to destroy humanity.
    1. Deceive all people that there is no GOD.
    2. Make a politically correct and intelligent people 'Atheist' protect my intentions (abortions, satanist, ridicule religion, convert people to atheism, SATANISM)
    3. Psychopaths must be unchained.
    4. Destroy morality and society by locking good people up with the will.
    5. Hitler reborn.


    January 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
    • Akira

      Sure thing there, sparky.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      doesnt satan know what the bible claims the end game is?

      January 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • Opposing View

        Yes, Lucifer is well aware of what the end game is, and he is well aware that he's going to loose (and shall be cast into the lake to burn forever). The problem is, most people on earth are so deceived and so stupid, they're the ones who are failing to believe it. Thus, they'll be joining Lucifer in the lake...

        January 7, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • Cedar Rapids

          Kind of makes the whole thing pointless then doesn't it?

          January 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • bcs2006

          I love you "good christian" types.

          You are so pious and righteous, but you would be perfectly fine in eternity with the knowledge that there are innumerable souls suffering the worst imaginable torture forever because they answered a yes or no question incorrectly in the eyes of your spiritual boss.

          Truly good people wouldn't be ok with that at all. Ever.

          January 8, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • Mopery

      Full-on Godwin already?

      January 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
    • Venn

      Or, trick some guy named Paul to hijack Jesus from the Jews, make him a blasphemous co-god with YHWH, and use that to torment God's chosen people for thousands of years.

      As far as I can tell, it's working perfectly!

      January 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • Like, God, for Realz

        Dude, I like you, straight up. Not many people caught that one.

        January 7, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • G to the T


        January 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  8. Robert Raulerson

    " Today you call it 'Suicide by Cop'. Back then we called it 'Suicide by Centurion'. He wanted it over. He was tired of hearing voices and seeing things that weren't there. The last thing he said was, 'It is finished.'. He was glad. And you've turned it into – what? A way out? A scapegoat? You're not even bi-polar. You're just a lamo."

    Jessica Christ
    The Missiah.

    January 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
    • Opposing View

      Haven't you heard...

      Exodus 20:7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain...

      And here's another scripture you might want to keep in mind:

      Matthew 12:26 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment…

      January 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Those "rules" come from a disgusting terrorist who slaughtered an entire planet's worth of men, women, children, and fetuses and who allows people to endure ETERNAL fiery tortue, so fvck that azzhole!

        January 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • End Times

          Does saying all that make you feel better? Do saying all that make you feel superior? If so, then enjoy it while you can, fool. Because your day is coming. And you'll have an eternity in the lake to ponder your stupidity…

          January 7, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • Steve

          @ endtimes. You are not a good person. In fact after seeing your posts I think you are a self righteous, pious piece of fecal matter.

          January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
      • Damocles

        That is certainly not how that song goes.

        January 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
  9. Wierd.

    It looks cute, comforting and cuddly. Not what I'd expect.

    January 7, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
    • Venn

      No more scary than Bullwinkle the Moose.

      January 7, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
      • Rocket J. Squirrel

        "Hey Eva, watch me pull an apple off of this tree!"

        "Again? That trick never works"

        "This time for sure!"

        January 8, 2014 at 4:20 am |
        • G to the T

          "Help! I appear to be on FIRE!" Wow... that works a lilttle too well...

          January 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
  10. Robert Raulerson

    " All of the disciples didn't run that day. The Disciple That Jesus Loved didn't run. You ask me why he was called the one Jesus loved. Why do you think? You have a brain. Don't you?

    Jessica Christ
    The Missiah.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
    • Akira

      Are you making this up? Hilarious.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
      • Willis Fitnurbut

        No that's in the bible;)

        January 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
  11. Selfie

    Who is going to "plank" on Satan first?

    January 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
  12. Agnostic

    Well I get the point. It's going to be EXTRA hard for me to try and convince an atheist that lion, bat, llama guy might possibly exist somewhere unchecked (outside of a South Park episode of course). I know this of course but seeing it in picture form drives the point home for me.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
  13. Mopery


    January 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
  14. Catholic Gentile Sentries

    January 08, 2014

    What is Happening in the United States of America, Why Are Americans allowing situations where Catholic Priests are Being Murdered ( As what happened to a an American Catholic Priests in California ) by individuals who possibly exhibit physical signs of Demonic possession, While allowing and I quote "satanists" to Wrongfully erect a Monument of "satan" in the State capital of Oklahoma.

    Where is the Presence of RATIONALITY, JUSTICE and TRUTH that comes from SINCERE FAITH in GOD YAHWEH, GOD JESUS CHRIST and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT.

    Where are the AMERICANS of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA who said " IN GOD ( HOLY GOD of Abraham ) We TRUST

    Let the Catholic Gentile Sentries PRAY to Saint Michael the Arch Angel during this times when the Spiritual Battle Between GOOD and evil has become Temporal in Nature.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • JWT

      Satanists are good people and have the same rights that catholics do. The next case of demonic possession will be the very first.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • Akira

      That unfortunate priest was murdered by a mentally ill person, and in no way represents a trend here in America.
      The police dropped the ball there.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There is no God of Abraham. There are no demons. There is help for you, though. See your doctor. And remember, you're not in this alone.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      What is happening here on this post? Why are Americans randomly using the CAPS LOCK key and randomly Capitalizing words without reason.
      Surely this is the work of Demons and It forebodes The future Of our Society. Please, Flying Spaghetti Monster, heal them all. In your sauce, I Pray, Ramen.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
    • Willis Fitnurbut

      Schizophrenia can be controlled with medication you know. You should look into it if you think demons are possessing people.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Where is the Presence of RATIONALITY, JUSTICE and TRUTH that comes from SINCERE FAITH in GOD YAHWEH, GOD JESUS CHRIST and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. '

      It is nowhere because it has never existed.

      January 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
  15. achepotle

    They are just having some fun...at least they don't take their shyte seriously like the reta@rd xtians.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
  16. Gollum

    Here's a quote from the New Testament everyone overlooks, because they think it's too easy to understand: "The Devil is a Liar." Here's another one that people miss too: "What is truth?"

    January 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
    • Uncommon Sense

      Interesting, because while asking what is truth, the Bible contradicts itself all over the place. At the same time Satan is a liar, isn't the Bible lying when it opposes itself?

      January 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  17. Vic

    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,” Wesselhoft said.

    Folks, how can someone think such a spectacle—Satanists' blunder—can help their cause?!

    January 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • Paul

      Vic, your wacky, illogical posts don't help your cause either.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
  18. Robert Raulerson

    " Yes, I distracted the Centurions that night when they removed his body from the tomb – and yes, I'm sure you can imagine how I did it. You men – you beg us to do these things then curse us after you've finished."

    Jessica Christ
    The Missiah.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • Akira

      This is very, very funny...reminds me of something Christopher Moore would write...or AB.

      January 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
  19. Robert Raulerson

    "When we were children, my brother was convinced he could walk upon the surface of the Jordan River. I had to pull him out before he drowned. I tried to teach him how to swim, but he couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time."

    Jessica Christ
    The Missiah.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
    • Jane

      This is hilarious....

      January 7, 2014 at 7:19 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.