January 7th, 2014
10:00 AM ET

Satanists unveil design for OK statehouse statue

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(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. bgbgbg

    The Devil tricked Adam and Eve to eat the fruit which brought sin into the world. If that never happened, there would be no sin. Therefore, the Devil is the "bad guy".

    January 8, 2014 at 8:00 am |
    • truthprevails1

      No, sin is not a thing outside of the bible. No evidence of Adam and Eve or hell or heaven or god or satan....just stories meant to fool the weak of heart and gullible...stories to make you feel like you're less of a person than you are.

      January 8, 2014 at 8:30 am |
    • Lightbringer

      Actually the devil didn't trick anybody. He told them the truth and it made god angry.

      January 8, 2014 at 10:52 am |
    • Or

      All of you could be wrong and it would be a parable for a half a dozen useful things none of you have even thought of before.

      January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
  2. bgbgbg

    Look at all these accepting atheist complaining how christians are so full of hate. kind of funny actually.

    January 8, 2014 at 7:57 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Do you see Atheists here telling gays they are sinning? Do you see Atheists telling women not to have abortions or use birth control? Do you see Atheists threatening people with imaginary places such as hell for not believing the same?

      Oh right, the answer for all of that is a resounding NO...it would be the christians doing that stuff...now tell us again who is hate filled.

      January 8, 2014 at 8:33 am |
    • gladiatorgrl

      what's NOT funny is how ignorant it is to think people should just be passive while one shoves a whack make believe religion down their throat.

      January 8, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Lightbringer

      What is an accepting atheist?

      January 8, 2014 at 10:53 am |
  3. Boredwiththis

    When is Lucifer going to stop this "hiding in plain sight" nonsense? Just take over the world and get it over with, already. Good grief. -_-

    January 8, 2014 at 7:07 am |
    • Sean H.

      Horror just gets worse all the time. Wizards are now Harry Potter, vampires are now full of glitter and hair gel, next thing you know Freddie will be wearing a suit and tie.

      January 8, 2014 at 8:26 am |
    • Sean H.

      replied in wrong place Point stands.

      January 8, 2014 at 8:27 am |
  4. Colin

    "Any monument displayed on state property should reflect the values of Oklahoma or memorialize those who built or defended our freedom," said Rep. Bob Cleveland on Tuesday. "In my opinion this satanist monument does not met with the values of Oklahomans'"

    That's why we have separation of church and state. To avoid majority religious views from being favored by the state over the views of the many minority religions. "If there is any fixed star in our const.itutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." – Sup Crt. Justice Jackson

    January 8, 2014 at 6:19 am |
    • devin

      I try not to make a habit of agreeing with degenerate, spiritually depraved atheists ( I'm kidding) but on this I wholeheartedly concur.

      January 8, 2014 at 6:25 am |
    • Science Works

      AP – wire story .


      January 8, 2014 at 6:26 am |
    • Stephen Hacknit

      See people like you are the kind of people who can actually think in this country

      January 8, 2014 at 8:10 am |
    • Jason

      Unless we are talking about forcing Catholics to pay for birth control and abortions. Then the president and ruling left can force their beliefs on people.

      January 8, 2014 at 9:23 am |
      • gladiatorgrl

        Catholics are more than FREE to start their OWN business economy and do business any way they choose in that economy. In the UNITED STATES SECULAR economy – we don't IMPOSE religious believes on employees. That's how we the people roll.

        January 8, 2014 at 9:28 am |
  5. NY, Land of the Free(loading) atheist First Responders. They'll civilize OK.

    $$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂 $$$$$$$$$$$$

    January 8, 2014 at 5:36 am |
    • Science Works

      Fun fact who said heaven is a fairy story ? clue he is 72 today.

      January 8, 2014 at 6:06 am |
      • Colin

        I think the answer to that question is blowing in the wind, yes the answer is blowing in the wind.....

        January 8, 2014 at 6:21 am |
      • truthprevails1

        All hail Elvis 🙂

        January 8, 2014 at 8:27 am |
  6. Follower of Jesus Christ

    I'm amazed at the amount of hate that's coming from these comments. So, it seems that Christians are supposed to be tolerant of all non-Christians, but Christians should not be tolerated? You speak of hypocrisy as if you are innocent of it. Most of the comments I've read on here are low class and childish. Jesus loves you still.

    January 8, 2014 at 4:49 am |
    • Holy troller

      I think it's a fair assessment that most CNN belief blog posters are not religious.

      January 8, 2014 at 4:57 am |
      • Follower of Jesus Christ

        Some of my best friends are non-believers. It's ok. We treat each other with respect and kindness. There is no requirement that I can place on any of them, nor them on me to believe in something that we choose not to.

        January 8, 2014 at 5:07 am |
    • sam stone

      isn't that sweet. jesus loves us and, if we love him back, he will intercede and convince daddy not to open up a can of eternal whoop-a-s-s on us

      January 8, 2014 at 5:09 am |
  7. Gifts from militant atheists should be X-rayed. Call in the ATF on OT.

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

    January 8, 2014 at 4:34 am |
    • midwest rail

      lol??, good to see you're still here.

      January 8, 2014 at 5:12 am |
  8. Where the Wild Things Are

    Max sailed away, for a year and a day to the land where the wild things are....


    January 8, 2014 at 4:00 am |

    Why are all you rednecks worshiping a Jew?
    Don't you have any pride in your own ethnicity?
    SHAME on you for betrayal of yourself, your family & ancestors.
    Cowards. 1diots. Hypocrites.

    January 8, 2014 at 3:56 am |
  10. JC

    Oh this is rich. Nearly fell off my chair laughing. Really, I don't think these people are real Satanists at all, probably a knock off shallow version that Americans think a satanists should be, like they do their Christians and whatever else.

    Satan wasn't a Furry, people. He was a fallen angel... Well, purported to be a Fallen Angel, because it's just a bunch of hooey anyway.

    January 8, 2014 at 2:22 am |
    • Oh Look More Stupid People

      Dang, tryhards be too edgy.

      January 8, 2014 at 2:58 am |
  11. will

    The biblical satan was a fallen angel, not some goat-man adopted by the church to shame paganism, is it cool if i build a monument to my imaginary friend too?

    January 8, 2014 at 1:59 am |
    • Where the Wild Things Are

      Watch the movie it looks like Judith


      January 8, 2014 at 4:13 am |
  12. l33ter

    Why a man-goat?

    Why not a man-goat-bear-eagle-pig?

    January 8, 2014 at 1:43 am |
  13. Halvin Snurk

    Half human half goat? That looks like the offspring of many Oklahoma trysts.

    Most common phrase of Oklahoma orphans: "Are ewe my fa-a-a-ather?"

    January 8, 2014 at 1:29 am |
  14. avenbrauer90

    What about Buddha?

    January 8, 2014 at 1:27 am |
    • George

      He had the wisdom to stay the heck out of a cesspool like Oklahoma.

      January 8, 2014 at 1:34 am |
      • Elizabeth

        Don't hate George.

        January 8, 2014 at 2:18 am |
  15. Ed

    how can the ten commandments have historical relation but satan (from the same book of myths) not have historical precedent? silly christians

    January 8, 2014 at 1:02 am |
    • Ja

      Go to hell

      January 8, 2014 at 1:05 am |
      • Alfie, minion of Gozer

        Doesn't exist. Mississippi would be a good substitute though.

        January 8, 2014 at 1:13 am |
      • sam stone

        ooooh, hell

        a scary place for those who believe in it

        for the rest of us, it is just a empty proxy threat

        January 8, 2014 at 5:18 am |
  16. The Real Satan

    How I have destroyed humanity:

    1. Pretend to be God, write a book full of evil portrayed as good
    2. Provide cover within that book for people to believe their basest prejudices and dislikes are good.
    3. Destroy society by having all the different branches of my religions fight each other over the smallest things
    4. Tell petty people that their prejudices are necessary and inclusion and compassion must be fought as the ultimate evil.

    I mean, really, you write down where I tell people to massacre a whole town, down to infants, and save the virgins to be involuntarily 'married', say it's OK to beat a slave almost to death so long as they don't immediately die – and you idiots call this the "Good" book?

    January 8, 2014 at 1:01 am |
    • Alfie, minion of Gozer

      Yeah, but he got 80% of us to never read the whole thing, and 100% of us to just do what we want and pretend that's God's real will anyway. It's not like any of us will ever give our money to the poor.

      January 8, 2014 at 1:10 am |
    • NotJesusFanboy

      u just summarize Christianity there.. pin point accurate.... Bible = hypocrisy at its peak

      January 8, 2014 at 3:27 am |
    • The Real Islam

      THAT'S EXACTLY what we are fighting against!!!
      You are drunk in your own utter ridiculousness... As everyone knows, the aftermath of the devil himself is HellFire for eternity! Anyways still, you guys aren't winning!

      January 8, 2014 at 5:02 am |
      • sam stone

        "everyone knows"?

        January 8, 2014 at 5:20 am |
  17. Rev

    As a Christian I say remove the 10 commandments immediately and put it in a synagogue.....

    January 8, 2014 at 1:01 am |
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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.