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. Christian

    This is absurd, while our Christian rights are being thrown aside these twisted people want to serve and flaunt the very thing that is destroying them? I don't think they realize the insanity that his behind this statue, the rot of the mind that serves it? This is not a game, it is not funny it is reality. The future of the next life is at stake and someone wants to glorify the horrible end they have chosen for their true selves in the afterlife? It is a sad state of mind that even puts this on a news page. It is called 'evil' for a reason, it is the wrongness of life, pain, suffering beyond what the mind can imagine, it is the worst nightmare a person will ever have when they reach that reality of this life form that inflicts pain, not happiness. It is the worst mistake you will ever make following this thought pattern, this worst form of evil doing.

    January 19, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • bacbik

      too long.. too boring.. too much BS...

      January 19, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • ME II

        ... and yet you add more to it?

        January 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • evelyn

      "while our Christian rights are being thrown aside"

      nothing more pathetic than the Christian living in the U.S. who constantly screams "persecution"

      January 19, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • Geoff

        It's like listening to rich white males tell you what victims they are. Which I have heard many times, by the way.

        January 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • richard miller

          I couldn't hear over the internet pee I am splashing over your head.I feel less threatened now

          January 19, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
    • ME II

      What rights of yours are being thrown aside? The right to exclusive representation on government property?

      January 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Hear This


      Sure, let's have more of those ancient to.rture devices (crosses) all around - the ones that were so pleasing to that blood-thirsty monster god of yours.

      You don't realize the insanity that is behind those items and the rot of the mind that regards them as good. The fact that it makes you feel all fu.zzy-warm inside is telling and chilling.

      No-one knows *anything* for certain about any afterlife. Keep your fantasies private - and that goes for *all* superst/ition-laden supernaturalists.

      January 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Blip


      January 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Sorry–but there are no "Christian rights" in this country–only "rights". They are rights that we all enjoy equally, regardless of religion. One of those rights is that the government cannot favor any religions, or prohibit anyone from exercising their religion. So in effect, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Your rights do not include forcing your religion on anyone, or stopping anyone from practicing their religion–distasteful as it may be to you.

      If you don't want things like this, then tell your state representatives to remove all religious monuments from public property. If you open the door to one, you open the door to all of them–including ones you don't approve of.

      This is why we have "separation of church and state". It's in your interest to uphold that wall and build it up high and strong. You may not always be in the majority. Who knows? Someday if that wall of separation comes down, and we have things like an official religion and mandatory prayer in schools, your children might be told to face Mecca and pray to Allah, or perhaps to kneel and pray to Beelzebub or Baphomet.

      January 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • D

      No – the worst evil is the fundamentalist christian view that they think they deserve preferential treatment or they're being martyred.

      Keep your faith out of my politics. This is the end result of the religious movement to force their faith onto others.

      January 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • Guy of the Century

        I see another stereotype that because some Christians forced religion on others it must mean ALL Christians force their faith on others. How completely unbiased.

        January 28, 2014 at 3:46 am |
    • DSharp

      How about YOU focus on the next life... and let these people do what they want in this life.

      Self-righteous, aggressive Christians are the ones who started this feud... it wasn't enough to wear their faith on their sleeves, instead it must be enshrined on government property. Problem is that we have a secular government (if you don't like that, you can move to Iran). If you don't want to be exposed to other people's values and beliefs, you shouldn't have forced your own upon them.

      "It is not that which enters the mouth that defiles a man, but that which comes out of the mouth will defile the man." Gospel of Thomas

      January 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
  2. Donnie Darko and Frank

    If a person from a parallel universe snuck through and told us the world would end in 28 days 14 hours twelve minutes and seven seconds, how many people would assume the giant rabbit with one missing eye was "Satan" due to confirmation bias?

    January 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
  3. Fina Man


    January 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • cleareye1

      I love the goatman! What a refreshing change of pace and would actually educate some people.

      January 18, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
  4. saggyroy


    January 18, 2014 at 8:46 am |
  5. Winston Blake

    Somebody, please tell us where Satan comes from... The Jewish religion...


    January 18, 2014 at 8:37 am |
  6. Winston Blake

    Illiterate, ignorant people... Satan is a Jewish deity... the 10 Commandments are Jewish...

    January 18, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • Satan

      So what? You want I should save you a piece of cake from the Deli next time, yenta? Oy vey.

      January 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
    • Aesop Rock

      Christianity also came from the Jewish religion.

      January 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
  7. M.R.

    I was just thinking about this from a toaster discussion.

    Satan would have to be...

    a.) The prettiest angel (you know angel as in the winged guys with the long blond eighties hair)

    b.) A musician (according to the Bible)

    c.) How many metal songs hail Satan at this point? All of them?

    d.) Supposed to be around somewhere.

    He's Erick Brittingham. Yes folks, the guy from Cinderella. I think it's him. Or maybe Sebastian Bach from Skid Row.

    All I know for sure is Satan was live and in concert somewhere in 1986, and we never knew it.

    January 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
    • I'm Ennery The Eighth I Am

      I always thought K.C. and the Sunshine Band was as close to hell as one could experience on this planet.

      January 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • M.R.

        Lol. I don't know I think Miley Cyrus is worse.

        January 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Maybe you're thinking of SAnTANa.

      January 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
      • Spot

        Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil
        If she doesn't scare you
        no evil thing will
        To see her is to take a
        sudden chill!

        January 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • M.R.

          CC Deville?

          January 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
  8. macarter

    There perception of Satan is a figment of their imagination. Which is totally off. Satan is not some hideous looking angel. He is an archangel, described has an angel of light and the morning star. That does not sound hideous. He is just a deceiver of the brethren. And his mission is to dupe everyone in thinking like he does, which is to exalt themselves above who God is. Funny I might had. If there purpose is to get followers of their false religion, in all actuality this statue would scare and run people away because of it appearance. Just saying

    January 17, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • Alien Z.

      Also people claim to see him a lot, is that significant? Nobody here seems to think it is.

      January 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • If Jesus can be a Cheeto, Satan can be a toaster

        Satan is right here. Now you would think that a Christian would rid herself of Satan, but he does make good toast, and that is reason enough to live with Satan in your house.


        Jesus is fighting back by putting his image on fish sticks and potato chips:


        January 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • M.R.

          Well it is a "metal" toaster after all.

          January 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • Winston Blake

          Satan is a Jewish deity...


          January 18, 2014 at 8:08 am |
        • Rock on

          Satan, the Jewish metal head. I like it.

          January 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
    • M.R.

      I think it's ironic that the prettiest angel according to story is always portrayed with hooves and horns.

      January 17, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
      • Are Ewe My Fa-a-a-a-a-ather?

        To a culture of peasant rural sheep tenders, hooves and horns might get awful attractive after a while.

        January 17, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • M.R.

          That joke was baaaa ad. 😉

          January 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • Dandintac


          January 17, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
  9. ronvan

    WHY? Do some list a worthless diatribe of so called "facts" when all you are doing is using someones OPINION! Here is a question that I continue to ask, and as yet have not received any answer. Which side, Christian or Atheist, or anyone else, can PROVE 100%, beyond doubt, that either sides point of beleif is right? NO ONE! While I belive and have faith in MY God & Savior, it does not mean that I blindly accept things as the ultimate truth! The bible is a wonderfull book, however, lets not forget that it and its content have been written by HUMANS! Stories embellished, changed, omitted, and transcribed by HUMANS, doing the writing in their period of time. I know of NO religious book, I.E. bible, that people say is the one & only original, never rewritten book? Christians raise cain over Atheists, and in this case the statue! So an easy answer, for me, is to simply remove any & all religious items from city, state, federal land? BUT, if done, which land is left?
    And for me, in looking at this statue, it brings to mind, "worshiping false gods", but that is just a continuation of this same, age old, fight!

    January 17, 2014 at 10:01 am |
    • Alien Z.

      "Here is a question that I continue to ask, and as yet have not received any answer. Which side, Christian or Atheist, or anyone else, can PROVE 100%, beyond doubt, that either sides point of beleif is right?"

      My sentiments exactly, especially when I see both sides dismissing possible evidence. Of what I don't know, but worth looking at...absolutely.

      January 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • Barcs

        The difference is that one side makes up evidence and points to circu_mstancial or subjective things as evidence and the other side references science. Dismissing subjective evidence is fine because by definition it does not prove something. Dismissing scientific fact, however, is ridiculous.

        January 27, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
  10. Bendertheoffender

    I can't wait for them to build and erect the statue so I can smash it into a thousand pieces and I will do it because in this PC world I can say that "It Offended me" and get away with it.
    So devil worshipers get ready to meet Mr. Smash and my Sledge Hammer Big Earl, coming to a town near you!

    January 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • macarter

      Ha Ha HA so funny. I pray that the angel of the Lord will be encamped around about you as you smash it. And I say that because I do believe you reverence (fear) the Lord. God Bless you

      January 17, 2014 at 11:36 am |
  11. Dave Harris

    I think I'd rather see a Pastafarian monument to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. There is a long secret tradition of this in Oklahoma.

    January 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • Oklahoma Steakhouse

      I don't know pasta can be full of carbs, this guy with the hooves and the horns looks like a good old Western dinner to me.

      January 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Dr E

    Puhleez! A statue of the devil in the bible belt...yeah, ok. Nice try guys.

    January 16, 2014 at 12:21 am |
  13. Favorite 80's video


    January 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • Favorite 80's video

      Darn why won't it load?


      January 15, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
  14. SPI

    The state of Kansas capitol building being refurbished had called for a Greek statue a top of it, lawmakers went insane as it was a pagan god. So the installed a Native American ( who needless to say was not a Christian and Christianity is an import to the US not a native religion of North America) but when you can put 2 and 2 together you don't think of that connection till the 4200 lb statue is atop the dome.

    January 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
  15. What's in a name?

    I may be wrong but isn't "Satan" not a name, exactly? I thought "satan" was a word meaning "enemy", like it could refer to more than one individual? Am I wrong on this?

    January 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • Chris

      Satan means accuser.

      January 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
      • What's in a name?

        Thank you, so then I would assume anybody can accuse anybody of anything.

        January 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • kirsteny

        I was pretty sure it means adversary

        February 16, 2014 at 12:16 am |
    • mzh

      In Islam –

      First of all we have very limited knowledge about Satan… its just people make things up…

      One of the nations (i.e. human is one nation) that God The Almighty created is “Jinn” (Arabic word), among them some are submitted to The Creator (Muslim) and some are not, like human kind some believes that there is A Creator and there are some associates partner (s).

      The disobedient one is called in ‘Satan’ and the one who disobeyed the order of the Lord Almighty to prostrate on Adam is call ‘Iblis’…

      So here is the summary:

      Iblis – the one who disobey the command
      Satan – the ones who are not being obedient (plural is Shayateen)
      Jinn – the nation

      – We do not see jinn but they do see us,
      – They have male and female,
      – They have free will like human
      – They do not have power over human except whisper to heart of a man and take the human away from the believe of Oneness of The Lord Almighty (pure monotheism).

      I hope this will help a little…


      January 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • Ted

        mzh, your entire religion of terror is about a made up deity. Please stop trying to sell people on it here. You and your religion are disgusting.

        January 16, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • WiccanRede

          Isn't all religion made up of made up deities? Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed, etc were people, but just Prophet's. God is also a made up deity as is the Goddess etc. It's to give the people something to find comfort and believe in. Islam, is a major religion. I believe you are confusing the Taliban (terrorists, even found here in the United States ) with Islam ( A religion based on peace ) So I would go back to the library and do a little research. The term Jihad (is a spiritual war ) not physical which was twisted in terms by the Taliban.

          January 17, 2014 at 4:19 am |
  16. jose yibrin

    that's why USA is going falling down ; the excessive of freedom, I can call it: "debauchery"; how this can be permit?.
    that's why Oklahoma every year get hit for TORNADOS, the rely GOD OF HAVEN in ENGRY.
    CNN said NO ABUSE in the comments, but looks the must of the people that comments are SATANIC because they laugh in them.

    January 15, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • Aesop Rock

      They aren't satanic, they are mostly atheists, who are likely to support this because it's only fair since Christians already have a monument. Funny how somebody can be upset with excess of freedom. The way I see, if your action does not physically harm another person or cause suffering to others then there is no reason to deny it. That's simple empathy as taught by Jesus.

      January 15, 2014 at 10:18 am |
      • jose yibrin

        How they are ATHEISTS; IF THEY BELIEVE in satan, also this people must believe in GOD OF HAVEN.
        How do we know about JESUS; same like Abraham lincol, and others: History books THE BIBLE.

        January 15, 2014 at 10:45 am |
      • Observer

        jose yibrin,

        It is highly unlikely that these people believe in Satan from Christianity. They are just trying to make the point that no religions should be promoted on government property. You have missed the whole point of their actions.

        January 15, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Aesop Rock

          Bingo. Satanism is really the worship of yourself, giving into all your inhibitions and desires. Satan is a metaphor for your inner self control. These aren't devil worshipers, they are trying to stick it to Christians because they have a statue.

          January 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      As per the famous contemporary theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, God (if one exists) is not omniscient. Please read, pause and contemplate the following by Schillebeeckx:

      Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians (et al) must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history."

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices.

      Therefore the historical future is not known even to God, otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings.

      For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."

      i.e. No one, not even your god (if one exists) can prophesy since that would violate the human condition of Free Will and Future.

      January 15, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • SPI

      Excess of freedom what are you a communist? Hello freedom and freedom to practice religion in one's own way was the whole reason the US was founded. That would be all religions and beliefs including the option not to believe.

      You sound like one of those who wants it as long as it is JUST YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS... It doesn't work that way, sorry.

      January 15, 2014 at 2:06 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.