Satanists want statue next to 10 Commandments

Oklahoma State Capitol (Google maps)

Oklahoma State Capitol (Google maps)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Lots of lawmakers have been accused of devilish behavior, but Oklahoma’s state capitol may become the first to actually have a monument to Satan.

If a New York-based group called the Temple of Satan gets its way, a statue of the Evil One would sit next to the newly erected 10 Commandments monuments on the capitol grounds.

“They said they wanted to be open to different monuments,” said Lucian Greaves, a spokesman for the Temple of Satan, “and this seems like a perfect place to put that to the test.”

The Temple of Satan is less religious body organized around rituals and regular meetings and more a roving band of political provocateurs,  said Greaves. Satan is a “literary construct,” the spokesman said, not an actual being with horns and hooves.

The Temple of Satan has organized a gay and lesbian kiss-in at the gravesite of the mother of anti-gay preacher and activist the Rev. Fred Phelps. It also held a rally at Florida’s state capitol in support of a law that allows “inspirational messages” at public school assemblies. “It allows us to spread the message of Satanism,” which centers around respect for diversity and religious minorities, said Greaves.

Oklahoma legislators voted to erect the Ten Commandments monument in 2009, using private funds donated by Rep. Mike Rietz, a surgeon and Southern Baptist deacon. Rietz declined to comment on Monday, citing an ongoing suit by the American Civil Liberties Union over the monument.

Hiram Sasser of the Liberty Institute, a Christian firm defending the Oklahoma legislators’ monument, said it is an exact replica of one that stands at the Texas statehouse, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2005.

“It would be really bizarre if Texas can have it but Oklahoma can’t,” Sasser said.

Rep. Bob Cleveland, who has said he will introduce a bill that would allow public school teachers and staff to wish one another “Merry Christmas,” told CNN that he’s not in favor of the Satanist’s proposed statue.

“I believe that only monuments that reflect Oklahoma values should be allowed on capitol the capitol grounds,” Cleveland said in an e-mail on Monday.

But if Christians and Jews can have their monument to the 10 Commandments, then Satanists must be allowed to erect their own statue, said Brady Henderson, legal director of the American Civil Liberty Union’s Oklahoma chapter.

“We feel like the Satanic Temple has a very strong argument to say that, if the state allows one religious monument, you have to allow others,” Henderson said.

Oklahoma’s statehouse grounds already has monuments honoring its heritage and Native American history, said Trait Thompson, chair of the Capitol Preservation Commission.

“Individuals and groups are free to apply to place a monument or statue or artwork,” Thompson said. The commission then determines whether the proposal abides by its standards and votes on whether to approve it.

Greaves said he’s received the required forms from Oklahoma’s Capitol Preservation Commission and is working on a design that will meet its standards.

“We want something big and bold that will be able to stand up to the weather or whatever other kinds of assaults,” that may target the monument, he said.  “My favorite idea right now is an object of play for children. We want kids to see that Satanism is where the fun is.”

Not all Satanist groups see the fun in political provocations, however.

Magus Peter Gilmore, head of the Church of Satan, which was founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, said he believes in strict separation of church and state.

“Rather than placing multiple ‘advertisements’ for various religions, we think it best for the (10 Commandments) monument to be removed to private property and that there be no objects supporting religion of any sort placed on the statehouse grounds,” Gilmore said.

Earlier this year, Gilmore’s Church of Satan squared off against a British group of Satanists over abortion rights, after activists shouted “Hail Satan” to drown out anti-abortion activists at the Texas state capitol.

46 comments

    • Blake Pilkenton

      What ever happened to separation between church and state. Get all of the religious stuff away from publicly owned property. Then you will remove all these arguments.

      • Jesus

        The US was founded on the basis of Freedom from Religious persecution… ironically, several men who signed the Declaration of Independence were “unaffiliated” with any religion… meaning atheist…

      • Traci

        This country was found on the freedom of religion numbnuts. And a thousand other freedoms. If you name them you can stay. Lol

      • John

        Unaffiliated does not equal atheists. It means that also that they did profess to be in one specified denomination. It amazes me how so many non-believers look down their snouts at the rest of us and profess to no so much when they actually know so little. The majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christian. While their is freedom of religion, the majority of people who came to America came to escape persecution for their Judeo-Christian beliefs. I just cannot understand why all of a sudden it’s become so threatening to people to see Christian symbols. They’ve been around forever and now, because a few selfish and childish people have decided that they cannot handle seeing these symbols, they’ve decided that none of us should be able to see them. That’s Nazism at it’s best.

      • sophia

        exactly john, i have had enough of this, grown folks acting like little kids on whats fair and whats not fair. get a life folks

    • John

      Problem with that one is now people are offended when Christian symbols are on private land because the people on this “private land” are offended and threaten not do business with people of Christian beliefs and who put of Christian symbols and we cater to these selfish people when we should stand up and say “tough, this is what I believe and if it threatens you, then don’t come. I will respect you but I expect you to respect me.”

  • Erin Barker

    This is absolutely ridiculous! what is this country coming to. “Every knee shall bow and every tongue show confess” I cannot wait for the day when these very same people are at the foot of God apologizing for this when it is to late. Thank you Lord for my salvation!

  • Mark Stabler

    Like all of the great Civiizations that dominated the world before us, the American civization has seen its greatest days. It may take many decades for us to become an insignificant civilization on this planet. But I believe it maybe sooner rather than later….Roman Empire 27BC-1453AD; Chinese 221BC -1912AD; Greek 800BC-600AD; Mayan 2000BC-1540AD; Chola 350BC-1279AD;Egypt 3150BC-30BC; Assyrian 1920BC-1311AD;Pandyau 50AD-1350AD, Bristish 1583AD 1900sAD;United States 1776- ????

    • John

      Traci; You’re the idiot if you think you can fool people with your line of thinking. You can kid yourself all you want so you can look at yourself in the mirror but YOU are the only one who is uneducated.

      • John

        I hate to say it but trained monkeys can learn what you learned in your supposed theology classes. Many atheists can quote the Bible or misquote the Bible to attempt to prove their points. Satan is a whole lot of truth and a little bit of lie which makes it of Satan. I’m sorry you are bitter. I will pray for you, sincerely, because you miss the whole point. I may talk harsh. I just believe so strongly. I don’t have to be able to quote it to live it. No one ever said you weren’t nice. You assumed that. I know several “nice” atheists until you disagree with them, then the toads and lizards come out as well as the pseudo-intellect. I will pray for you, not out of judgement but out of love.

      • Traci

        And that, I appreciate. I really do. I accept prayers all around. This is my choice and I respect all others until you disrespect mine.

  • PROPHET ELI

    There is NO DIFFERENCE between the Muslim, the Santanist, And the FOOL! PS. 14:1, THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD….. ALL 3 WORSHIP SATAN! EVEN ALLAH MEANS SATAN! Even in the Qur’an Prophet Mohammed says in vs 1: indicates that Muslims worship the god of this world, who is Satan, and in 3:54 and 8:30 Mohammed says that Allah is the best deceiver, and 35:8 says: Allah leads some people astray. This is what Prophet Mohammed says about the Muslim god! And since Prophet Mohammed didn’t (“NEVER”) PROPHESY WHILE HE WAS ON THE EARTH, IT MAKES HIM A (“FALSE PROPHET MOHAMMED”) ALL THE “MUSLIMS, SATANIST” AND ALL THEM THAT DON’T BELIEVE THAT THERE’S A GOD! U ALL WORSHIP AND SERVE A “False god” THAT WILL 1 DAY BE PLACE INTO THE “LAKE OF FIRE” IF U DON’T REPENT OF ALL THIS (FOOLISHNESS)……

  • FaithC

    Does not matter how you feel about religion, or what your religion is, it needs to kept off public land. On your private land put as many symbols as you like.

  • Traci

    Faith, you are a wise one!! I have a twenty foot pentagram in my back yard. I have acres so I am not bothering anyone

    • John

      Then I’m glad I missed because you obviously have something we as Christians don’t want or need and you are just as judgmental as those of us for whom you accuse of judging.

  • Traci

    No. The difference is that I don’t judge your beliefs. I judge those who think they can judge, and what????

  • Traci

    Well now that I got a real response from Jesus himself, I must change my ways. Wait a minute, are you the jesus that does my yard?????

  • jd

    I would be interested in seeing and artist rendering of this proposed statue. Will it be a studious reflective Satan? or a sporty mischievous version?

  • Michael

    The righteous should not worry about what the evil put up.This shows everyone that there are evil ones out there, even the devil knows its best to hide so put it up it will only be a reminder and will not worry, confuse, or scare any of gods children

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