The New York City-based Satanic Temple unveiled on Monday the proposed design of its epic troll of Oklahoma City: a 7-foot-tall statue of the horned deity Baphomet, to be placed right next to the statue of the Ten Commandments that was erected on the grounds of the Oklahoma Statehouse in 2012.
The Ten Commandments statue has been the cause of some controversy and a lawsuit by the ACLU, as some people think things like "the separation of church and state" are important and should be honored. The majority of lawmakers didn't think so, and the monument, spelling errors and all, was erected in November 2012.
Now it's time for other religious groups to fight back by placing their own monuments on Oklahoma Statehouse grounds. After all, if the Ten Commandments is okay, then why not the Hindu Lord Hanuman? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or The Dude from The Big Lebowski? Or a PETA banner? These have all been proposed to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission.
Satanic Temple has gotten the furthest along in the process, raising over $13,000 of its $20,000 goal for its statue, the plans for which include the goat-headed Baphomet, his long beard flowing, issuing wise counsel to two smiling children.
The statue is not just for display, however. Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement that it "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" and will be be "an object of play for young children." Even the Ten Commandments statue doesn't have a chair.
Oklahoma lawmakers are not pleased.
"I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here," said Rep. Don Armes.
"This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state. I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation." said Rep. Earl Sears.
"The state of Oklahoma, however, does not have to accept, uh, the donation of a Satanic statue or any other statues," Rep. Mike Ritze, who spearheaded and helped fund the Ten Commandments statue, told KWTV.
The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission agrees -- for now. Last month, it voted to ban new statues from the Statehouse until the ACLU's lawsuit has been settled. That ban will not apply to state senator's plan to erect a statue of the Bill of Rights, somehow.
If the lawsuit fails (some suits have successfully forced government institutions to remove the commandments, but not all), the Oklahoma Statehouse should soon be covered in statues representing any and all religions and causes. It's only fair, right?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.