The New York-based Satanic Temple has released plans for a 7-foot statue of Satan on the grounds of the Oklahoma state Capitol. The group claims their Satanist statue is justified by the Ten Commandments plaque that was controversially installed at the capitol in 2012.
The NY group has made a formal application to build a sculpture of a goat-headed Satan with horns and a long beard, sitting on a pentagram-bedecked throne and surrounded by smiling children.
“The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond,” temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a 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.”
The group’s intention is in part to highlight Oklahoma’s hypocrisy in agreeing to a Christian monument but no others. But their application isn’t just symbolic. They’ve already raised half of the $20,000 needed to install the statue.
The Satanic application fits into a wave of non-Christian monuments that have been proposed in response to 10 commandments monuments in public spaces, including an atheist monument erected in Florida and a request for a Hindu monument in Nevada. The parody Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has also applied. In addition to these protest campaigns, the ACLU is currently suing Oklahoma over the 10 commandments monument.
The Satanists’ application is not going over well among conservative lawmakers in the Bible Belt state. The statue is “an insult to the good people of the state,” said state Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican. “This is Oklahoma, and that’s not going to fly here,” said Rep. Don Armes, another Republican.
The Satanic Temple website says that its belief system, like all religious belief, is “a metaphorical framework.” The group celebrates Satan as “the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness.”