On Monday, the Satanic Temple unveiled the design for its planned satan statue that the New York-based organization hopes to be able to erect at the capital in Oklahoma. The satanic statue design is of the timeless demonic form of the goat-headed incarnation of the Prince of Darkness. But in an effort to make the statue more acceptable to those considering the application of the Satanic Temple, the designers made the statue both functional and child-friendly.
But in the state known as the "buckle" of the Bible Belt, even with a set of wings as part of the satanic statue, some are saying the design won't fly...
The Associated Press reported (via Yahoo News) Jan. 6 that the Satanic Temple formally submitted its design to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Committee, noting in a statement that it was a reflection of the "views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond."
Said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, "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 statue of satan, a stylized version of Baphomet, the horned, winged, goat-headed entity stereotypically seen associated with satan worship, is seen as a counterpiece to the erection of a Ten Commandments monument which has adorned the Capitol building since 2012.
The satanists' statue is just the latest design submitted by religious sects and organizations -- a Hindu sect, an animal rights groups, and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster -- to the Preservation Commission. In fact, the commission issued a moratorium on consideration of submissions. Although submissions are still allowed, commission Chairman Trait Thompson said, considering them would be postponed until after the lawsuit is adjudicated.
That lawsuit would be the one the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the state to have the Ten Commandments monument removed.
Still, a satanist statue in the land of Oral Roberts? The depiction of children sitting on Baphomet's lap was a cute touch, but...
Some are quick to remind people that Oklahoma is in the heartland, home to conservative values. Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon told the AP, "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."
An attempt to place a satanic display didn't "fly" too well in Florida, either, when the Satanic Temple applied to erect a holiday display at the state capitol in Tallahassee. According to the Associated Press (via Yahoo News), the Florida Department of Management Services emailed the New York organization in December to tell them their application to put up a display was declined because it was "grossly offensive." What was so offensive when they had already okayed a Festivus pole and a chair with phony pasta from the aforementioned Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? The Satanic Temple had proposed a display of an angel falling from heaven into an open fire.
Okla. Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, also finds the satan statue an "insult to the good people of the state." He says Satanism isn't a religion and has no place in Oklahoma City.
But Greaves and the Satanic Temple have collected about $20,000 toward the construction of the statue and they plan on moving forward. Donations to the construction fund are being accepted at Indiegogo.
On said website, the Satanic Temple writes that its mission is to separate religion from superstition. Per the site: "Satan stands as the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness,"
Lucien Greaves and the Satanic Temple were launched into the national spotlight for the first time in July when they held what they called a "Pink Mass" at the grave of the mother of Fred Phelps, leader of the hatred-spewing Westboro Baptist Church. The group performed same-sex unions of both sexes at the grave and proclaimed Phelps' mother to be eternally gay.