Satanists are planning a monument, complete with interactive displays for kids, to go up next to the recently erected Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds. And Oklahoma state legislators are getting nervous.
On Monday, Oklahoma state legislators were expressing outrage and confusion after news that the Satanic Temple, an established New York City-based religious organization, had plans to erect a public monument described as an “homage” to Satan on the Oklahoma state Capitol grounds.
"This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state," said Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. "I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation."
Indeed, both House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman suggested Monday that such a plan was far from a reality. However, a constitutional law professor says the state could be on legally questionable ground if it rejects the New York-based Satanic Temple’s request.
Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple, said he’s “optimistic” the request would be approved.
Politico reports officials with the Satanic Temple suggest that Oklahoma opened the door to other religions when it allowed the Ten Commandments monument, with a sectarian message, to be placed at the Capitol.
“The whole point is that we’re a religiously pluralistic society, so if there’s going to be one, there will be others, or at least we’ll make the effort for such,” said Greaves. “Or there will be neither. Those are the only real options.”
In 2009, the Republican-controlled Oklahoma state legislature authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument to be placed near the Capitol steps.
In so doing, the state legislature apparently opened the door to other religious groups, including satanists, to privately fund their own monuments.
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