Satan at the State House

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On statues, statutes, and civil society

Jonah Goldberg  writes:  The Constitution is powerless against Satan.

Earlier this month, the state of Oklahoma received a proposal from New York–based Satanists to build near the state capitol a seven-foot-high statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed pagan idol. The Satanists’ letter boasted that “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.”

Now, while the Satanists are real, there’s a lot of fakery involved. It’s a stunt — a clever one — exploiting the constitutional injunction against governmental favoritism towards religion. The Oklahoma capitol has a statue of the Ten Commandments on its grounds, and that vexes atheist activists and Satanists alike. It’s a version of the old rule about bringing candy to school. If you didn’t bring enough for everyone, then no one can have any. If Christians and Jews can have a statue of the Ten Commandments on public property, so can everyone else. And if they can’t, no one can.

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‘Sit on the lap of Satan’

Satanists’ Statue Design for Oklahoma Capitol Stirs Controversy

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This artist’s rendering provided by the Satanic Temple shows the proposed monument (AP Photo/Satanic Temple)

Cheryl K. Chumley  writes:  Members of the Satanic Temple have unveiled their design for a 7-foot-tall statue of the devil they want to locate at the Capitol building in Oklahoma, right next to a monument of the Ten Commandments that has stood since 2012.

And to many, the design may prove shocking.

The Associated Press reported an artist’s depiction shows Satan as the goat-headed and horned figure of Baphomet, complete with wings and a long beard. The Satan figure is shown sitting on a throne decorated with pentagrams, in the middle of a few smiling children. Read the rest of this entry »