Satanists Push for Monument at Oklahoma Statehouse
Members of the Satanist community are pushing for the construction of a monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma Statehouse. The monument, which would be paid for and designed by the New York based Satanic Temple, is meant as a counterpoint to the prominent Ten Commandments memorial Oklahoma legislators voted to erect on state property in 2009.
“We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards,” Lucian Greaves, a spokesperson for the Temple wrote in letter to state officials. “Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.”
Greaves said the monument, which is expected to cost $20,000 may feature a pentagram or be designed to be interactive with children. He also thanked Rep. Mike Ritze, whose was largely responsible for pushing the legislative-sponsored Ten Commandments monument for making the Satanist memorial on public grounds possible.
“He’s helping a Satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could,” Greaves said.
He added that by allowing religious expression in a public space, Ritze has helped make it easier to spread the word about Satanism.
“You don’t walk around and see too many Satanic temples around, but when you open the door to public spaces for us, that’s when you’re going to see us.”
State Representative Bobby Cleveland said the idea of allowing a Satanist monument on state grounds was preposterous and not the same as erecting the granite Ten Commandments representing the Christian faith.
“These Satanists are a different group,” the Republican representative said. “You put them under the nut category.”
Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, which has filed a lawsuit challenging the Ten Commandments monument, however, noted that religious freedom does not only extend to religions the legislator’s approve of, but instead all faith expressions.
“If the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple’s proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint,” he pointed out.
He added the better solution may be to eliminate all religious monuments from the Oklahoma Statehouse.
“We would prefer to see Oklahoma’s government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are,” Henderson stressed.
Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn/Creative Commons