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.
“The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond,” said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the group, in a statement reported by the AP. “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 is based in New York, but says it’s not fair for Oklahoma lawmakers to let a Ten Commandments statue stand at the building, without also allowing monuments that reflect other spiritual beliefs, The Associated Press reported. The Ten Commandments statue was privately funded. The American Civil Liberties Union sued to have it removed shortly after it was place, AP reported.
And the Satanic Temple isn’t the only group seeking equal access to the site.
The AP reported that a Hindu head in Nevada wants to put a monument at the Capitol, along with an animal rights group and the — satirical — Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In response, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission has put a moratorium on deciding new requests.
But it’s the Satanic Temple request that’s sparking ire among Bible Belt residents and politicos.
“I think you’ve got to remember where you are,” said Rep. Don Armes, in the AP report. “This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland. 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.”
The group, meanwhile, said it’s already raised $10,000 to build the monument — about the half the amount members estimate is needed.
“We plan on moving forward one way or another,” Mr. Greaves said, in the report.