DETROIT, Mich. — A group of pastors in Detroit plan to protest the unveiling of a Satanic statue later this month, which was sought to be placed next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.
As previously reported, the New York-based Satanic Temple issued a news release about its intentions in 2013 following the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which asserted that the presence of the Ten Commandments display on government property violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
The Satanic Temple said that it offered to to donate a statue of Baphomet to be placed near the Ten Commandments display in order to “appease the ACLU’s concerns.”
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” spokesperson Lucien Greaves explained in his application to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission. “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.”
Last May, it was announced that the statue was nearing completion, which features the goat-headed figure Baphomet making the sign for the occult as he sits upon a throne with a pentagram overhead. Children fixate their eyes upon him on both sides.
In September, Seventh District Court Judge Thomas Prince concluded that the Ten Commandments monument serves a historical purpose and is not solely the presentment of a religious message as it sits on a plot of land that contains 51 other expressive monuments.
But the case was then appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which ruled last week that the monument violates the state Constitution’s prohibition on using government property to support a religion.
Prior to the ruling, the Satanic Temple announced that it would unveil its proposed “homage to Satan” in Detroit. Although the Oklahoma decision consequently resulted in the group nixing its plans to place the monument next to the Ten Commandments display, the unveiling is moving forward. The Satanic Temple now says that it might seek to erect the monument adjacent to a similar Decalogue display in Arkansas.
As the event is scheduled for July 25 at Bert’s Warehouse, a number of pastors in Detroit are rallying together to speak out against the devilish statue.
David Bullock, pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, is one of the organizers of a counter event to be held on the same day.
“This is not even a real religion in my estimation,” Bullock told local television station WWJ. “They’re bringing a Baphomet statue to the city of Detroit valorizing, elevating Satan.”
“The last thing we need—in a city where we’re fighting against violence and fighting against economic problems and unemployment and the water crisis—is a statue dedicated to Satan right downtown,” he said.
Bullock invites other Christians to join him for the counter protest. The pastor has also contacted the owners of Bert’s Warehouse to request that the Baphomet event be canceled.
The Satanic Temple likewise raised concerns last December when it was granted permission to erect its “snaketivity scene” near a nativity scene on the Michigan capitol grounds. The statue featured a snake wrapped around a Satanic cross, with the snake offering the book “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift.
According to the Metro Times, while some have thought the Satanic Temple to actually espouse atheism, the group says that characterization is incorrect.
“We consider ourselves non-theistic Satanists,” spokesperson Jex Blackmore told the outlet. “Atheists don’t consider themselves part of a religion. Non-theists have a religion, but without God. That’s the difference.”
“Just as much as we get people who think that we’re into the biblical concept of Satan, we get people who think that we’re just posing as Satanists, and not truly Satanists or whatever you would say. Non-theistic Satanism is part of modern Satanism. It’s a misconception that we fight a lot that we’re trying to dispel.”