DETROIT, Mich. — A New York-based Satanist group has announced the unveiling of its sculpted ‘homage to Satan,’ which it seeks to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.
As previously reported, the 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.”
The organization proceeded to launch an indiegogo fundraising campaign, which raised over $28,000 for the creation of the monument.
“A Satanic monument erected in contrast to a Ten Commandments monument will send a clear and distinct message to the world that pluralism is alive and well in the United States,” it asserted.
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.
However, despite the monument being upheld as constitutional, the Satanic Temple forged ahead with its plans to place the Baphomet statue on the capitol grounds. Now, the organization has announced that it will be hosting an official unveiling ceremony next month in Detroit.
“As a ‘homage’ to Satan, the incredible statue is intended to complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument that already resides on Oklahoma State Capitol grounds,” it recently wrote on its website. “The event will serve as a call-to-arms from which The Satanic Temple will kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.”
The group invited supporters to “dress to impress the Devil” and “come dance with [him] and experience history in the making.”
It is not clear whether the Satanic Temple has obtained permission to place the monument on the capitol grounds as it wishes. Some have expressed that the proposed “homage to Satan” is offensive to Oklahoma residents.
“I think you’ve got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland,” Representative Don Armes told the Associated Press. “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.”