Okla. Satanists seek monument by Statehouse steps

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In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including Satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument outside the Statehouse.

The Republican-controlled Legislature in this state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009, and it was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality. The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking its removal.

But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity. It notified the state's Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument and plans to submit one of several possible designs this month, said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple.

"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines."

continue to source article at usatoday.com

39 COMMENTS

  1. Oh I think American christians know exactly what freedom is. It’s the right to say or do anything you like as long as it A) doesn’t cause actual harm to anyone else or B) offend the delicate sensibilities of any christians or contradict anything they happen to hold sacred regardless of how batshit crazy those beliefs might be. Simply substitute the word “christians” to get the definition of freedom for any other religion.

    The only substantive difference between Xtians and atheists is that our definition of freedom stops at term A.

    • In reply to #5 by Arkrid Sandwich:

      Oh I think American christians know exactly what freedom is. It’s the right to say or do anything you like as long as it A) doesn’t cause actual harm to anyone else or B) offend the delicate sensibilities of any christians or contradict anything they happen to hold sacred regardless of how batshit c…

      I would like to dispute your definition of christian freedom as A) dosen’t cause actual harm to anyone… They clearly cause harm to themselves, their children and society. They know they have killed their child by not seeking medical care but chose not to because god called them.

  2. Let’s collect some money and put up a memorial to Christopher Hitchens that says “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING” in big letters across the top. It could also have great quotes in memory of folks like Robert Green Ingersoll and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson and Voltaire etc. all about what nonsense religion is. I am sure Hitch would have smiled at the idea (especially if we could get it really close to the 10 commandments propaganda).

    • In reply to #11 by Quine:

      Let’s collect some money and put up a memorial to Christopher Hitchens that says “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING” in big letters across the top. It could also have great quotes in memory of folks like Robert Green Ingersoll and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson and Voltaire etc. all about what nonsense…

      I’ll donate to that one…

    • In reply to #11 by Quine:

      Let’s collect some money and put up a memorial to Christopher Hitchens that says “RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING” in big letters across the top. It could also have great quotes in memory of folks like Robert Green Ingersoll and Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson and Voltaire etc. all about what nonsense…

      Quine,

      That’s a briliiant idea. I can’t imagine a better way to address the legal principles while bringing the discussion to centre stage in the clearest possible way. Also, a great tribute to Hitch. I’m pretty sure he would love it.

      On a side note, some of the comments here lump all christians in with the politically aggressive ones. We need to remember that there are American christians who believe in the separation of Church and State and who do not support christian monuments on public land. In this sense, they are good citizens and should be respected as such. You don’t need to be a christian to try to bulldoze your way over the U.S. constitution and being a chrisitan doesn’t mean you support doing that.

  3. Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all on state property.

    That is exactly the solution that Freedom From Religion Foudnation wants to see.

  4. I am sure the U.S. branch of RDFRS could do it in a day. Even without the funding, it would be worth it to draw up the monument image and send that to Oklahoma for approval. That lets them know that even if they manage to hold off the Satanists, they are never getting off the hook as long as their religious monument is left standing.

  5. It would make a far better impact if they just sued to change ‘in god we trust’ to ‘in satan we trust’ in order to have the government publically recognize that legally, god = satan, or that the whole thing should be removed. Personally, I’d rather see the god = satan option, just to see how much religious groups spend (waste) to get the whole ‘in god we trust’ removed.

  6. I am reminded of the Florida Atheist Monument opened earlier this year.

    Personally I think this is all playground stuff: “you’ve got a monument, OK we’re having one too”. To really make the point you need Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Scientologists etc all claiming the right to put their own monuments in the public square too, until there is no longer any room for the public.

    I’m not that bothered about religious symbols in the public square if people want them and are willing to pay for them (but I live in “Old Europe” – the place is full of them!).

  7. To play devil’s advocate for a second – purportedly, there’s at least one “satan group” that opposes Greaves idea. They want complete separation of church and state.

    Is Greaves serious when he says his group’s monument would be “kid friendly”?! Curious.

    Install a female devil and watch State Rep. Mike Reitz sweat.

  8. To quote Comment 28 by aztek Oh, please, please, let them put up a statue of Satan! One made out of red granite, has horns, hooves, a tail and a trident in its hand. That would be hilarious!

    D’you suppose adding a gigantic phallus would be a bit much?

  9. Satanists, I like these guys. And they plan and interactive display for children? You can just see the god-botherers faces going red and exploding with indignation. That’s what happens when you don’t think it through.

  10. Just saw a news item over on Hemant Mehta’s “Friendly Atheist” blog that Okie Religiopub’s heads are exploding whilst they overheat their few neurons trying to come up with a way to thwart the Satanists. Just one gem amongst many is this:

    “This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state,” said Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. “I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation.”

    Way to say it right out loud, dude! “When we say ‘religious freedom’, what we really mean is ‘Christian privilege’.”

  11. I like it! It’s a form of consciousness raising. However offensive you as a Christian might find a great big devil on the steps to your Statehouse, we as secularists find the Ten Commandments even more so.

    • In reply to #35 by Peter Grant:

      I like it! It’s a form of consciousness raising. However offensive you as a Christian might find a great big devil on the steps to your Statehouse, we as secularists find the Ten Commandments even more so.

      True that. I’d much rather party with the Satanists than with the Okie fundies. I’m afraid of Okie fundies. 8-O

  12. I know we all read about statues and whatnot, but there only ought to be a metal plaque that says:

    “Here was supposed to stand a menacing idol for our cause and beliefs, with a cost of $20 000. This plaque cost $64.99, and fulfills the same purpose. We gave the remaining $19 935.01 to the poor.

    With warm regards,

    The “Evil” Satanists”

    • In reply to #37 by Damaz Viccar:

      I know we all read about statues and whatnot, but there only ought to be a metal plaque that says:

      “Here was supposed to stand a menacing idol for our cause and beliefs, with a cost of $20 000. This plaque cost $64.99, and fulfills the same purpose. We gave the remaining $19 935.01 to the poor.

      A metal plaque cut from sheet metal in the shape of my link @33, would be more eye-catching!

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