Wouldn’t you like to take your children to sit on Satan’s lap?
If so, then you might be in luck, as the congregants of The Satanic Temple are hoping to make that a reality. The New York-based religious organization has officially submitted a design proposal for a satanic statue at the Oklahoma state Capitol to “complement and contrast” a Ten Commandments monument that currently resides on the public grounds.
The proposed statue would feature a 7-foot-tall rendering of Baphomet, the goat-headed winged Satanic deity, sitting cross-legged on a throne under a pentagram with a child on both sides of him. “The lap will serve as a seat for visitors,” read the description in The Satanic Temple’s application.
The monument, which the group states was “designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and could doubly serve as a tourist attraction,” would also include quotes from poets William Blake and Lord Byron, according to Philly.com.
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” said spokesman Lucian Greaves. “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 Satanic Temple got the idea to have a statue erected at the Oklahoma Capitol after a religious Ten Commandants monument was installed there in 2012, sparking protests from the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU’s lawsuit to have the Ten Commandants statue removed is still pending). On December 8, 2013, the Satanists launched a fundraising page for their creation on indiegogo where they’ve already raised over $15,000 of their $20,000 goal, with the campaign set to end on January 17, 2013.
Not surprisingly, Oklahoma lawmakers have voiced their disapproval of the Satanic group donating a monument to their Capitol, with Oklahoma Rep. Earl Sears calling The Satanic Temple’s request “an insult to the good people of the state,” according to the AP. “I do not see Satanism as a religion, and they have no place at the state Capitol,” said the Republican House member.
The Preservation Commission recently voted to place a moratorium on considering further new statue requests until the ACLU aforementioned lawsuit is decided upon.
Along with The Satanic Temple, other groups, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, have applied to have their own monument placed at the state’s Capitol. Unlike The Satanic Temple, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which mocks organized religion, ironically found more mainstream acceptance recently when their Pastafarian namesake deity was granted a space in the Tallahasee, FL, statehouse holiday display.
Here’s some details about The Satanic Temple from their crowdfunding page:
The Satanic Temple seeks to separate Religion from Superstition by acknowledging religious belief as a metaphorical framework with which we construct a narrative context for our goals and works. Satan stands as the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness.
The Satanist harbors reasonable agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. The cultural narratives through which we contextualize our lives must be malleable to conformity with our best scientific understandings of the material world… Those understandings, in turn, must never be so rigidly codified as to themselves be inflexible to advancements yet unknown.
Community, compassion, justice, and civic responsibility: These are worthwhile values wherever they are practiced, and whoever they are practiced by, regardless of whatever arbitrary political or religious label may be attached to them in their execution. We call on all people to support the Satanic Temple in this effort to engage their community in a positive, productive manner.
The photo at top is of the group’s design for the proposed statue, which you have to admit, is pretty cool looking and so much more badass than the Ten Commandments Monument. Regarding Baphomet, you might not know him by name, but chances are, you know him by sight, as his image is not only popular within Paganism, Satanism, occultism, and The Illuminati, but he’s also peppered throughout and alluded to in music and pop culture. His symbolism has been spotted in lyrics and imagery from the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jay Z, and Kanye West, as well as heavy metal artists like Venom, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, and Bathory.
Seeing how nicely The Satanic Temple design statues, I’m disappointed now that their Adopt-A-Highway campaign never got funded, as I’d love to see how a group of Satanists beautify a public highway in New York City.
So, what say you: Does Baphomet and his inviting, contemplative lap deserve a spot at the Oklahoma Capitol?
Baphomet, from Eliphas Levi’s “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie”, 1854,
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