To “compliment and contrast” a Ten Commandments monument that already stands on the Oklahoma state capitol grounds, the New York-based religious group Satanic Temple has formally submitted an application to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission to erect a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan, depicted as Baphomet – a goat-headed figure with wings and horns – sitting on a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children at its side.
Satanic Temple argues that if the Legislature could authorize the Ten Commandments monument, then a statue of Satan should also be permitted. The monument would be both an “homage” to Satan and a symbol of religious freedom. “More than anything, we feel our monument is meant to be a historical marker celebrating the scapegoats, marginalized and demonized minority,” Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said.
Barry Henderson of the Oklahoma ACLU, believes the Satanic Temple’s monument has “every right to be there” if the Ten Commandments monument remains. “For us … it’s about respecting the idea that government shouldn’t endorse religion in the first place,” he said. “But if that’s unavoidable, it needs to at least be neutral.”