Oklahoma’s ‘Satanic monument’ nears completion next to the Ten Commandments
The New York-based Satanist group has released photographs of its sculpted ‘Homage to Satan,’ which the group plans to place next to a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol building.
This monument is subject of a federal lawsuit after the group proposed the statue as a tribute in good taste. “Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines,” Lucien Grieves stated as a representative of the group.
“[T]he Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma,” the 2009 bill authorizing the monument acknowledged. “[T]he courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions, and acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.”
The six-foot Ten Commandments display was erected in 2012, but the ACLU said that the monument was unconstitutional.
“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” stated Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, in a news release. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal.”
This past August, the organization filed suit against the monument, with the lead plaintiff being minister Bruce Prescott, the director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Prescott said that mixing the sacred with the secular in such a manner cheapens the display, and asserted that it violated the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
To solve the dispute, the Satanic Temple offered to to donate a public monument 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,” 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.”
“We’re coming along rather quickly, and the sculpture work for the monument is nearly completed,” Greaves told ABC News. “Ultimately, it is to be cast in bronze. I don’t want to put too definite a date on it … but we’re looking at months.”
He explained to the outlet that he believes “that the message behind our monument speaks more directly to the formation of U.S. constitutional values than the Ten Commandments possibly could.”