Permit for statue of Satan at Oklahoma State Capitol submitted
People will be able to sit in Satan's lap for photo opportunities
A New York-based Satanic Temple has requested to build a seven-foot-tall statue of Satan in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Formally submitting its application, an artist's sketch depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard used in occult practices. Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.
The group wants the statue at the Oklahoma state Capitol, where a Ten Commandments monument was placed in 2012.
"The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. "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 temple argues that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol has opened the door for its statue. Said Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012. The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has since sued the statue removed.
Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission has since placed a moratorium on considering any new requests.
"Anybody can still make their request, but we'll hold off on considering them until the lawsuit is adjudicated," commission Chairman Trait Thompson said.
It's unlikely that lawmakers in Oklahoma, a conservative state known as the "buckle of the Bible Belt" would approve the statue.
"I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the Heartland," Representative Don Armes, R-Faxon says. "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."
Greaves admits that the Satanic Temple's effort is in part to highlight what it says is hypocrisy of state leaders in Oklahoma. He maintains that the group is serious about having a monument placed there and has already has raised nearly half of the $20,000 it says it needs to build the monument.
"We plan on moving forward one way or another," Greaves said.
The Satanic Temple on its Web site explains that it "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 and rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness," the Web site says.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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