LITTLE ROCK, Ark., July 7, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Satanic Temple is seeking to erect a satanic display on the Arkansas capitol grounds, after it dropped its plans for the Oklahoma capitol building.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court last week ruled the Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol lawn was an unconstitutional violation of separation of Church and State. The Satanic Temple, which had originally sought to erect its display across the way from the Ten Commandments, dropped its plans once the ruling came down, expressing satisfaction with the court decision.
Now it's setting its sights on Arkansas, where state lawmakers recently approved their own Ten Commandments display. Lucien Greaves, Satanic Temple spokesman, said, "It was always our intention to take this wherever it was relevant, wherever it was necessary, and wherever that dialogue needed to take place."
The Temple, which claims to be less about satanism and more about separation of Church and State, spent $100,000 on its statue of Baphomet, a demon, flanked by two children. According to Greaves, Baphomet is meant to signify religious pluralism, and now belongs next to the Ten Commandments in Arkansas, which is expected to go up before the end of the year.
Jason Rapert, who sponsored the bill authorizing the Ten Commandments, comments, "The Satanist Temple, or whoever these pagans are, are simply trying to draw attention to themselves and it's simply an outrageous gesture that flies in the face of the sensitivities of the people of the state of Arkansas. In my opinion, a lot of what they stand for is detestable to the everyday American and definitely to the everyday Arkansan."
Last year, the same group tried to stage a Black Mass at Harvard. After condemnation from the archdiocese of Boston and a petition signed by 60,000 demanding that Harvard cancel the blasphemous event, the mass was called off because the Temple could find no venue willing to host them.
The Temple plans to unveil its satanic statue July 25 in Detroit, after which it will consider applying for a space on the Arkansas capitol building's grounds.