A group of Satanists from a New York-based Satanic temple is pursuing the establishment of a monument in Oklahoma’s capitol.
In an attempt to display their beliefs to the public, the group seeks to build a design outside of the Statehouse that would be positioned right next to a privately funded Ten Commandments statue.
The Republican-controlled Legislature financed the construction of the Ten Commandments monument in 2009, but Oklahoma’s American Civil Liberties Union wants its removal. Lawsuits have been filed in regards to the monument’s constitutionality.
Thus, the satanic group views the capitol's present-day monument as a chance to share their own principals as well and apparently, it seems that they aren’t against the existence of a statute engraved with beliefs dissimilar to their own.
In a letter to the Capitol Preservation Commission, spokesman Lucien Greaves affirms that the satanic temple would respect the guidelines enforced by the state.
“We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards. Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic-literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines,” he shared with officials.
One lawmaker, who also advocated for the building of the Ten Commandments, has been reported as a supporter of the satanic monument.
However, Republican Rep. Bobby Cleveland, who is also pushing forward a bill that would have a Judeo-Christian Temple built in the Capitol, obviously doesn’t view this proposal as a smart move.
"I think these Satanists are a different group," he told CBS News. "You put them under the nut category."
According to Greaves, the budget for the monument will approximately be around $20,000. Ideas for the design vary from a pentagram to an interactive exhibit for children.
If the proposal is approved, the group plans to send in design concepts to the Capitol Preservation Commission sometime this month.
With that said, do you think Oklahoma should prohibit the creation of this monument?
After all, the First Amendment does state:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Here is a debate about the monument previously aired by Fox News: