The Satanic Temple has an answer to children who from time immemorial have been encouraged to sit in Santa’s lap. They’re inviting them to sit in Satan’s.
The Satanic Temple on Monday formally submitted its designs for a monument it wants erected at the Oklahoma Capitol. The display has been crafted to “complement” a Ten Commandments monument that already resides on the north side of Oklahoma City’s Capitol building. The Ten Commandments display was spearheaded by state Rep. Mike Ritze, a Republican representing Oklahoma’s 80th District, and approved by the conservative-led Legislature in 2009.
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” wrote Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the Satanic Temple. “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 monument is intended to celebrate constitutional values of religious freedom and free expression, according to Greaves, who called Satanism a “fundamental component at the genesis of American liberty.”
The proposed monument features a 7-foot-tall Baphomet, a goat-headed creature which is sometimes used as a stand-in for Satan. The demon’s lap, flanked by a smiling child on each side, will double as a seat for visitors. The back of the stone slab will display a passage from Lord Byron’s dramatic work, Cain, that reads:
Then who was the Demon? He
Who would not let ye live, or he who would
Have made ye live forever, in the joy
And power of Knowledge?
Satanists first wrote to the Oklahoma City Capitol Preservation Commission expressing their desire to donate a monument in November; they’ve raised more than $8,000 on Indiegogo to help pay for the monument. The group hopes to raise $20,000 by Jan. 17. “We trust that this unique monument will also prove a favorite tourist attraction for Oklahoma’s Capitol for years to come,” Greaves said.
Oklahoma lawmakers have rejected the notion thus far, saying Satanists should not be given the same treatment as Christians.
What We're Following See More »
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"