Monument Would Invite Children to Sit in Satan’s Lap

The Satanic Temple has submitted designs for an interactive display to be erected on the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol.

National Journal
Lucia Graves
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Lucia Graves
Jan. 6, 2014, 10:28 a.m.

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 »
Twenty-One States Sue FCC Over Net Neutrality Repeal
27 minutes ago

Twenty-one states, the District of Columbia and several public interest groups filed the first major lawsuits Tuesday to block the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The FCC's rules had prohibited Internet providers from slowing down or blocking websites. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the states' suit, said that the FCC’s repeal was “arbitrary” and “capricious” and violates federal law. The suit comes just a day after Democrats in the Senate said they were inching closer to acquiring the votes needed to pass legislation overturning the FCC's rule change. It has garnered the support of all 49 Democratic senators as well as one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

Ex-CIA Officer Arrested for Assisting China
2 hours ago

"A former C.I.A. officer suspected of helping China identify the agency’s informants in that country has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. Many of the informants were killed in a systematic dismantling of the C.I.A.’s spy network in China starting in 2010 that was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures in recent years, several former intelligence officials have said. The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the C.I.A. began losing its informants in China."

Park Service Panel Resigns En Masse
2 hours ago

"Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration."

GOP Leaders Dangle CHIP Fix to Avert Shutdown
12 hours ago

"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."

With Deadline Approaching, Lawmakers Sounding Notes of Pessimism
15 hours ago

"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.