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
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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.

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