We learned this morning that the Ten Commandments statue on the Oklahoma Capitol Grounds was declared unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court.
While the ACLU’s lawsuit had been in the court system for years, one of the more interesting side-stories was that members of The Satanic Temple wanted to put up a monument honoring their beliefs. If the Christians could do it, why not them?
State officials said they could not give a definitive answer either way until the ACLU lawsuit was resolved.
It includes this statement on the front…
“The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.”
… and the back of the statue has a passage from Lord Byron’s Cain along with a quotation by William Blake:
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?
“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.”
(If you’re unfamiliar with Baphomet, feel free to read this Chick tract.)
The plan was for The Satanic Temple to unveil the completed monument for the first time on July 25 in Detroit before hopefully continuing their quest to put it up in Oklahoma:
Never before seen in public, The Satanic Temple Baphomet monument is already the most controversial and politically charged contemporary work of art in the world… the bronze statue is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action. The event will serve as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.
But now that the Ten Commandments monument is coming down, it doesn’t look like Baphomet will be going up.
So how does Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves feel about that? And what’s happening with the statue?
I just got off the phone with Greaves and he told me he was delighted with the Oklahoma ruling. He hoped the Supreme Court made the decision in part because of the pressure the Temple was placing on state officials (though the justices made no reference to the Temple in their decision).
As for the statue, after it’s unveiled in Detroit, it’ll hang around in storage — unless they can find a temporary home where the public can view it — until it’s needed to counter a Ten Commandments monument somewhere else.
Turns out Arkansas might be perfect candidate.
So Arkansas may soon be home to the Baphomet statue… unless, of course, Rapert’s bill is also found to be unconstitutional.
“We’ll take this fight wherever its needed,” Greaves told me.