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Satan statue design unveiled in Oklahoma Capitol

The Satanic Temple submitted an application for a satanic monument it wants to place at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
January 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A satanic group has unveiled designs for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan to be built at the Oklahoma state Capitol.

The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted an application for the monument, which it wants to place near the Ten Commandments monument erected in 2012.

The designs include an artist's rending that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that's often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.

"The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond," temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. Greaves added that the statue will also serve a practical purpose as a chair, "where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation."

The group maintains that the Oklahoma Legislature's decision to authorize a privately funded monument of the Ten Commandments at the Capitol opened the door for a statue of its own.

The Ten Commandments monument was placed on the north steps of the building in 2012, and the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed.

Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In response, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission recently placed a moratorium on considering any new requests.

One lawmaker believes the statue won't pass through a preservation committee because the satanic monument has no historical significance to the state of Oklahoma.

"I think you've got to remember where you are. This is Oklahoma, the middle of the heartland," said Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon. "I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that's not going to fly here."

While Greaves acknowledges the Satanic Temple's effort is in part to highlight what it says is hypocrisy of state leaders in Oklahoma, he says the group is serious about having a monument placed there.

The Satanic Temple has raised nearly half of the $20,000 it says it needs to build the monument.

On its website, the group explains that it "seeks to separate Religion from Superstition by acknowledging religious belief as a metaphorical framework with which we construct a narrative context for our goals and works.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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