It is a scene that would warm the cockles of every Satanic heart. In Oklahoma, the Satanic Temple has unveiled the design for a 7-foot-tall statue of Satan that it believes would go nicely at the Oklahoma state Capitol. After all, the legislature put a Ten Commandments monument on the site in 2012. So why not the comforting image of Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard for children to gather around and take strength from on school visits? While it seems a tad unlikely that the Oklahoma legislature (which has a history of intermingling Christian faith with legislation) will add a Satanic element to the Capitol grounds, it forces the question of why it is permissible to depict one religion in exclusion of others.
The design allows legislators and visitors to actually sit on the lap of Baphomet on his pentagram-adorned throne. Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves (I really want to say Satanic spokesperson) heralds this “functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.” One thing is clear, it would a lot more attention than “The Magic of Petroleum” artwork.
The ACLU is suing the legislature over the monument to the Ten Commandments. Other groups including a Hindu group, an animal rights group, and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have also asked for equal time. The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission has responded by declaring a convenient moratorium on any further requests. You can apply but no action will be taken at this time.
As if to add to the ACLU case to show sectarian bias, Oklahoma Rep. Earl Sears has denounced the request as “an insult to the good people of the state.” Notably, Sears objected that “I do not see Satanism as a religion, and they have no place at the state Capitol.” Yet, this is clearly a faith, just not one that Sears likes. Moreover, if he is saying that religions are allowed to build such structures, he would have a hard time challenging the Hindus. Moreover, the mission statement on the Temple website (which is centered in New York) speaks of its religious beliefs:
God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. God’s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning.
The Satanist harbors reasonable agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. The cultural narratives through which we contextualize our lives must be malleable to conformity with our best scientific understandings of the material world… Those understandings, in turn, must never be so rigidly codified as to themselves be inflexible to advancements yet unknown. Thus, Satanism is an evolving religion, unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Belief must reconstruct itself to fact, never the other way round. This is the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, even (and especially) when to do so irretrievably dissipates blissful and comforting delusions of old.
That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise.
Clearly, Oklahoma is one of the least likely locations for the Satanic throne. Heck, you cannot even say “Hell” in a speech. Legislators who supported bibles from being passed out were outraged when free Korans were offered. However, what is the standard for inclusion? Sear says that the problem is that Satanists are not religious enough in his view to be featured on state grounds. Yet, they have all of the elements of faith from written tenets to a long history to temples to religious practices. The point is that is you are in the business of mixing faith with politics, it becomes difficult to choose between faiths without establishing officially approved or favored faiths.
Greaves notes that Satanism not only is a faith but (as argued by those who advocate 10 Commandment monuments) a value structure that is relevant to daily function of the legislature to protect rights and oppose laws like blasphemy crimes that deny freedom of religion and speech: “Our monument celebrates an unwavering respect for the Constitutional values of religious freedom and free expression. Satanism is a fundamental component at the genesis of American liberty. Medieval witch-hunts taught us to adopt presumption of innocence, secular law, and a more substantive burden of proof.”
Yet, it seems unlikely that the legislators will approve other changes at this time:
[Baaaa-phomet, the master] comes sweepin’ down the plain,
And the [cravin’] wheat can sure smell sweet, When the wind comes right behind the rain
[Baaaa-phomet], Ev’ry night my [sacrificial] lamb and I, Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin’ lazy [penatgrams] in the sky.
We know we belong to the [Satan] (yo-ho)
And the [Satan] we belong to is grand!
And when we say
We’re only sayin’
You’re doin’ fine, Baphomet!
Ok, it loses a bit in translation. Besides, I am not sure Oklahoma wants to get its Satan from New York City. If there is going to be a display, it should be a more Sooner Satan with a more country coven. When Lucifer says “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma,” he needs to be able to say “Yeeow! Aye-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay!” without some Brooklyn accent.
79 thoughts on “Too Sooner For Satan? Temple Asks Oklahoma Legislature To Allow It To Add Statue To Baphomet On State Grounds”
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I might agree that Christianity and Hebrew (thought I did not know about the Hebrew influence) influenced the founding fathers. But I am curious what you might feel about John Locke who’s writings influenced several of the founding fathers and Locke who made some advocacy of separation of church and state.
Darren Smith wrote: “I am curious what you might feel about John Locke who’s writings influenced several of the founding fathers and Locke who made some advocacy of separation of church and state.”
John Locke was a major influence in the thinking of the founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson thought the three greatest thinkers of all time were Bacon, Locke, and Newton. The thing is, Locke’s concept of separation of church and state was not like the atheists and secularists present it today. Jefferson’s concept of church and state wasn’t like that either. Jefferson’s coinage of the “wall of separation” phrase was in a letter to the Danbury Baptists which was a minority religion in Connecticut. The official state religion of Connecticut at the time was Congregationalism. Jefferson was strongly against how Connecticut had established a state religion, and they issued laws and proclamations that favored that denomination. Jefferson, believing that religion was a private matter between man and God, did not agree with proclamations of fasting, prayer, or thanksgiving like his predecessors had done. Jefferson was assuring the Baptists that he believed in the principles of religious tolerance and hoped that the expression of the supreme will of the nation in the First Amendment would eventually lead Connecticut to follow suit and restore the natural rights of man to choose their religion. Jefferson was convinced that natural rights were never in opposition to the social duties of man.
Locke wrote much about religious tolerance, but he also said that the one group of people that a civil society should never be tolerant of is the atheist. His thinking was that law came from natural law, and ultimately from the Supreme Lawgiver, our Creator. This is what gives law its force and power, that it represents discovery of the principles of civilization whose origin is in the Supreme Lawgiver and Supreme Judge who ultimately will hold all accountable. Locke said that atheists should not be tolerated because the glue that makes civilization work are oaths, and a person has no basis for oaths if they do not believe that they are accountable to the Supreme Judge.
In modern times, legal minds tend to pervert the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. They read it as saying that Congress shall not respect establishments of religion rather than saying that Congress shall not respect AN Establishment of religion. The meaning of the First Amendment is that the Federal Government will not create a national church like England had and many of the States had, and that they will not pass laws which show favoritism toward a particularly establishment of religion, such as favoring the Congregationalists over the Baptists. In no way was the law ever meant to forbid the acknowledgment of God or to discourage a belief in God. Nor was it meant that government should be neutral in regards to a person having faith in God. The neutrality of government should only be in regards to respecting one of the various establishments of religion over another. Virtually all the founding fathers believed that freedom and democracy could not exist without a virtuous people who had a faith in God. All of them supported religion privately in various ways, including time, money, and words of support.
I guess the question(s), for me at least, is how much influence did Hammurabi’s laws have on Moses. Babylon is rather far from Egypt and at the time of Hammurabi was only a small area along the Euphrates River. How large was it 300-400 years later? Had it spread as far as Egypt? Did Egyptian law have aspects of Hammurabi’s Code?
Wouldnt emerging civilizations have similar laws especially if they had similar cultures?
I dont necessarily think a time line is all that important, what is important, at least in my opinion, is did Babylon have enough influence at the time of Moses for him to include portions into Mosaic law? Did Moses even know about the Code of Hammurabi?
Various ideas seem to rise all over the world at about the same time or so it seems.
Is David trying to suit his argument or is there enough doubt to leave room for interpretation?
I am not trying to be Socratic because I do not know the answers to these questions.
“So how can you argue that the Hammurabi Code had any influence on the founding fathers?”
You should learn to read. I didn’t argue this. But, it had influence on civilizations that came after, including as you state, Hebrew law. You can’t stop a timeline of precedent to merely suit your argument.
gbk wrote: “it had influence on civilizations that came after, including as you state, Hebrew law. You can’t stop a timeline of precedent to merely suit your argument.”
If you are focused merely upon a “timeline of precedent,” why not go back further, prior to Hammurabi, to the time of Noah. There we find the seven laws of Noah. Do you speculate based upon the “timeline of precedent” that these influenced the Babylonian laws? The Hebrew documentation is that Shem, the son of Noah, was the ancestor of the Babylonians. Therefore the laws of Shem’s preacher father Noah must have had some influence upon that culture.
It is interesting to consider why these Ten Commandment monuments keep popping up to remember our cultural heritage when the Hebrews do not consider them binding upon anybody but their own culture. So why aren’t we finding the Seven Commandments monuments which are considered binding upon the whole world? I think it is because of the impact that whole mount Sinai story had upon our early American culture, along with the fact that these commandments were taught to have been written by the very finger of God. The people’s unworthiness to even receive the commandments in the first place, causing Moses to break the tablets, had a moral impact upon the mind that is not found with the laws of Noah.
So let me ask a simple question of you. Would you agree with me that the Ten Commandments has a more secular purpose in regards to being a memorial to our cultural history and traditions than does the Code of Hammurabi or this monument to Baphomet?
Turnabout is fair play.
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