Satanic Baphomet statue nearly finished, may be placed next to Ten Commandments monument
The Satanic Temple recently announced that their Baphomet statue—which the group is petitioning to have installed on the Oklahoma Capitol lawn—is nearly complete.
The New York organization commissioned the statue after learning that the Capitol currently has a Ten Commandments statue on its grounds.
The Ten Commandments statue was erected in 2012 by Oklahoma Rep. Mike Ritze because of the passage's significance to Oklahoma residents.
"The Ten Commandments found in the Bible, Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, are an important component of the moral foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma," Ritze's bill read.
The constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument is currently being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who sees it as a violation of the separation of church and state.
"[The state capitol building] ought to be a welcoming environment for all faiths and those of no faith," ACLU Executive Director Ryan Kiesel told The Tulsa World.
"When legislatures set up a monument that seems to put one faith above others, it creates an environment where some visitors will feel like second-class citizens.
"I think under the very best of circumstances, it is of questionable constitutionality."
The Satanic Temple took to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to fund their own protest to the monument.
The organization received over $28,000 in donations to build a statue honoring Baphomet.
A symbol of Satanism, Baphomet is an ancient idol with a goat's head and legs, human arms and torso, and angel wings. The Satanic Temple's statue includes two children gazing at the idol in adoration.
Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucian Greaves said that the purpose of the statue, which will be cast in bronze, is to "celebrate our progress as a pluralistic nation founded on secular law."
Greaves also stated that if the Ten Commandments monument is removed, his organization will not continue its efforts to place Baphomet on the Capitol lawn.
According to Greaves, "there are no shortage of public locations across the US where religious monuments await a contrasting voice."