It is rather popular for the more conservative US elements to promote the idea of erecting a religious artifact in a public space. Remember now, the context here is that there is supposed to be a wall of separation between church and state to avoid granting a special privilege to a specific religious faction.
OK, first some background context. The Oklahoma Republican-controlled Legislature (of course, who else) allowed a privately funded monument with the Ten Commandments carved into it to be erected on the grounds of the Capitol last year. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit seeking its removal, but that has simply been ignored.
Well, the latest news is that this has happened …
But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity. It notified the state’s Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument and plans to submit one of several possible designs this month, said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple.
“We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards,” Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. “Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.”
Greaves said one potential design involves a pentagram, a satanic symbol, while another is meant to be an interactive display for children. He said he expects the monument, if approved by Oklahoma officials, would cost about $20,000.
“Satanic Temple” … as in, they worship Satan and have given themselves over to evil?
Actually no, they are not into anything supernatural at all, they are in fact simply promoting the idea of the separation of church and state, so rather than going for aggressive proselytizing and condemnation, they instead are pushing for a lobbyist for Satanism in the US Capital, and by doing so, will force the issue of liberty and freedoms. In other words, “Oh, so you want religion in the public space, OK, how about ‘this’ religion then“, and that is indeed a rather funny way to drive the point home.
Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma nails it when he observed …
… if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all on state property.
Meanwhile, the religious nutters, want even more …
The House speaker said he wants to build a chapel inside the Capitol to celebrate Oklahoma’s “Judeo-Christian heritage.” Several lawmakers have said they want to allow nativity scenes and other religious-themed symbols in public schools.
Rep. Bobby Cleveland, who plans to introduce a one such bill next year, said many Christians feel they are under attack as a result of political correctness.
“Under Attack”!! … they are the ones that wish to inflict their specific variation of belief on everybody as the officially state sanctioned belief, the only attacking going on is by them.
So yes, clearly they are quite happy to have religion in the public spaces … but only if the religion just happens to be theirs … hence the call for a Satanic Statue drives the point home beautifully.
In the end, when it is time for the next election, perhaps the voters need to seriously consider another really good point made by Mr Henderson …
“We would prefer to see Oklahoma’s government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are,”