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Ten Commandments Monument Opens Door for “Satanic Display” at Oklahoma Capitol

Ten Commandments Monument Opens Door for “Satanic Display” at Oklahoma Capitol

There’s a pretty good reason for why the U.S. constitution prohibits allowing governments to publicly show any sign of endorsing a religion: Doing so would open up the door to having to recognize a number of religions that they may not necessarily agree with. That’s the problem that Oklahoma may be facing now that the Satanists have decided to donate a monument to be erected on the state capitol grounds.

As USA Today reports, Oklahoma state politicians eager to have the opportunity to place the Ten Commandments front and center at the capitol allowed a giant, privately funded monument to be placed on the grounds. Now the New York-based Satanic Temple has contacted the state, saying they would like to donate a monument, too.

“We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards,” spokesperson Lucien Greaves wrote in letter to state officials, according to USA Today. “Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.”

Even better, one design could even be “an interactive display for children.”

Needless to say, this probably wasn’t what state lawmakers were hoping for when they fought to place the Ten Commandments at the capitol. Now, however, the state is stuck between a pentacle and a hard place. If they turn down the Satanic monument, they are accused of discrimination by favoring one religion over another. If they allow the display well, then Hail Satan.

Greaves and his group are fully aware of their advantage, too. “‘Obviously enabling Satanists to take advantage of the Bill was not considered when the legislation was drafted,’” Raw Story reports Greaves telling Hermant Metha via an email interview at Patheos. ”[B]ut ‘the fact is that laws cannot be discriminatory.’ He believes that there is no ‘legal basis upon which they could possibly reject’ the Temple’s offer, because ‘they set the precedent themselves, and they simply can’t reject a monument on the grounds that it its being donated by Satanists rather than a Baptist Deacon.’”

Ten Commandment monuments have been at the center of controversy and lawsuits before, most notably in Alabama where Judge Roy Moore refused to remove a display at the state judicial building. Moore was removed from his position over the standoff, but is back and currently the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court.

Although the Fraternal Order of Eagles began pushing copies of the Ten Commandments into various state governments as a means of “combating juvenile delinquency,” in 1951, the traditional stone monuments that have been causing lawsuits since the mid 2000s actually had little to do with promotion of biblical laws. Instead, they were part of a massive public relations campaign by movie director Cecile B. DeMille for the Charlton Heston movie The Ten Commandments in 1956, and continued after that, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Oklahoma Ten Commandments monument is currently the subject of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which argued, “This piece of public property, placed upon public property, conveys an explicit religious message that supports and endorses the faiths and creeds of some churches and sects.” Statue supporters say that the monument is not religious but “historical.”

“The monument on the grounds of our state capitol is in place as a tribute to the historical significance the Ten Commandments have played as the foundation of America’s and Oklahoma’s legal system as well as those common sense values many of the people in Oklahoma live by today,” Charlie Meadows, president of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee, told the Christian Post. “Perhaps more importantly, they are the same values many of our pioneers lived by going back to our founding.”

“I just don’t know of any influence upon Oklahoma from a historical perspective by a satanic organization,” argued Meadows.

Satanists aren’t the only ones looking to take advantage of the potential open door policy on religious icons on the capitol grounds. A Hindu group has said it too is looking into providing a monument, according to Raw Story.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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231 comments

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12:19AM PST on Dec 12, 2014

Ty

12:18AM PST on Dec 12, 2014

Ty

9:17AM PST on Dec 11, 2014

Elena, please!

SOME conservative Christians talk about loving thy neighbour, when they are the first to hate and persecute.

I grew up with the Dreaded Born-Again Catholic "Christian" Aunt, whose mission it was to hate and persecute! My lovely mother was also a Christian, so I learnt some important distinctions!

It's usually a good idea not to tar everyone with the same brush!

6:57PM PST on Dec 10, 2014

Temple of Satan gets in the Holiday Spirit with their display!
My Care2 News Item:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/911530155/3829623

Ignorance and Uproar - from an article in Daily Kos.

8:36AM PST on Dec 9, 2014

Anyone who uses the term Judeo-Christian shows they have no idea what they're talking about. The term is an oxymoron.

I also find it laughable when conservative Christians talk about love thy neighbour, when they are the first to hate and persecute.

5:13AM PST on Dec 7, 2014

......"copies of the Ten Commandments into various state governments as a means of “combating juvenile delinquency" Can't miss! I'd like to have seen the "interactive display for the children" or may be something tasteful with a quote from "Paradise Lost".

6:57AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

I noticed a Typo so I am reposting this to fix it since I can't delete the one with the typo.

That is the point Sarah H. They came here for religious freedom before it was a country called America. When we declared independence we set forth a certain set of ideas. The most strong of which was the separation of church and state because the combination of the two as it was in England was a huge part of why they fled from England to escape the king. That also happens to be why we have presidents rather than serving royalty. Have you forgotten the Statue of Liberty?

"The New Colossus" is a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

"Inscription on the Statue of Liberty"

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Perhaps you are the one who needs to go back and read your history. Not to mention the fact there is more to how they ended up here than is widely known. Which is sad and ignorant at the same time.

6:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

That is the point Sarah H. They came here for religious freedom before it was a country called America. When we declared independence we set forth a certain set of ideas. The most strong of which was the separation of church and state because the combination of the two as it was in England was a huge part of why they fled to England to escape the king. That also happens to be why we have presidents rather than serving royalty. Have you forgotten the Statue of Liberty?

"The New Colossus" is a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

"Inscription on the Statue of Liberty"

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Perhaps you are the one who needs to go back and read your history. Not to mention the fact there is more to how they ended up here than is widely known. Which is sad and ignorant at the same time.

5:34AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Chazz Y. You need to study your history. Our founding fathers came here to get away from persecution in England. They wanted to worship God in their own manner. England has a state religion which they did not agree with. That happened when Henry the 8th wanted to divorce his wife so he could marry his next one. The founders didn't want that to happen here.

11:15AM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

You misspelled Cecil B. DeMille's name as Cecile B. DeMille.

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