It's a foregone conclusion that any campaign to build a statue of Satan on the steps of Oklahoma's State Capitol would be a magnet for apocalyptic controversy... but I totally saw this one coming.
Here's the backstory: in 2009, Oklahoma allowed a monument to the Bible's Ten Commandments to be placed on the Capital steps in Oklahoma City, which raised quite a furor among civil liberties groups, who asserted the structure violates the First Amendment. That monument remains in place, but a group calling themselves The Satanic Temple isn't letting it slide, and recently started crowd-sourcing funds to build a massive statue of their own in clear view of the first one. Having reached (and exceeded) their $20,000 goal, they finally revealed what the design will look like... and I've gotta admit it's pretty damn metal.
This model represents what would ultimately be a seven-foot concrete image of the goat-headed incarnation Baphomet, enthroned beneath a pentagram with an adoring child on either side, which would include inscribed quotes (not shown) by Lord Byron and William Blake.
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” says Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
Oddly enough, Oklahoma officials are shocked, and vocally opposed to the statue's donation. “This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state,” said State Representative Earl Sears. “I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation.” Ironically, this statement supports the Temple's mission, which is to expose what they see as state favoritism toward a specific faith.
"This is a First Amendment issue," says Greaves. “Once they open that door, they can't discriminate.”
Other faith-based groups have petitioned to erect monuments at the Oklahoma Capital, including the famous satirical (but also official) Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.