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Hullabaloo


Monday, December 09, 2013

 
Satan in the public square

by digby

I don't know how they'll decide that this is not acceptable while nativity scenes (or whatever) are, but I'm sure they will:
In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the Statehouse steps.

The Republican-controlled Legislature in this state known as the buckle of the Bible Belt authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009, and it was placed on the Capitol grounds last year despite criticism from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality. The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking its removal.

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.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who spearheaded the push for the Ten Commandments monument and whose family helped pay the $10,000 for its construction, declined to comment on the Satanic Temple's effort, but Greaves credited Ritze for opening the door to the group's proposal.

"He's helping a satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could," Greaves said. "You don't walk around and see too many satanic temples around, but when you open the door to public spaces for us, that's when you're going to see us."

I once thought that this sort of action would illustrate to everyone why it is wrong for public spaces to feature religious monuments: you can't pick and choose which religions are acceptable. But now I realize that the people who care about this will have no problem doing just that. They are long past believing in free exercise of religion. They now believe that the Constitution is a collaboration between Jesus and George Washington and that freedom of religion applies only the Christianity (and maybe the Jews if they don't get too uppity.) I'm not sure how the Supreme Court would deal with this but I'd imagine they'll find a clever way out. There's just no way anyone's going to let Satan on the courthouse steps. Unless he comes in the guise of a politician ...

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