Following a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordering the state to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the capitol, the Satanic Temple will change its plans to place a Satanic monument in the capitol as well.
After the state allowed the Ten Commandments monument to be placed at the capitol in 2012, the Satanic Temple announced plans to install its own statue and the group began working on a sculpture of a Baphomet, a goat-headed deity.
On Tuesday, Satanic Temple Spokesman Lucien Greaves, who also goes by Doug Mesner, told TPM that the state Supreme Court ruled “appropriately.”
“The Ten Commandments monument really does have no place on the state capitol grounds,” Greaves said.
And now, Greaves says the Satanic Temple has “no interest” in placing the monument on the capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.
“The whole idea was that we were offering a counterbalance to the Ten Commandments,” he told TPM.
He added that the Satanic Temple’s effort to place a monument at the Oklahoma capitol may have helped force “the Supreme Court to think in such a way that made them rule against the Ten Commandments.”
Greaves said that the downside to the state Supreme Court’s ruling was that the Satanic Temple could no longer bring its own lawsuit. He said that the group had been working on a lawsuit against Oklahoma for “failing to even recognize our application for permission to put up a monument.”
“I feel very confident that we would have revealed an entire culture of corruption and incompetence in Oklahoma politics,” he said.
However, even though the Satanic Temple will abandon its plans for the Oklahoma capitol, the group plans on attempting to place its Baphomet statue in another state. The group has not made any official decisions, but Greaves said that they may try to bring the sculpture to the Arkansas capitol, where lawmakers in April also permitted the placement of a Ten Commandment monument.
Greaves told TPM that in any state where the government allows a Ten Commandments monument, the Satanic Temple will “be there to counterbalance that.”
The group has completed its Baphomet statue and will unveil it in Detroit on July 25.
“It’s a wonderful work of art, and we will find public placement for it,” Greaves said.
The Satanic Temple is based in New York, and in 2013, Greaves described the group to Vice Media as “civic-minded socially responsible Satanists” who serve “to satirize the ludicrous superstitious fears that the word Satan tends to evoke.”
The group was also partly responsible for a Florida school district’s decision to ban religious materials from outside organizations after the Satanic Temple tried to hand out coloring books to students.