Tough Luck, Satan! Jul 5, 2015 23:58:29 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Jul 5, 2015 23:58:29 GMT -5
Tough Luck, Satan!
Tough luck to those anticipating a seven-foot Baphomet statue on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol. The state’s supreme court has ruled that the granite Ten Commandments (above) currently standing on capitol grounds must be removed. The religious monument became the object of national controversy in December 2013, when the Satanic Temple challenged Oklahoma’s acceptance of religious statues at its capitol by proposing the Ten Commandments be joined by a goat-headed Satanic sculpture. The judges ruled 7-2 that the installation of the Ten Commandments at the state capitol violates Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which does not allow public money or property to support a “church denomination or system of religion.” The decision overturns one in March from Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince, who upheld the placement of the monument.
The Oklahoma capitol Ten Commandments slap was placed in 2012, albeit with a couple of typos, including “Sabbath” misspelled “Sabbeth.” Last October, the monument was shattered into several pieces when a man ran his car into slab, reportedly declaring the devil made him do it. The monument was swiftly replaced in January.
The Satanic Temple is distinct from the Church of Satan and positions itself more as an advocacy group confronting challenges to religious freedom in the United States, from abortion laws in Missouri to a Nativity scenes at the Michigan and Florida capitols, where the devil whorshipers added Satanic displays. The Temple unveiled a design for its monument intended for the Oklahoma capitol, inspired by a 19th-century illustration by French occultist Eliphas Lévi. Two children stand on either side of the central horned creature, whose lap is open for those who would like to sit in its presence. The completed statue will be unveiled July 25 in Detroit, although its final destination is unclear.
The idea that placing the Ten Commandments on state government grounds violates separation of church and state seems evident, yet, the battle over such religious monuments is ongoing and intense. Last February, an Alabama House committee unanimously approved a bill to allow a Ten Commandments monument to be constructed at the state capitol and in April, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill that ordered the state to build a Ten Commandments monument at its capitol in Little Rock. The most famous example is likely the one located on the grounds of the Texas capitol, erected in 1961. Despite challenges, the Supreme Court ruled in Van Orden v. Perry that Texas could keep its Ten Commandments because the significance of commandments is historic, not just religious. However, on that same day in 2005, the Supreme Court ordered the Ten Commandments display removed from two Kentucky courthouses.
Despite the June 30 ruling, the battle over the Oklahoma monument might not be over. Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a statement, “Quite simply, the Oklahoma Supreme Court got it wrong. The court completely ignored the profound historical impact of the Ten Commandments on the foundation of Western law.” His office is reportedly requesting a rehearing and stay of banishing the monument in the meantime.
Source: Allison Meier, Hyperallergic, June 30, 2015.