WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A statue of a goat-headed creature called Baphomet was unveiled by Satanists at the Arkansas state capitol.
- The unveiling, attended by about 150 Satanic Temple members and atheists, was met by many protests from Arkansas’ Christian activists.
- It was allowed to be on display temporarily, but the group argued, citing freedom of religion rights outlined in the US constitution.
A bronze, eight-and-a-half-foot tall statue of a winged, goat-headed creature was unveiled by Satanists at the Arkansas capitol. The statue, called Baphomet, was met by many protests from Arkansas’ Christian activists and was described as ‘offensive’ by a Republican politician.
It’s currently allowed to be displayed temporarily, and members of the Satanic Temple continue to argue based on the US constitution’s freedom of religion rights that they should be given permission to display it permanently.
“If you’re going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don’t agree with that then let’s just not have any at all,” commented one of the rally organizers, Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester.
Last year, Republican Senator Jason Rapert sponsored a bill to put up The Ten Commandments monument. But according to KATV News, the Satanic Temple did not receive a response from any of Arkansas’ legislators from a letter they sent persuading them that the controversial statue should be exhibited permanently in Little Rock.
Senator Jason Rapert firmly stated, “It will be a very cold day in hell before an offensive statue will be forced upon us to be permanently erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.”
He further described the Satanic protesters as “extremists”. Thursday’s rally at the state capitol building’s grounds was attended by about 150 people, including atheists who voiced out their arguments on the violations of the church and state.
Little Rock’s Christians also participated in counter-protest, singing hymns and parading with placards of bible verses. One yelling counter-protester was escorted by the police away from the stage, but apart from that, the rally was relatively nonviolent.
An effort to sue the state of Arkansas for religious discrimination has since been made by the Satanic Temple, and the group tried to associate with a case brought about by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). However, the ACLU requested the court to block any interference made by the organization.
Source: Yahoo News