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Could Satanic monument find home next to 10 Commandments at Okla. State Capitol?

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OKLAHOMA CITY – With the Oklahoma City branch of the American Civil Liberties Union filing a case against the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission for allowing the placement of a granite monument to the Ten Commandments to be placed on public property at the State Capitol, we now see a report where The Satanic Temple wants a monument of their own on the same site.

According to a report from Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist blog, he spoke with Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves who says their “homage” to Satan would be placed on the Capitol grounds via a “donation” from the organization, if accepted.

Mehta reports that the group’s monument would be to “complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument” and that the donation offer has already been made to the Capitol Preservation Committee via Certified Mail in late November – copied to the ACLU-OK and Attorney General Scott Pruitt -  and that now, the New York City-based Satanic Temple is awaiting the commission’s reply.

Greaves told Mehta that if the commission accepts their offer, “the good people of Oklahoma City will have the opportunity to show that they espouse the basic freedoms spelled out in the Constitution. We imagine that the ACLU would also embrace such a response. Allowing us to donate a monument would show that the Oklahoma City Council does not discriminate, and both the religious and the non-religious should be happy with such an outcome. Our mission is to bring people together by finding common sentiments that create solutions that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.”

Greaves said that with “many active (Satanic Temple) members in Oklahoma” the main chapter learned of the Ten Commandments controversy via their members here in the Sooner State.

“Oklahoma City seems particularly appropriate … in light of the controversy over their Ten Commandements monument,” Greaves said, adding that since the Commission indicated they were “receptive” to other groups having monuments they figured they would take a stab at it.

And when Mehta asked Greaves what they will do if the offer is rejected, Greaves said, “We are at a loss to think of a legal basis upon which they possibly could reject us.” Mehta concluded his blog post by saying that while he, as an atheist, would like to see the Satanic Temple get their monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol, he believes it is unlikely the group will succeed in having their request granted. 

The nearly $10,000 Ten Commandments monument was bought and erected by State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow). It was installed last year and the ACLU lawsuit was filed in August.

As for the beliefs of the Satanic Temple, Greaves told Mehta: "Satan, to us, is symbolic of our rejection of tyranny, and we bow to no God or gods. We stand with the unjustly accused, the slandered minority, and the unsilenced inquirer. "

And earlier this year American Atheists got a granite monument placed near the Bradford County, Florida courthouse in the town of Starke. It was placed opposite a controversial year-old display of the Ten Commandments.

Red Dirt Report contacted ACLU-OK early Wednesday evening but the office had closed by the time they were called.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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