A move by Republican lawmakers to erect a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma’s Capitol, may have opened the door to something they certainly didn’t expect.
In 2009, the GOP-controlled state legislature approved the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol’s north steps. Now a Satanic group says it wants to place its own monument — to Satan, naturally — at the Capitol as well, the Associated Press notes.
State lawmakers say the proposal must be approved by the Oklahoma Capital Preservation Committee where it would face considerable scrutiny.
However, the Satanic Temple insists that since the state placed a monument favoring one religious point of view at the Capitol, it cannot reject contending religious viewpoints. “We’re a religiously pluralistic society, so if there’s going to be one, there will be others,” said one member of the Satanic Temple, which plans to donate the monument.
A professor of constitutional law at the University of Oklahoma said that lawmakers had “put the state between a rock and a hard place” by approving the Ten Commandments monument, and would face constitutional difficulties if it failed to approve another privately-donated monument on purely religious grounds.
Based in New York, the Satanic Temple says its monument to Satan would “be in good taste and consistent with community standards.” The monument could feature both a pentagram and an interactive display to help educated children about Satan. It is expected to cost the group about $20,000, the Los Angeles Times notes.
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