Satanic Temple statue unveiled at Arkansas State Capitol

Lucien Greaves spokesman for The Satanic Temple with a statue of Baphomet

Lucien Greaves spokesman for The Satanic Temple with a statue of Baphomet

The spokesman and co-founder of the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves (obviously not his real name), used certain popular "progressive" words to make his case, including "inclusive" and "privilege".

The Satanic Temple unveiled its statue Thursday of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet during a First Amendment rally at the Arkansas State Capitol to protest a Ten Commandments monument already on the Capitol grounds. Meanwhile, the Ten Commandments stood behind a screened fence rimmed with caution tape, presumably for maintenance and to prevent mischief in the heated environment.

While Greaves, Baphomet rally did draw some humor, many Christian protesters didn't find the statute of the goat-headed horned god being adorned by two young children amusing. A man also drove his vehicle into the piece last summer, NPR reports. To avoid a similar attack, the new version is surrounded by four security bollards.

"The Satanic Temple is actually nothing more than a group of pranksters who go around and take advantage of gullible people around the country, trying to raise funds and promote the profane". Raper said in a report by WFAA-TV.

Rapert said in an online statement that he respects the protesters' First Amendment rights, but also called them "extremists" and said "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".

The Satanic Temple says the Ten Commandments monument violates U.S. constitutional freedom of religion rights and that the installation of their 2.3-metre-tall statue showing the 14th century idol seated and accompanied by smiling children would demonstrate religious tolerance.

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The group have chapters all over the world - the largest of which is on Detroit, Michigan.

The Ten Commandments monument was sponsored by Republican Sen. Disagreeing with what is popularly being reported in media outlets, Greaves explained he doesn't want to remove the 10 Commandments, but rather temporarily show that if you focus on one religious statue, you need to focus on another. The TV station also posted a press release on its website that featured the bios of some of the Satanic Temple's members and a link to their website that urged readers to visit and "learn more".

A KARK reporter tweeted, "Baphomet has arrived at the state capitol to cheers of 'Hail Satan!'"

Oklahoma faced the same type of battle in 2014 when The Satanic Temple, based in Salem, Mass., wanted to donate a Baphomet statue for display on the Oklahoma State Capitol's lawn.

Upstairs in the air-conditioned capitol, state senator Jason Rapert (R- Conway) attended meetings while the crowd derided him outside. "They only preserved the one in Austin on the grounds that is was a 40-year-old landmark and importantly, that it was displayed a number of other monuments with no evidence of viewpoint discrimination".

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