The Satanic Temple is moving forward with plans to place a nine-foot tall bronze statue of Baphomet on the grounds at the Oklahoma State Capitol. On Saturday, June 20, they’ll unveil the statue, ready for placement. They invite the public to the unveiling, at what they call “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery.”
The Satanic Temple’s headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan, but this first statue — they plan to follow with others — is to be placed on state capitol grounds in Oklahoma, next to a Ten Commandment monument that is already present. It’s this monument that inspired the Satanic Temple to apply for space for their own statue — their purpose is largely centered around countering Christian privilege in government promotion.
That is, when the U.S. government is seen to promote a religion, such as by placing an endorsement of that religion on government property, the Satanic Temple steps in. Their activism aims to expose government favoritism of one religion over others, when government entities try to block their displays while promoting others, demonstrate the problem with government promotion of religion, and fight the government endorsement of one religion over others.
Last Christmas, for instance, the Satanic Temple erected a Christmas display on capitol grounds in Michigan. It was afterward damaged by a woman who didn’t believe that the non-Christian group deserved the same display rights.
The current project has been in the works for some time. The general understanding on religious displays is that goevernment entities have three options: no religious displays, only displays that can be shown to have a secular purpose, or permit all faith groups equal access, or equal opportunity of access (some cities have held lotteries to allow a limited number of groups space). When secular groups have protested against the Ten Commandment monument on Oklahoma capitol grounds, the state has made excuses. The Satanic Temple has filed an official request for space on the grounds, but, according to the Detroit Metro Times has not yet received permission.
The unveiling Saturday will take place at Bert’s Warehouse Theater, in an adults-only event that costs $25 for basic tickets and $75 for VIP tickets that include a photograph of the ticketholder with the statue, and an autographed poster.
If you’re seeking a more solid souvenir, the Satanic Temple’s website offers a seven-inch replica of the statue in resin.
Calling out to attendees, the Satanic Temple’s event page invites all to participate.
“The event will serve as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats. Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making.”
Below, you can see the statue as revealed by the Satanic Temple last year, a creation more than seven-feet tall, not yet complete. Since that time, it has been completed and cast in bronze, to create the design that will be revealed on Saturday.