- (Photo: Facebook/The Satanic Temple)
A Satanic religious group has expressed an interest in erecting a monument next to a Ten Commandments display in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The New York-based Satanic Temple recently declared an interest in doing this, with spokesman Lucien Greaves writing a letter to Oklahoma officials about his group's intentions.
"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," said Greaves.
"Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines."
Greaves also told officials that the reason he should be able to build a monument to Satan in Oklahoma City is because of the Ten Commandments display, privately funded by State Rep. Mike Ritze, being allowed.
"He's helping a satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could," said Greaves, adding that, "You don't walk around and see too many satanic temples around, but when you open the door to public spaces for us, that's when you're going to see us."
Trait Thompson, chair for the State Capitol Preservation Commission, told The Christian Post that as of Monday morning he had not received an application from the Satanic Temple for the monument.
"Applicants must fill out the submission paperwork found on our website. Once submitted, the proposed design, artist, etc., must be evaluated by the Architecture and Grounds Committee," said Thompson.
"The committee would issue a recommendation and then it would proceed to the full membership of the CPC for a vote."
Thompson also told CP that the presently standing Decalogue display did not go through the typical process for a capitol monument.
"In the case of the Ten Commandments monument, the legislature passed a bill in 2009 authorizing the monument to be placed, so it was not approved through our typical process. The CPC's only role was to select a location for the monument," said Thompson.
Since its placement at the state capitol, the Decalogue display has garnered controversy in church and state watchdog circles.
Oklahoma's American Civil Liberties Union chapter filed suit against the Decalogue display, arguing that it was unconstitutional.
"The monument's placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans," said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma's executive director, in a statement.
"When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal."
Charlie Meadows, president of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), told CP that the monument had historical value.
"The monument on the grounds of our state capitol is in place as a tribute to the historical significance the Ten Commandments have played as the foundation of America's and Oklahoma's legal system as well as those common sense values many of the people in Oklahoma live by today," said Meadows.
"Perhaps more importantly, they are the same values many of our pioneers lived by going back to our founding."
Meadows also told CP that while he felt the New York satanist group should be given consideration, "out of common courtesy," he felt their claim to a monument was lacking credibility.
"I just don't know of any influence upon Oklahoma from a historical perspective by a satanic organization, and I know of no influence today, outside of this group wanting to have a say in our state," said Meadows.
"However, it would have more credibility if they actually had a sister organization here in Oklahoma. … It is extremely rude and an overreach that a group from New York demand the people of Oklahoma allow a monument to be erected on the grounds of our state capitol."