Years ago, the Oklahoma state Legislature authorized the installment of a privately-funded Ten Commandments statue on the steps of the Statehouse. Now, they might have to eat their prayers as a Satanic Temple in New York has suggested that another monument be erected next to the Ten Commandments piece. The Oklahoma chapter of the ACLU has filed a motion calling for the removal of the original monument, but the Satanic Temple plans to submit its design proposal shortly, anyway.
But the New York-based Satanic Temple saw an opportunity. It notified the state's Capitol Preservation Commission that it wants to donate a monument and plans to submit one of several possible designs this month, said Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple.
"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Greaves wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines."
Greaves said one potential design involves a pentagram, a satanic symbol, while another is meant to be an interactive display for children. He said he expects the monument, if approved by Oklahoma officials, would cost about $20,000.
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who spearheaded the push for the Ten Commandments monument and whose family helped pay the $10,000 for its construction, declined to comment on the Satanic Temple's effort, but Greaves credited Ritze for opening the door to the group's proposal.
Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R), plans to introduce a bill that would allow for religious-themed symbols in publics schools. He also categorized the Satanists as "nuts." Greaves, though, notes that its such legislation that opens the door for Satanists.