Sitting on Santa’s lap is a well-established Christmas tradition. But come next holiday season a group of New York City Satanists would like to provide you with another lap to sit on — Satan’s.
The group, known as The Satanic Temple, formally unveiled the design Monday for a seven-foot-tall goat-headed statue celebrating Satanism on the lawn of the Oklahoma State Capitol. (Via National Journal)
According to the group, the statue would have “a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.” (Via The Satanic Temple)
It would also sport a large Pentagram and likenesses of two smiling children on either side of the Satanic figure — but quoted by Metro, the group’s spokesman says it would be “in good taste and consistent with community standards.”
The idea for the statue was first floated last month when the group applied to erect the monument. (Via The Raw Story)
Now, realistically, it seems the statue has little chance of ever seeing the light of day — but actually getting it erected might not be the point.
See, back in 2009 the state’s legislature approved a privately-funded statue of the Ten Commandments that has since been erected on the Capitol lawn. (Via KOCO)
That monument has faced a slew of challenges from other religious groups who say putting up a Christianity-themed statue while excluding other viewpoints violates separation of church and state as laid out in the Bill of Rights.
Quoted by Philly.com, a spokesman for The Satanic Temple said, "Either way you cut it, this is a First Amendment issue. Once they open that door, they can't discriminate."
Other challenges have included proposals for monuments by a Hindu group, PETA, and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. (Via KSWO)
Some of those groups, and others like them, have had success with similar tactics in the past. Like at Florida’s State Capitol, where a chair with pasta on it for the so-called “Pastafarians” of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a Festivus pole, of Seinfeld fame, were displayed alongside a nativity scene. (Via Tallahassee Democrat, WOFL)
Another group that has protested Oklahoma's Ten Commandments display is the ACLU — which filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the display in August.
The building of any new displays on the capitol lawn is reportedly on hold until that case is resolved.
But that isn’t stopping The Satanic Temple from taking steps to prepare their monument. The group is currently raising funds on crowdsourcing site Indiegogo, where it has raised more than $11,000 of its $20,000 goal with 11 days to go.
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