Arkansas makes last minute moves to prevent The Satanic Temple’s Baphomet statue on Capitol grounds.

The Rep. Kim Hammer proposed House Bill 1273, which was passed by the Arkansas House on February 7. This bill would stop the construction of brand new monuments on Capitol grounds. The only exception to this rule is if the entity is approved by the State legislature.

House Bill 1273 is clearly aimed to thwart the intentions of The Satanic Temple. The religious group is extremely unpopular with the predominantly Christian members of the House. It is so unpopular the vote was passed 91 to 0.

The bill will prevent Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to start the process of permitting new Capitol monuments without express permission from lawmakers.
The present law states:

A monument shall not be constructed on or removed from the State Capitol grounds unless authorized by an act of the General Assembly.

Members of the Arkansas House are trying their best to stop any installation of non-Christian monuments inside the Capitol grounds. Jason Rapert is another State Senator rigidly opposing the installation of such monuments. Even so, The Satanic Temple, along with a few atheists, are putting up a strong effort.

Permission has been given by The Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to hold a public hearing for the installation of a Baphomet statue as demanded by Satanists. In contrast, Saline Atheist & Skeptic Society will give a presentation so that they obtain a public hearing.

If such hearings go as planned, and the projects get their due approval, the legislature would be compelled to grant permission to monuments. If such a thing happens, the Ten Commandments statue approved in 2015 by the elected officials would have company. If legislators deny approval, then there could be chances of a lawsuit. The House Bill 1273 would snatch power away from Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission.

In other words, nothing can be constructed on the Capitol grounds without the approval of State House. If granted, then only the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission will consider whether it could be put up for display. Members of the legislative body want to make themselves the filter through which all permissions must be taken to construct monuments. They could deny permission to atheists and Satanists. However, they have already given permission to Christians.

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