The lawsuit against the Ten Commandments monument is supported by the Satanic Temple as it makes equal ground for the Satanists, Christians and other religious groups.
After the Oklahoma State Supreme Court decided that the Christian religious symbol should be removed from the Capitol grounds, the Ten Commandments monument was finally uprooted on Tuesday, October 6.
The legal debate that eventually turned into a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union started in a 2012 incident wherein a man suspected of having psychological problems intentionally drove his car into the monument damaging the original one. The group that promoted equality and freedom in the United States argued that having the Ten Commandments tablet within the state property will only suggest that the government is leaning towards or supporting the Christian religion. This would be in contrast with the Constitutional provision on the separation of state and the church, impartiality of the government including the assurance of religious freedom.
On June 30, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court sided with the complainant and in its 7-2 decision, the court said that the monument violated the state constitution which prohibits the use of state property to further or support “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion.” County Judge Thomas Prince earlier set a deadline of October 12 for the removal of the monument.
Several groups have opposed the idea of removing the tablet and the strongest of which include state politicians like Governor Mary Fallin. On the other hand, those who supported the lawsuit include the Satanic Temple which also had plans in the past to erect a statue of their satanic deity Baphomet close to where the Ten Commandment monument stood.
Baphomet is a half goat half man creature that features wings, horns and sexual symbols. In fact, the group that venerates Satan was already successful in erecting a Baphomet structure in Detroit last July. The Supreme Court’s decision will also prevent the Satanic Temple from realizing its plan to erect Baphomet’s statue in the Capitol grounds.
Is anyone concerned that we have removed a statue of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma and Dedicated a Statue of Satan in Detroit?
— Tracey Winbush (@traceywinbush) October 7, 2015
But the Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves stressed that the court’s decision is not a total bad news for the Satanist group. Greaves argues that the decision only makes things equal for the Satanists, Christians and all other religious groups.
Greaves clarified the Temple’s support for the lawsuit saying that “It’s important to understand that we’re neither fighting exclusively for Ten Commandments monument to be removed, nor are we merely fighting for the right to put Baphomet on government property. What we’re fighting against is a situation in which one particular viewpoint enjoys the appearance of privileged treatment and governmental authority.”
Greaves also criticized government officials like Gov. Fallin and State Atty. Scott Putt for going against the “Basic fact of Constitutional Law” that promotes religious liberty and prevention of “illegal attempts of theocratic encroachments.”
But parties wanting to bring back the Ten Commandments monument are not giving up even when it meant extreme ideas like a possible change in the State Constitution.