Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here
Subscribe to Aleteia's free newsletter: Goodness. Beauty. Truth. No yelling.
Sign me up!

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

Satanists force Baphomet statue onto grounds of Arkansas state capitol

ARKANSAS,CAPITOL
Shutterstock
Share

Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple challenges presence of Ten Commandments monument

Outside the Arkansas state capitol, it’s starting to look a little like a replay of the famous contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Last year, following approval in 2015 by the state legislature, a Ten Commandments monument was installed on capitol grounds. In May, the American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of four Arkansas women to remove the monument on First Amendment grounds.

On Thursday, protestors took it a step further. Members and supporters of the Salem, Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple wheeled in a statue of Baphomet, the winged, goat-headed creature venerated by Satanists.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, told the Huffington Post that the move was for “all people who hold sacred the founding Constitutional principles of religious freedom and free expression.”

“What we are asking for is only that the public square … remain an area where free speech, religious liberty and equality under the law be respected by the holders of public office who swore to uphold those values,” Greaves told a crowd at the rally.

But this is in the Bible Belt, not freewheeling Massachusetts. Anticipating the demonstration, opponents of the Satanic Temple on Wednesday held signs saying “Blasphemy is not free speech,” “Satan has NO rights,” and “Honk for Jesus.”

It will be a “very cold day in hell” before a statue of Baphomet will be installed in Little Rock, said Arkansas Republican and state Sen. Jason Rapert, a minister and lead sponsor of the law allowing the Ten Commandments monument.

Members of the Satanic Temple insist they don’t worship any deity but are humanists who believe in science. According to its website, the Satanic Temple’s mission is to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority [and] advocate practical common sense and justice.”

They are also active in the public policy sphere, challenging abortion laws in Ohio and Missouri on the grounds that they were legislated on religious dogma.

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.