Words almost escape me as I pray over this un-Godly situation in Oklahoma. Here we have yet another attack on Christianity in our great country. It is time for all Christians to stand and let themselves be heard.
Conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, (or non-religious groups), including Satanists who want a spot to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Statehouse steps. The Republican-controlled Legislature in a state known as the ‘buckle of the Bible Belt’ authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument in 2009 and was placed on the Capitol steps last year despite advice from legal experts who questioned its constitutionality.
The Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has already filed a lawsuit seeking the monuments removal. But a Satanic Temple based in New York sees a different opportunity. It notified the state’s Capitol Preservation Commission that it wanted to donate a monument and will submit plans for one of several possible designs this month which it wants to place on the capital steps as well. Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple writes, “We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards. Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines.” He added, one potential design involves a pentagram, a satanic symbol, while another is meant to be an interactive display for children.
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, who spearheaded the push for the Ten Commandments monument whose family helped pay the $10,000 for its construction, declined to comment on the effort but Greaves credited Ritze for opening the door to the group’s proposal. “He’s helping a satanic agenda grow more than any of us possibly could,” Greaves said. “You don’t walk around and see too many satanic temples around, but when you open the door to public spaces for us, that’s when you’re going to see us.”
The Oklahoma Legislature has taken steps that many believe blur the line that divides church and state. The House speaker said he wants to build a chapel inside the Capitol to celebrate Oklahoma’s “Judeo-Christian heritage.” Several lawmakers have said they want to allow nativity scenes and other religious-themed symbols in public schools. Rep. Bobby Cleveland plans to introduce one such bill next year, and said many Christians feel they are under attack as a result of political correctness. He dismissed the notion of Satanists erecting a monument at the Capitol. “I think these Satanists are a different group,” Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, said. “You put them under the nut category.”
Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all. “We would prefer to see Oklahoma’s government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahoman’s instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are,” Henderson said. “But if the Ten Commandments, with it’s overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple’s proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint.”