Satanists protest Arkansas Ten Commandments monument

Blanche Robertson
August 19, 2018

Last week a monument to the Ten Commandments was installed at the Arkansas State Capitol, and worshippers from the Satanic Temple were not happy. It was also meant to protest the explicitly Christian values promoted by a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds, in keeping with the Satanic Temple's belief that religious displays should not be placed on public property.

"If you're going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don't agree with that then let's just not have any at all", rally organizer Ivy Forrester said, according to CBS News.

The Satanic Temple said the Ten Commandments monument violates constitutional freedom of religion rights and that installation of their statue will demonstrate religious tolerance. The goat-headed winged statue is eight-and-a-half-foot tall icon was supposed to be on a temporary display but the Satan believers have argued they want it to be permanently erected for their freedom of religion.

"We did not bring Baphomet here in hopes of replacing the Ten Commandments monument", he said.

In 2017, Reed reportedly destroyed Arkansas' monument in the same way as he did in Oklahoma, less than 24 hours after it was installed.

But after Michael Tate Reed reportedly drove his auto through Oklahoma's monument, the state's Supreme Court ultimately decided in 2015 that the monument could no longer stay there.

The Satanic Temple isn't the only group opposing Rapert's monument.

Who are the Satanic Temple?

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An Oklahoma State Highway Patrol vehicle is parked near the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 5, 2015.

The Satanic Temple ended its campaign to install Baphomet there, after Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument was unconstitutional and it was taken down.

The Satanic Temple, a national organization with 15 chapters in the USA and one in Canada, objects to exclusively Christian religious displays on public property.

The rally was attended by a little over 100 people and Greaves reiterated that contrary to what the people may have heard, the Satanic Temple had no intention or plans to make the statue a permanent addition to the Arkansas Capitol.

"Under the First Amendment, everyone has a right to free speech and we respect that", Rapert said.

The rally was peaceful. A smaller group of counter-protesters holding signs with Bible verses stood quietly nearby, occasionally singing Christian songs.

Speaking at the rally Lucien Greaves, spokesman and co-founder of the Satanic Temple said: "The event is meant to be an inclusive gathering where The Satanic Temple will be celebrating pluralism along with Christian and secular speakers".

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