Last week, I posted an interview with Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves about his group’s desire to place a monument of their own near the Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma Capitol building.
They were executing a tactic atheists have been using for a while now: When a Christian display is allowed on government property, you might as well take advantage of the floodgates being open and demand a display of your own. Along the way, if legislators decide to ban religious and non-religious displays altogether, that’s just too damn bad… and if they ban your display, it’s an easy victory in court.
Oklahoma legislators are aware that the Satanists want to erect their own monument and they have no clue how to respond, so they’re just putting their collective foot in their mouth and crying “Christian privilege!” left and right:
“This is a faith-based nation and a faith-based state,” said Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville. “I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation.”
Yes, how dare non-Christian groups contemplate using their First Amendment rights?! It’s totally a faith-based nation… even though nearly 20% of Americans use no religious label and even though our Constitution says it wouldn’t matter if 100% of them did.
“It is not something the people of Oklahoma would support, and the people of Oklahoma support the Ten Commandments monument,” said Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa.
Guess what? Doesn’t matter.
“It is not going to get approved here without a court battle,” said Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove. “I can assure you.”
… a statement no politician has ever said to a Christian group wanting to put a Ten Commandments monument.
“I am somewhat disappointed we are facing this sort of thing,” said Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa. “We sort of knew this might happen. I know nothing of about this group. I have never heard of them. I think we opened the door and have to have a process to have it vetted.”
That may be the worst one of them all. We sort of figured other groups might want to take advantage of this opportunity, but I just can’t believe any of them actually did!
Wait. I lied. This is the worst one of them all:
Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said the New York group is trying to place a monument on the Capitol grounds for religious purposes and will be unsuccessful. The Ten Commandments monument, on the other hand, was put up for historical purposes, Reynolds said.
Wow. The Satanic Temple’s proposed monument should be rejected because it’s too “religious,” but the Ten Commandments monument should be given a pass because it’s “historical”?!
Someone will have to explain to me the historical significance of Commandments that say we should obey God, not obey idols, not take God’s name in vain, and keep the Sabbath holy… not to mention that most of the other Commandments aren’t even codified in our laws — no one goes to jail for coveting, committing adultery, or disrespecting their parents.
If the Satanic Temple’s efforts fail, then I’ll be first in line to donate to their legal battle. Anything to get more hypocritical soundbites from legislators who don’t understand that there are people out there who don’t believe in the same imaginary God they do.
The principle is simple: Oklahoma legislators can allow all groups’ monuments on government property or they can stop the charade right now and move the Ten Commandments monument to a local church.
Where are the politicians who accept that that’s how our country works? It doesn’t matter if Christians make up the majority faith; the government has to remain neutral on these sorts of issues.
I asked Lucien Greaves if he had a response for the politicians and I’ll update this post when I hear from him.
(Thanks to Jane for the link!)