As if Detroit didn’t have troubles enough already, the city is about to welcome a statue of Baphomet, a pagan idol “worshipped” by the Satanic Temple.
Since the 1970s, Detroit has been known for the widespread arson and vandalism which occur each year on October 30, “Devil’s Night.” Now, the devil will have his own monument in the Motor City.
The one-ton, 9-foot-tall bronze statue will be unveiled July 25, even though protests by pastors and local residents convinced Bert’s Warehouse, the restaurant and entertainment complex in Eastern Market where the statue was to be placed, to back out of the deal. The new location has not yet been announced publicly.
The name “Baphomet” dates to July 1098, when it was found in a letter written by Raymond of Aguilers, who was a crusader in the First Crusade. The creature was frequently associated with the Knights Templar; in modern times, it has been a symbol for the occult and for Satanic worship.
In the mid-19th century, an occultist by the name of Eliphas Levi sketched the creature as it appears today: a goat’s head atop a human body, with horns and wings. Satanists explain that the creature’s binary elements (such as both male and female characteristics, as well as good and evil) represent the “sum total of the universe.”
The statue which is coming to Detroit depicts Baphomet with two children, a boy and a girl. The monster has a large lap, on which devil-worshippers will be encouraged to sit for photos.
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WHAT IS THE SATANIC TEMPLE?
The Satanic Temple is not a “religion” in the sense that its members worship a god. Rather, they seem to be organized as a protest movement against people of faith. They have campaigned actively against Michigan’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. They insist that women should have access to abortion and contraceptives, and campaign in support of same-sex “marriage.” They believe that the fetus is not a “person” but is, rather, “tissue that belongs to a woman.” They demand that religious symbols should be obliterated from the public square.
Jex Blackmore, director of the Detroit Satanic Temple chapter, said in an interview with Fox News:
“The message behind Baphomet is a reconciliation of the opposites, not this call to arms of one against one, but a merging of the two. That’s part of the reason that it can only exist standing next to the Ten Commandments. That’s part of the message. We wouldn’t want to proselytize as a single voice in the public square.”
The Satanic Temple of Detroit, which is organizing the new installation, describes itself as
“a non-theistic religious organization dedicated to Satanic practice and the promotion of Satanic rights. We understand the Satanic figure as a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.”
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HISTORY OF THE BAPHOMET STATUE
The group’s website explains that the statue was originally planned for the Oklahoma State House. When the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that no religious image could be displayed on government property, They first considered displaying the work in Arkansas. In the end, though, they chose Detroit–where the first chapter was established
The statue of Baphomet, a manifestation of Satan, was originally intended to be installed at the State House in Oklahoma City, beside a representation of the Ten Commandments. However, after the Oklahoma Supreme Court acted last year to remove the Ten Commandments from the public square, the Satanic Temple set out to find a new home for its statue. Detroit seemed a natural spot:
The Satanic Temple invites you to join us for a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery at The Unveiling, a hedonistic celebration introducing the controversial Baphomet monument accompanied by provocative performances and installations.
Never before seen in public, The Satanic Temple Baphomet monument is already the most controversial and politically charged contemporary work of art in the world. Weighing one ton and towering at nearly nine feet tall, the bronze statue is not only an unparalleled artistic triumph, but stands as a testament to plurality and the power of collective action. The event will serve as a call-to-arms from which we’ll kick off our largest fight to date in the name of individual rights to free exercise against self-serving theocrats.
Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making.
The Satanic Temple will not disclose the location of the unveiling in advance. Interested persons who are at least 18 years of age must order a ticket on-line; no tickets will be sold at the door, and no last-minute applications will be accepted. The Satanic Temple of Detroit explains on their website:
VIP ticket holders will have an exclusive opportunity to be photographed seated on the Baphomet monument, and will receive a limited edition event poster which they can have autographed by Lucien Greaves.
In a statement released earlier this year, Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said,
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures. The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”