The Satanic Temple will deliver a statue of Baphomet as part of a religious freedom rally protesting a 10 Commandments monument at the Arkansas state capitol.
Arkansas Online reports:
The Satanic Temple says it will bring its 7½-foot bronze Baphomet statue to the state Capitol in Little Rock as part of a protest next month to defend religious freedom.
The rally, planned for Aug. 16, “is intended to bring together religious leaders of different faiths to discuss the importance of the First Amendment and its protection for religious pluralism,” the group said in a news release.
The Satanic Temple announced the protest on their Facebook page:
The Satanic Temple’s infamous Baphomet statue will make an appearance at the Arkansas state Capitol on August 16th from 1-3pm during “The Satanic Temple’s Rally for the First Amendment.” The rally is intended to bring together religious leaders of different faiths to discuss the importance of the First Amendment and its protection for religious pluralism as being essential to preserve democracy.
A statement from The Satanic Temple’s spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, reads in part:
We are taking our Baphomet monument to the Arkansas state capitol next month. On August 16th, we will show the theocratic politicians that we won’t silently stand by as they undermine our fundamental constitutionally enshrined liberties — the liberty to follow our consciences, the liberty to forge our deeply-held beliefs, and the liberty to express our beliefs or disbelief, while afforded an equal voice, without government coercion or intervention. The Arkansas government is actively subverting this bedrock principle of liberal democracy and it is our duty to rise to the challenge.
The Arkansas government has erected a 10 Commandments monument on capitol grounds sponsored by an Evangelist minister in the State Senate who has been allowed to abuse his public office to favor his religious viewpoint in a public forum to the exclusion of other voices. To rectify the unconstitutional appearance of official favoritism for one religion, and to establish a respect for pluralism and religious freedom, we, The Satanic Temple, offered our Baphomet monument to stand alongside the 10 Commandments. The Arkansas government refused our request.In addition to litigating against this blatant viewpoint discrimination, we’re taking Baphomet to the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock and will be there at 1pm. We need your support…
This isn’t a rally of secularists versus people of faith, Satanists versus Christians, or outsiders versus Arkansas. This is a rally for all people who hold sacred the founding Constitutional principles of Religious Freedom and Free Expression that have fallen under assault by irresponsible politicians like Senator Rapert. We welcome people of all backgrounds and religious beliefs to stand with us.
Bottom line: The Satanic Temple is challenging Christian extremists in Arkansas who reject the separation of church and state and the secular values upon which this nation was founded.