LITTLE ROCK – Citizens are pushing back against a proposal by The Satanic Temple to place a statue of a demon on Arkansas state capitol grounds. In early September, two separate proposals were offered to the state government to place a Ten Commandments monument alongside a statue of the demon Baphomet at the capitol building. Senator Jason Rapert, sponsor of the bill that would allow the well-known symbol of Judeo-Christianity to be built, says the Ten Commandments standing tall on the capitol grounds would serve as a solemn reminder of the foundation of the United States.
“I think as part of our state capitol, it would make a nice addition and give a nice honor to the fact that this is a part of the foundation of American jurisprudence,” Rapert opined. “We have room for many more [monuments], and we don’t have anything in particular that honored that aspect of the moral foundation of American law.”
The Satanic Temple, which is protesting the proposal, says that building the Ten Commandments here would give the appearance that the government was endorsing a particular religion. The Satanic Temple last year unveiled the demon statue in a crumbling warehouse located in Detroit, Michigan. In spite of the Temple’s claims that the group is not a cult and instead stands primarily for political activism and awareness, the unveiling was followed immediately by multiple acts of sexual debauchery involving homosexuals on the statue’s lap — a common ritual practice in satanist circles.
Many individuals who live in the Little Rock area have spoken out about the conflict between both proposals. Rick Pace said, “You do not let these bunch of phonies place a monument to Satan. This country is built on the principles of the Lord.”
“We are a godly nation; we were based upon Christianity,” says Len Young. “I think the Ten Commandments should be on there.”
Betty Wishard offered an alternative proposal, saying that the Baphomet statue should be placed on the grounds but directly behind the Ten Commandments and slightly out of sight, accompanied by a plaque quoting Matthew 4:10: “Get thee behind me, Satan.”