OKLAHOMA CITY – The battle over ground at the Oklahoma State Capitol is brewing between two different religious leaders.
For the past year, Satanic leaders and Christian leaders across the country have been debating about freedom of religion and the separation between church and state.
In 2012, Rep. Mike Ritze paid for the installation of a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol’s front lawn.
Since he paid for the Commandments himself, it was classified as a donation and was allowed to be placed on government property.
However, the Satanic Temple says if the Ten Commandments are placed on government property, a symbol of their religion should also have a place on the lawn.
“They specifically made statements that this location was to be a ‘monument park.’ They didn’t put it in exactly those words, but that was the legal rhetoric that they instituted to justify it and pretend there was Constitutional standing for it. And that was just a breach of the [First Amendment’s] establishment clause. They set the perfect groundwork for us,” said Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for the Satanic Temple.
The Satanic Temple proposed placing a statue of Baphomet, a Pagan idol, next to the Ten Commandments.
“The Ten Commandments monument that was recently destroyed, I believe, certainly has a rightful place because it is one of the most ancient codes of law and the legislature makes laws. Whereas the proposed Satanic monument really has no connection with the State of Oklahoma,” said Archbishop Paul Coakely, with the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
However, everything came to a halt in October when the Ten Commandments statue was destroyed.
When it was destroyed, Satanic leaders said they would stop their plans on their own monument if the Ten Commandments monument was not rebuilt.
However, Rep. Ritze says the Ten Commandments monument is being rebuilt and will be installed soon.
Recently, new pictures of a statue of Baphomet have surfaced from Florida.