Oh, Oklahoma. In 2009, state legislators in Oklahoma approved a privately funded statue of the Ten Commandments, something they foolishly thought would barely be an issue at all and maybe, on some level, thought would stick it to those dirty atheists. Good plan. Fast forward to 2014 and now the devil wants his due.
The problem with allowing one person to privately fund a religious themed statue on state property is you have no grounds to deny another privately funded religious statue. That’s why the Church of Satan has plans for a statue of the goat-demon Baphoment that they’d like to see in Oklahoma’s state capital. He’d be seated in a chair and you could sit in his lap, so it’s even more functional than the Ten Commandments are, plus it’s a goat-headed denizen of the underworld, and you almost never see that at government buildings unless you catch congressmen in their offices early in the morning.
The ACLU protested the original Ten Commandments statue to no avail, which opens the door for not just the Church of Satan but also Hindus, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and PETA, who have all also requested space for their own monuments near the Capitol.
How do a flying spaghetti beast, the Dark Lord of the Underworld and Vishnu all end up at the same party? They got invited by the First Amendment, which the Oklahoma State Capitol sat on and squished like a pie by allowing the Christian monument on state grounds, giving them little justification if any for allowing one statue but denying any others.
Currently, while a lawsuit from the ACLU is pending on the fate of the statue, the state has decided to place a moratorium on requests for new monuments and will hold off on considering any current requests, but most state lawmakers questioned made it clear they won’t support or allow anything from the Church of Satan, despite the devilish representative assuring media that it was, in fact, local Satanists who have requested and funded the endeavor this far already. Yes Virginia, there are Satanists in the Bible Belt.
For what it’s worth, the Church of Satan uses Satan as a metaphorical figure, one who represents rebellion against tyranny, and the basic tenets of the Church are actually very positive and deal with self actualization and empowerment. Which isn’t to say some people out there probably listen to death metal and kill squirrels as sacrifices, it’s just that maybe they’re doing it wrong.
But supposing, just for a second, the moratorium gets lifted and more groups are allowed to put in requests for their monuments, we have a few ideas for some that Oklahoma may enjoy more than having a big, ol’ Satan on the porch.
Does Oklahoma need a 30 foot statue of Tom Cruise? Yes. Yes it does. So do most states, let’s be honest.
Rael used to be a French race car driver until he discovered aliens. Now he believes life on Earth is the result of an alien experiment. Their belief system includes a pretty heavy emphasis on sex, which most religions really miss out on. A nice statue of a dude humping ET would dress up Oklahoma like a boss.
A nice, big statue of Wilt Chamberlain, Shaq, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant would probably inspire the Oklahoma City Thunder to try harder.
A statue of Larry David, with hair, in Heaven, with his angelic guides (Sascha Baron-Cohen and Dustin Hoffman), would really tie the Capitol together.
This is a tough one. Do you make a statue of the prophet Muhammad? That’ll backfire. A statue of Barack Obama? That’s kind of funny but everyone won’t get it. Muhammad Ali? People will think it’s about boxing. Go with Dave Chappelle and hope for the best.