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Satanic Group Plans Monument Next to Ten Commandments

Satanic Group Plans Monument Next to Ten Commandments

A group from the Satanic Temple in Oklahoma is working to submit plans for a monument to be erected next to a Ten Commandments monument near the Statehouse.

The Ten Commandments monument was privately funded and placed on the Capitol grounds in 2012, opening a debate on the division between church and state.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Oklahoma has since filed a lawsuit to remove the monument.

The Satanic Temple, however, is planning its own monument for the area.

"We believe that all monuments should be in good taste and consistent with community standards," Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple, wrote in letter to state officials. "Our proposed monument, as an homage to the historic/literary Satan, will certainly abide by these guidelines."

Potential designs include a pentagram, a satanic symbol or an interactive children’s display.

Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville), however, told the Associated Press he was against the proposed monument.

"I think these Satanists are a different group," Cleveland said. "You put them under the nut category."

But Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, said state officials will have to be fair to the Satanic Temple.

"We would prefer to see Oklahoma's government officials work to faithfully serve our communities and improve the lives of Oklahomans instead of erecting granite monuments to show us all how righteous they are," Henderson said. "But if the Ten Commandments, with its overtly Christian message, is allowed to stay at the Capitol, the Satanic Temple's proposed monument cannot be rejected because of its different religious viewpoint."