The pagan idol reveals the hypocrisy at the heart of so much fundamentalism
By Amanda Marcotte
No doubt the Satanists expect Oklahoma to reject their petition, which is the point, of course. By rejecting the petition, the legislature will make it clear they really are elevating one religion over another, strengthening the ACLU’s case against the state.
Naturally, conservative politicians are confident the statue will not end up on capitol grounds. Rep. Paul Wesselhoft told CNN that the statue wouldn’t be disqualified because of Satan, but because the statue has “no historical significance for the state of Oklahoma.” It is worth noting that neither do the Ten Commandments, which are believed by Christians to have been written somewhere in the Middle East. Rep. Bob Cleveland was more overt, admitting that the difference between the statues is one endorses his favored religion while the other does not.
“In my opinion this Satanist monument does not meet with the values of Oklahomans,” he said, basically admitting that the Ten Commandments statue is an endorsement of the “values,” i.e. faith of Christianity.
Rep. Don Armes was even more blunt in making it clear that the Oklahoma state legislature rejects religious pluralism and is only interested in elevating Christianity as the only legitimate religion. “I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us,” he said, but of course there’s a “but.”
“But this is Oklahoma and that’s not going to fly here.”
In other words, we need to be tolerant of other people, but they are expected to sit down and know their place. Unsurprisingly, the Oklahoma legislature has already taken a major pre-emptive strike against the possibility that any other religion or belief system but Christianity get representation on the capitol grounds. After receiving requests for monuments not just from Satanists, but from Hindus and animal rights activists, the legislature decided to place a moratorium on the building of monuments. The message is crystal-clear: The Oklahoma state legislature is not interested in reflecting the diversity of Americans, but only wants to elevate Christians above everyone else.
By Scott Kaufman
The bill specifies that “[t]he Ten Commandments, Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Constitution of the Great State of Oklahoma, and other such historically significant documents are recognized throughout the world,” and are therefore worthy of display.
Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves told Raw Story that this “unlettered little bill” is an attempt to “codify certain opinions into law.” After acknowledging that Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is a “historically significant document” that meets Representative Bennett’s criteria for displaying on a monument, Greaves said that this is yet another attempt to establish the Ten Commandments as something “uniquely American” that played a “pivotal role in the establishment of the Constitution and constitutional law.”
The problem is that, here as elsewhere, Bennett fails to cite any material that would support that presumption. “It’s like it needs no citation—it’s just assumed that the Ten Commandments were somehow primary to the development of American law,” Greaves said.
Guest on Fox Business Says Satanists Should Be Shot, Fox Refuses to Comment
By Bob Cull
While not in total agreement, the other panelists seemed supportive of his remarks for the most part.
For more on conservative Christian hypocrisy, see Robertson Says What Conservatives Believe and Teabaggers Seek White Christian Rule.