Months ago, the Satanic Temple announced its plans to erect a statue of the Dark Lord at Oklahoma's state capitol. Just yesterday, VICE released a sneak peek at the work in progress. So far, the seven-feet-tall monument looks just like the initial sketch from January.
Although the mold of the Baphomet figure seems just about finished, the New York-based artist who is working on the piece has yet to set the figure on a pedestal beneath a pentagram. When it's completed, the whole thing will be cast in bronze.
So what spawned this statue of Satan? For those who don't know, it's being created in response to Oklahoma's installation of a Ten Commandments monument outside the state capitol.
"The idea that the Ten Commandments are foundational to U.S. or Oklahoman law is absurd and obscene," Lucien Greaves, a spokesperson from the Satantic Temple, told VICE. "I would argue that the message behind our monument speaks more directly to the formation of U.S. Constitutional values than the Ten Commandments possibly could." Next to the Ten Commandments monument, it would "[affirm that] no one religion enjoys legal preference.”
The sculpture is expected to be finished in a few months, officials from the temple told VICE. Upon completion, it will be shipped to Oklahoma. Since the state is currently battling an ACLU lawsuit that says the Ten Commandments tribute is discriminatory to other religions, the Balphomet statue will most likely also be removed once the courts have reached a decision.
"We are fully willing to place our monument at the Capitol, even while the ACLU suit is fought, with the understanding that a judgment against the Ten Commandments will have ramifications for our monument as well, likely resulting in the removal of both," Greaves said.
So what sounds like a statue made for the sake of provoking other religions really is a cry for free speech and division of church and state, it seems.