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Satanic Temple plans to sue Arkansas over Ten Commandments monument

Arkansas Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert speaks at the unveiling of a Ten Commandments monument outside the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock on April 26, 2018. The display replaces a monument that was destroyed nearly a year ago. Rapert sponsored the legislation requiring the privately funded monument on state Capitol grounds. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

(RNS) — The Satanic Temple responded swiftly to the installation of a new Ten Commandments monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds in Little Rock.

No sooner had the monument been lowered onto the grounds by a crane on Thursday (April 26), than Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, said his group will join a lawsuit soon to be filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The Satanic Temple, which claims 100,000 members around the world, has become a vocal advocate on the issue of religious freedom. It has attempted in various provocative ways to highlight the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

After Oklahoma installed a Ten Commandments monument on its Capitol grounds in 2012, the group tried to install its own statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed, angel-winged creature accompanied by two children smiling at it.

It never got that far after the state’s Supreme Court ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments monument in 2015, on the grounds that it violated a provision in the state constitution prohibiting use of state property to further religions.

Greaves, who flew from his home in Salem, Mass., to Little Rock to be on hand for the installation of the monument, predicted an Arkansas court would do the same.

“It may be compelled to make a summary judgment,” he said.

Members of the Satanic Temple don’t believe in a literal Satan but see the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny. The group’s stated mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice.”

The group believes the state is discriminating in favor of Christians.

“No religion gets preference over the other,” Greaves said. “They should all have access to whatever forums are available.”

The Arkansas monument replaces one that was destroyed less than a year ago when a man crashed his car into the original display less than 24 hours after it was installed.

Michael T. Reed was charged with criminal mischief but found to be mentally unfit to stand trial. He had also destroyed a Ten Commandments statue in Oklahoma in 2015.

The installation of the new tablet-shaped monument was livestreamed online by state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican who sponsored the 2015 act that approved the monument’s placement on the Capitol building grounds.

The act states the “placing of a monument to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol would help the people of the United States and of the State of Arkansas to know the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of the law.”

It was funded by private donations.

Backers of the monument say it’s meant to copy a Ten Commandments monument in Texas that stands on the grounds of the state Capitol. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed that monument to stand since it had been there for many years and because there were other monuments on the grounds of the Austin Capitol.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

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  • Does the Religion News Service consider the Satanists to be a religion that they would cover?

  • The Satanic Temple anyway. Mostly because they are litigious, creative, and have a sense of humor which makes for good copy.

  • The RNS covers news about many religious faiths, the Satanic Temple being just one of many; Christians, Jews, Muslims, Latter-day Saints, Buddhists, Hindis, Atheists, Bahai, Zoroastrians, etc to name a few.

  • Satan the devil is definitely a real person who deceived Eve, which resulted in Adam and Eve sinning, and all their descendants (including us) to inherit sin and death.

    He is also the same real person who tested Job’s integrity, with the loss of material possessions, family and health. Yet, Job proved Satan a liar, proving his love for and integrity to God and was rightfully blessed by him.

    He is also the same person who tempted God’s son, Jesus, numerous times, but Jesus rebuked him every time with Scripture, and proved himself faithful to his Father.

    He is also the ruler of this world who was kicked out of the heavens, with his demons, to the earth. We continually see the result of “woe to the earth” because of Satan’s influence to mislead humans and turn them away from God.

    Satan also knows he has a short period of time (as evidenced by this article), to accomplish that task before he and his demons are abyssed by God for 1,000 years ????☝️during which time God’s kingdom or heavenly government will directly rule over mankind on earth.

    Satan further knows that at the end of those 1,000 years, he’ll be let loose to test mankind one last time before he, his demons, and those who follow them will be completely destroyed.

    He must be really working extra-overtime these days, when you look at our world today, and its daily crises!????

    But one of these days, he will truthfully not exist, which is what Satanists claim now.

  • Go, Satanic Temple! They’re doing excellent work reminding America that there are only two options for government: ALL religions or NONE. The Christian-nation nuts can never have their way.

  • You fit in much better at JoeMyGod and progressivesecularhumanist. Here you more or less stand out as more than slightly unbalanced.

  • Oooh, somebody knows how to click a Disqus profile. Well done.

    That’s why I’m here; this place is desperately in need of some balance to counter all the religious lunacy. Far-right evangelicals may want to live in an echo chamber, but we don’t have to oblige them.

  • Auditioning for Satanic Cheerleader again, are ye?

    Hey, everybody needs a hobby, but surely you can do better than shake your pompoms for Old Scratch. You better upgrade QUICK!!

    By the way, Lucien Greaves looks like a creepy clown even when he’s NOT wearing the makeup. You don’t need to be on his team!!

  • Excellent question! Probably because few believers take them seriously. They don’t have the gravitas of the “thou shalt not”!!

  • floydlee, don’t you ever get tired of humiliating yourself by posting preposterous comments?

  • I really don’t see what’s so hard about understanding separation of church and state. I have differences with all the Abrahamic sects but the Satanists are just another sect with a negative take on the same theology that has no business displaying their beliefs on public property. Outside of the Bible Belt and some other pockets of religiosity this sustained attack by ‘true believers’ on the Constitution is viewed with disdain…….and TBs numbers are shrinking. Sometimes it seems like this area is untouched by radio, TV and the internet. In the interests of fairness the estimated 4,200 religions that all believe they have the only path should have equal space, I’ll still vote for sticking to the Constitution and vote for separation of church and state. .

  • Separation of church and state does not mean politicians can’t display the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments are displayed all over buildings in the Washington capital including the Supreme Court building.

  • “Preposterous comments” (or such as characterized by desperate opposition punditry!!), are but a hobby. And like the old truism says, “Everybody needs a hobby.”

  • Yes, that’s the point the Satanic Temple is making. Until the government acknowledges that NO religious symbols are needed on public property, it has to accommodate ALL religious symbols. The only question is how long it will take, and how much money the Christian territory-markers are willing to waste on a losing battle for supremacy.

  • That’s not in the Constitution. That is from a letter written by a guy who was not involved in writing the Constitution.

  • Satan’s Cheerleaders!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CrQFAJh0P4

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/item/satans-cheerleaders-brd

    “Your tolerance for no budget 1970s horror, extremely poor performances,
    and rollicking disco music (the best thing about the film, now that I
    think about it) will likely color your enjoyment of Satan’s Cheerleaders.
    It’s not without its charm, but eventually, your interest in it will
    wear pretty thin until you get to the actual plot, which has some fairly
    bonkers moments”

  • But if Satan and God are real…we have no way to know which one is causing these terrible crisis’s in the world. God may be to blame?

    …and if real, God could crush Satan at any time…yet he doesn’t !!

  • Their monument to borderline pedophilic pornography is not appropriate for public display, IMO.

  • It was coined a century before the Constitution and was the guiding precept of the Establishment Clause. Your ignorance and malicious hatred of religious freedom is duly noted.
    Free exercise of religion cannot exist without the separation of church
    and state as well. One cannot be free to practice their faith if they have to show fealty to another one by compulsion of law (as you support).

    All arguments against the separation of church and state are made by people seeking to attack free exercise of religion in favor of their own as an officially recognized one. You hate religious freedom.

  • Even the founding fathers had the sense not to establish a national religion. Why can’t you understand that?

  • You hate the Constitution. Read it. A State displaying the 10 Commandments is not Congress making a law respecting a relgious establishment.

  • OK, that’s funny.

    But, for real, the Caduceus on the abdomen is clearly a phallic symbol. There’s no need to involve children at all, let alone use their heads for armrests, literally.

  • When the commandments involve honoring no other god but yours, it’s unconstitutional.

  • Really? Which buildings exactly are included in “all over buildings in Washington.”

    Please list every federal government building in Washington DC or elsewhere that displays the 10 commandments.

    Please describe exactly what portion of the 10 commandments is visible on the Supreme Court building.

    Please describe all of the imagery presented on the Supreme Court building and discuss the prominence of religious symbolism versus non religious symbolism.

    Please discuss how spouting apologetics nonsense without independently verifying the claims makes one look exceedingly ignorant, and leads to violation of that pesky command about bearing false witness.

  • Best TV Satans:
    1. Ray Wise-Reaper
    2. Tim Ellis-Lucifer
    3. Frank Silva -Twin Peaks
    4. Jamey Sheridan-The Stand Miniseries
    5. Jon Lovitz, SNL

  • It is not unconstitutional since Congress is not making a law respecting a religious establishment.

  • When it’s sticking straight up out of Satan’s crotch, it’s a phallic symbol, dude.

  • No they aren’t.

    Only three find their way in there and are in the laws of all societies regardless of religious beliefs.

    The rest are either sectarian enforcement or thought crimes outside of the law.

  • It’s just the state legislature promoting one religion, to the exclusion of all others. Get a clue.

  • No. The Constitution was drafted by “We the People”. And the Bill of Rights contradicts at least half of the 10 Commandments.

    Only murder, theft and occasionally lying are part of our legal system. And prohibitions on these existed long before the Hebrews.

  • Far from it. I understand it and seek to uphold it in an honest fashion. Unlike yourself I am supporting religious freedom.

    You simply want to put a Christian Fundamentalist tramp stamp on our society and demand undue privileges.

    “A State displaying the 10 Commandments is not Congress making a law respecting a relgious establishment.”

    Of course it is. It is showing official favor with a given Christian sect. As there are at least 3 versions of the decalogue depending on faith/sect, it is deliberately establishing Protestant Christianity as an officially endorsed faith (as the version erected is always the Protestant wording).

    Your need to lie about our laws and what is being done does little to show your beliefs are of any socially redeeming value.

  • Take a course in Constitutional law. You might want to learn sonething about the14th Amendment and the Constitutional role of the Supreme Court.

    No government body in the United States may show favoritism to one religion over another or religion over non religion.

    The government cannot post a sign telling people which deity to worship.

  • Which that would not be by reasonable standards one judges modern art/public religious displays.

  • Or a conservative Federal judge misinterpretation, either. You theocrats are all going down. Suck it up.

  • Really…So what do you think about displays of the crucifixion…essentially a BDSM killing…the Satanists got nothing compared to that !!

    …in my old Catholic church it was an erotic, buff Jesus on the cross, with a minimal loincloth that did not leave much to the imagination. It got a lot of stares from the Catholic girls…some boys too!

  • I think that snuff porn is also best kept in the bedroom, away from nonconsenting public consumption, as well.

  • Ah but this is about religious displays not the questionable theories of how much influence Hammurabi had on Moses or how much came from the Sumerians 500 years before Hammurabi.. The 10 Commandments have deep religious associations and you’re ignoring the Vedic and Taoist minorities that have a presence in our country. Why don’t you accept that a number of people and the law do not believe your book is divinely inspired?
    Have you ever connected your love of religious symbols to the Golden Calf that Moses found objectionable?

  • Please stop trying to inch our government towards a Theocracy. Our religious beliefs are too disparate and not all are Abrahamic.. .

  • I like the idea of requesting the right to put an alternative monument on the same site. I suggest one that covers the different forms of the “Golden Rule” which has appeared in many forms in every religion starting with the earliest from Pittacus, one of those pagan Greeks. Confucius called it the Ethic of Reciprocity. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you!

  • LOL! You are illiterate as well!

    I guess that is what happens when people try to use a Bible as a bludgeoning tool rather than opening one up to read it. 🙂

    Why do you hate religious freedom so much?

  • You need to read the Declaration of Independence and how important God is to our freedom.

  • You didn’t read that one either. The “creator” mentioned can be anything and was never intended to mean the Christian God. If the writers did, they would have been explicit. Maybe even mention Jesus there as well. Nor is the DOC a legal document or a source of legal concepts.

    There is no mention of God in the Constitution. That was intentional.

    But its good to know that you are showing how much you hate religious freedom. That you want (your version of) Christianity to be the only official religion and its adherents to have special privileges over all.

    Its funny how your arguments to attack separation of church and state also so such utter contempt for free exercise of religion as well.

  • You haven’t given me any. I am simply showing you the error of your ways.

    Your argument is self-defeating.

    By attacking separation of church and state, you also demonstrate your contempt for religious freedom in general. You undermine any pretense that such goals were meant in our 1st Amendment religious clauses.

    Your capitulation is duly noted.

  • No, it’s not in need of some balance, or in your case unbalance.

    Nor is it inhabited primarily by “(f)ar-right evangelicals”.

  • The “Creator” (the original was capitalized) was it who made all things in Deist parlance, which to that extent is the same as the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim God.

  • Yes, as part of a larger display commemorating the history of law and legal codes throughout history and multiple cultures.

    A single monument to one SPECIFIC religion’s rules, however, is clear promotion of that religion over others. Which government can never, ever do. And before you say “No it isn’t,” answer this: Then why do the Christian-monument defenders keep losing all the lawsuits?

  • 1. The Declaration makes a single mention of a “creator,” and considering that the founders were deists, that sure isn’t the Christian god you worship today.

    2 The Declaration isn’t the law of the land; the Constitution is.

  • You’re right, there may be a few local exceptions. But the one that counts–the Supreme Court–is squarely on the separation side.

    The freaks who want a Christian nation will never get their way. Their sad little cult is losing its stranglehold, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • Whether this is about religious displays depends completely on context.

    The Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) considered whether a display of the Ten Commandments on a monument given to the government at the Texas State Capitol in Austin violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    In a 5 to 4 decision the Court ruled on June 27, 2005, that the display was constitutional. The Court reasoned that the display at issue was a “passive monument.” Instead, the Court looked to “the nature of the monument and . . . our Nation’s history.” Chief Justice William Rehnquist delivered the plurality opinion of the Court; Justice Stephen Breyer concurred in the judgment but wrote separately.

    On the very same day the Court held in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) that a Ten Commandments display at the McCreary County courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky and a Ten Commandments display at the Pulaski County courthouse—were unconstitutional.

    The Court, reviewing the lower court’s ruling de novo, upheld the lower courts’ rulings, noting that a pastor was present to testify to the certainty of the existence of God at the dedication of one of the displays, the modified displays contained “theistic and Christian references,” and there was a “religious purpose” in the final modification.

    The fact that the Ten Commandments have deep religious associations by of itself is not dispositive of the legality of displaying them.

  • Wrong! God is referred to 4 times in the Declaration of Independence. It is the foundation of our Constitution. It invokes a prayer to God to intervene in our freedom. Deists don’t believe God intervenes in our affairs so they were not deists.

  • The Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) considered whether a display of the Ten Commandments on a monument given to the government at the Texas State Capitol in Austin violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    In a 5 to 4 decision the Court ruled on June 27, 2005, that the display was constitutional. The Court reasoned that the display at issue was a “passive monument.” Instead, the Court looked to “the nature of the monument and . . . our Nation’s history.” Chief Justice William Rehnquist delivered the plurality opinion of the Court; Justice Stephen Breyer concurred in the judgment but wrote separately.

    On the very same day the Court held in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) that a Ten Commandments display at the McCreary County courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky and a Ten Commandments display at the Pulaski County courthouse—were unconstitutional.

    The Court, reviewing the lower court’s ruling de novo, upheld the lower courts’ rulings, noting that a pastor was present to testify to the certainty of the existence of God at the dedication of one of the displays, the modified displays contained “theistic and Christian references,” and there was a “religious purpose” in the final modification.

    Context determines the legality of the display.

  • Let’s see. 1. You failed to list “all the buildings” probably because the Supreme Court building is the only one with anything close to the 10 commandments.

    2. You failed to describe which commandments are shown. Answer. None. However Moses is holding a tablet with the numbers 6 through 10, which could relate to the secular commands. Other “1 to 10” lists in the building refer to the Bill of Rights.

    3. You failed to discuss the Moses imagery in context. Answer Moses is just one of many ancient and mythological lawgivers displayed, no more significant than Confucius, Solon, Justinian, etc.

    4. You failed to check your supposed facts with an authoritative source. Instead, you chose to continue to repeat lies.

    “Father John” does not count as an authoritative source. In fact, his article is pure PRATT (points refuted a thousand times).

    Try SupremeCourt.gov and read about the architectural features of the building.

    Scopes has a nice summary here https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/national-capital/

    If you think the 10 suggestions matter so much, perhaps you should stop violating them.

  • Yup. Which makes these cases even funnier, because the theocrats have to remember to pretend that their display isn’t religious. And that facade collapses every time removal is mentioned and they start hollering about their “freedom of religious expression.” It’s fantastic entertainment to watch them fail, over and over.

  • Let’s see you deal with the facts of the first one I provided. You failed. The bill of rights are not ten written on two tablets. You are a self deluded fool.

  • The Supreme Court building has a sculpture, McNeil’s Justice the Guardian of Liberty”, on the eastern pediment. Moses is represented with the Ten Commandments.

    The sculpture was intended to be a symbolic representation of three civilizations from which our laws were derived, personified by the figures of three great lawgivers: Moses, Confucius, and Solon (surrounded by several allegorical figures representing a variety of legal themes).

    The two doors of the Supreme Court courtroom have on their lower portions two tablets bearing the Roman numerals I through V and VI through X.

    The friezes which adorn the north and south walls of the courtroom in the Supreme Court building (also designed by Adolph Weinman) depict a procession of 18 great lawgivers: Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius and Octavian (south wall); Justinian, Mohammed, Charlemagne, King John, Louis IX, Hugo Grotius, Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall and Napoleon (north wall).

    Other Ten Commandment locations at the Supreme Court, include the oak door at the rear of the Chamber, the gable apex, and in dozens of locations on the bronze latticework surrounding the Supreme Court Bar seating.

    The writing on the tablet carried by Moses in this frieze includes portions of commandments 6 through 10 (in Hebrew).

    Congress has retained paid (Christian) chaplains since 1789 to open sessions with prayer and to provide spiritual guidance to members and their staffs upon request.

    In the United States Capitol the declaration “In God We Trust” is prominently displayed in both the United States House and Senate Chambers.

    Around the top of the walls in the House Chamber appear images of 23 great lawgivers from across the centuries, but Moses (the lawgiver, who– according to the Bible – originally received the law of God,) is the only lawgiver honored with a full face view, looking down on the proceedings of the House.

    Religious artwork is found throughout the United States Capitol, including in the Rotunda where the prayer service of Christopher Columbus, the Baptism of Pocahontas, and the prayer and Bible study of the Pilgrims are all prominently displayed; in the Cox Corridor of the Capitol where the words “America! God shed His grace on thee” are inscribed; at the east Senate entrance with the words “Annuit Coeptis” – Latin for “God has favored our undertakings”; and in numerous other locations.

    Images of the Ten Commandments are found in many federal buildings across Washington, D. C., including in bronze in the floor of the National Archives; in a bronze statue of Moses in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

    In the Washington Monument not only are numerous Bible verses and religious acknowledgements carved on memorial blocks in the walls, including the phrases: “Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:26; 30:30; Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20), “Search the Scriptures” (John 5:39), “The memory of the just is blessed” (Proverbs 10:7), “May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence,” and “In God We Trust”, but the Latin inscription Laus Deo – “Praise be to God” – is engraved on the monument’s capstone.

    Of the five areas inside the Jefferson Memorial into which Jefferson’s words have been carved, four are God-centered, including Jefferson’s declaration that “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

    The Lincoln Memorial contains numerous acknowledgments of God and citations of Bible verses, including the declarations that “we here highly resolve that . . . this nation under God . . . shall not perish from the earth”; “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh’ (Matthew 18:7)”; “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’ (Psalms 19:9)”; “one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together” (Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, based on Isaiah 40:4-5).

    In the Library of Congress, The Giant Bible of Mainz and The Gutenberg Bible are on prominent permanent display and etched on the walls are Bible verses, including “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (John 1:5); “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8); and “The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).1

    And so on.

  • Here’s a little law l’arnin’ fer ya:

    The Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry, 545 U.S. 677 (2005) considered whether a display of the Ten Commandments on a monument given to the government at the Texas State Capitol in Austin violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

    In a 5 to 4 decision the Court ruled on June 27, 2005, that the display was constitutional. The Court reasoned that the display at issue was a “passive monument.” Instead, the Court looked to “the nature of the monument and . . . our Nation’s history.” Chief Justice William Rehnquist delivered the plurality opinion of the Court; Justice Stephen Breyer concurred in the judgment but wrote separately.

    On the very same day the Court held in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844 (2005) that a Ten Commandments display at the McCreary County courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky and a Ten Commandments display at the Pulaski County courthouse—were unconstitutional.

    The Court, reviewing the lower court’s ruling de novo, upheld the lower courts’ rulings, noting that a pastor was present to testify to the certainty of the existence of God at the dedication of one of the displays, the modified displays contained “theistic and Christian references,” and there was a “religious purpose” in the final modification.

    Context determines the legality of the display.

  • What you describe as “separation of church and state” comports neither with the Constitution as it was written nor the various courts’ decisions.

  • That suggestion has certainly been going the rounds of the anti-religionists for the last four or so years.

  • Well. considering that three of the commandments were used by white evangelicals as proslavery proof texts back in my great grandparents day, and the Tenth also treats wives as household property…why would a place of government even want to have them displayed, except as objects for sexist white supremacists to put “those people” in their place?

  • Misuse by some doesn’t preclude appropriate use.

    No, the 10th does not treat wives as household property.

  • When there is a well documented history of misuse, and it’s being misused now…it’s safe to say this is about maintaining and legitimating white male Evangelical privilege…as it had been used in the past.

    The Tenth Commandment lists wives with household property…like enslaved people and animals as mere objects that men covet.

  • Pay no attention to the post Civil War Constitutional Amendments that make the Bill of Rights applicable to the states as well as to the Federal government.

  • The legality of his 10 Commandments monument was defeated long before his Senate campaign, FYI.

  • No, the 10th Commandment does not list wives as household property.

    There is not a well-documented history of misuse, but even there were it would have no bearing on the matter.

  • Have you never read it?

    Holy freaking shit.

    “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” is most definitely a command to worship the biblical deity and no other.

    And our secular government has no business posting a monument on government property telling people which deity to worship.

    You might want to check out that one about “bearing false witness.”

  • There really were a caucus of Satan’s Cheerleaders who were members of The Church of the SubGenius (look ’em up). I saw ’em on 6th Street in Austin with Revs. Ivan Stang and Dr. K’taden Legume. They wore cheerleader uniforms with flames on the skirts. Some had tattoos. One had a tongue ring. During the intermission they went out into 6th Street to drum up business for Stang and Legume. They were accosted by an elderly female Chinese street evangelist who told them “You ah fohnicatahs!” and a young UT student who was there at the show with her dad punched the evangelist out. Cops on bicycles grabbed her & put her in the paddy wagon. Her dad pleaded with them to let her go but they had a no tolerance policy. True story.

  • You don’t see a history of misuse when you’re carefully ignorant of American history. The proslavery evangelicals left a considerable body of proslavery literature, some of which has now available on the internet.

    I don’t see how you can dispute what I wrote about the 10th Amendment. It’s pretty obvious and very offensive to moral people.

  • Damien,

    From my previous statements about Satan, it is clearly evident that Satan IS the cause of our crises (the father of the lie and a murderer, bringing death to mankind).

    Considering Almighty God, whose name is Jehovah, it helps to consider the following to prove that he is NOT to blame for human suffering:

    “It is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly, for the Almighty to do wrong” (Job 34:10),

    “When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things, God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone” (James 1:13).

    Throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

    “Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient for you, because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed, but desires all to attain to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

    The reason why God did not destroy Satan after Adam and Eve sinned against him was because:

    Satan challenged the rightness of God’s sovereignty or rulership over man. Satan lied to Eve about not dying if she ate of the forbidden fruit! He also claimed that they were better off on their own, and that they would be like God, knowing right and wrong, another lie!! ?

    (With the example of Job, Satan claimed that Job only served God because of God’s blessings to Job. But Job proved Satan to be the liar, because Job proved his love of God, no matter what, and in spite of Satan’s tests!).

    All of the myriads of angels (in Adam and Eve’s day) also saw that Satan’s challenge would have to be proven right or wrong.

    Sufficient time was required to pass by God to prove that Satan’s claim is false! God has allowed man to rule over himself with a variety of governing, such as democracy, communism, dictatorship, etc.

    It is quite obvious that the results of man ruling over man (over a long period of time) leave very much to be desired, and have been very injurious to the masses! ???

    Therefore, God’s kingdom, or heavenly government, will soon replace all human governments (Daniel 4:22), and provide all meek mankind grand blessings, as he also did for faithful Job (Revelation 21:3,4)! ???

  • All that lovely copy-pasty, yet you have failed support your claim:

    The 10 Commandments are displayed all over buildings in the Washington capital including the Supreme Court building.

    There is no other government building in DC displaying the 10 Commandments. That statement is a lie. Newsflash the National Archives holds what it calls “The Charters of Freedom” – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The numbers 1 to 10 presented as a small component of one medallion representing the purpose of government refers to the Bill of Rights actually housed in that building.

    The Library of Congress highlights the historical significance of printing and bookmaking with the Guttenberg bible.

    The snopes article appears to be responding to the source of your copy-pasty. Read it.

  • Yes it does. Read it.

    Exodus 20:17

    You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

    Items listed in order
    House
    Wife
    Male or female servant [actually slave]
    Donkey
    Anything that belongs to your neighbor

    Everything listed is property.

  • In symbolic renditions, the Bill of Rights is often represented on tablets. This can be confirmed by documentation left by the artists.

  • Nice spinmeistering.

    Let’s consider a couple of translations:

    Shemot 20:17 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

    17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s bais, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s isha, nor his eved, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

    Exodus 20:17 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

    17 `Thou dost not desire the house of thy neighbour, thou dost not desire the wife of thy neighbour, or his man-servant, or his handmaid, or his ox, or his ass, or anything which [is] thy neighbour’s.’

    The sin being prohibited is “coveting”; yearning to possess (something, especially something belonging to another).

    In the context of a pre-industrial Israel all of these things are the household, or the family, or wealth.

    The wife forms a single unit with the man:

    Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.

    and if all goes well they have children and prosper.

    Because the man and the wife are a unit, the meaning of the Commandment is “Do not be jealous of other people’s success”.

    The application of a 21st century definition of “property” does serious violence to the plain meaning of the Commandment as written.

  • Yet another expensive controversy from the who-gives-a-damn department. Personally I’m fine with the 10 Commandments or Baphomet. Who cares? Neither of them picks my pocket or breaks my leg.

    What’s the harm—or the good—of having religious objects or ceremonies in public space? Will the 10 commandment monuments make it more likely that people will behave themselves? Will passers-by read them and say to themselves, ‘Gee, whiz—I better not kill, steal, or covet my neighbor’s ass’ and shape up? Will crosses on mountain tops or other religious objects on public display make people more likely to believe in God? Will having Baphomet displayed make people less likely to believe in God—or more likely to believe in Baphomet?

    Do the Fundagelicals who want the 10 Commandments displayed or prayer in public schools or any other public displays of religiosity seriously believe that it will have any effect whatsoever on people’s belief or behavior? Or is it just, as I suspect, territorial marking—like gangbangers spraying-painting graphite or tomcats spraying? Working class Fundagegelicals putting up their Christian gang symbols to stick it in the eye of the secular elite and members of the Satanic temple spraying back to affirm their status as elite secularists.

    Culture was, as usual—class war.

  • Yes, the gloss on the matter – which appeared long after the sculpture – is that “the numbers 1 to 10 presented as a small component of one medallion representing the purpose of government refers to the Bill of Rights actually housed in that building”.

    Unfortunately for that argument, the Bill of Rights were not inscribed on two tablets.

  • Obviously you haven’t. Read the two issued the same day in 2005. Use your amazing powers of reading comprehension to determine which case the Arkansas monument most resembles.

    Standalone 10 Commandment displays promote religion and are unconstitutional. Moses and the 10 Commandments are okay ONLY when they are truly just one item in a history of lawmaking that places them on equal footing with other mythical and historic events.

    A standalone monument, erected because legislators said “this religion and no other” is blatantly unconstitutional.

  • Obviously I have.

    Using your picayne powers of reading comprehension you’ve concluded “(s)tandalone 10 Commandment displays promote religion and are unconstitutional.”

    Wrong.

    I’d present additional cases showing that is the entire context that decides whether or not the presentation is unconstitutional – with some exceptions such as grade schools – but if this is what you make of decisions, why bother?

  • Good. Their religion is just as valid as Christianity. Their symbol should be just as prominent as the Commandments.

  • Actually Thomas Jefferson was not involved in writing the constitution. That’s irrelevant. The First Amendment clearly shows how these public displays are unconstitutional.

  • This monument is also clearly illegal, and will be struck down by the courts. Why do you not understand that? Did Christianity do this to you?

  • We have courts to determine if this monument is illegal.

    Unless you have ESP, you don’t know it “will be struck down by the courts.”

    Why do you not understand that?

    Did anti-Christianity do this to you?

  • The government isn’t going to punish anyone for breaking any of the Ten
    Commandments inscribed on the monument therefore, this is not a violation of the First Ammendment rights of anyone.

  • Bob,

    That’s true that God gave us free will and we weren’t created as robots.

    If Adam and Eve had said “no way Jose” to Satan and both refused to eat the fruit, they would still be alive today on a comfortably-filled paradise earth (Genesis 1:28).

    And we wouldn’t be in the current mess of sinning and dying because of their disobedience. So they are to blame, as well as Satan, who perpetrated it.

  • Mark,

    Satan and his demons are spirit persons, just as God, his son, Jesus, and the angels are.

    Jesus performed many miracles when he was on earth, including healing those who were demon-possessed, and exorcising them.

  • Yes. It is the inevitable result of my parents forcing their “spare the rod, spoil the child” Christianity down my throat. You monument-mongers are nothing but a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

  • And opposed by white Christians. Ever hear of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Methodist Episcopal Church…for starters… not to mention the Civil War?

  • Except, apparently, in the American South and other places in the U.S., where they’re about lightly remaking white privilege as white Evangelical privilege.

  • In this case it cost the taxpayers nothing.

    Just last week I read an article by a psychiatrist describing the impact of parenting styles on children’s religious beliefs.

    In this case you’re attacking the religion rather than the parents – it’s a neurosis, not an assessment of Christianity.

  • I assess the need that so many Christians have to assert dominance over other religions, through the use of monuments such a this one, as a form of compensating for their flagging membership.

  • Along with everyone else who insists on forcing their religion, and only theirs, into public spaces.

  • Doesn’t matter, “Bob”. Your religion is going down the tubes fast. Good riddance to it!

  • How about you Jesus-jumpers stop trying to recreate his “miracles” by doing home-brewed exorcisms on gay and trans kids?

  • In this country religion is not only permitted but encouraged to be in the public square.

    The Founders believed religion to be a civic good.

    I can give you a list of countries you could move to to avoid that. North Korea would be near or at the top of the list.

    It’s probably easier to just grow up.

  • So much for intelligent discussions, eh?

    I assume you’re a card-carrying member of FFRF and so on.

    Bad parenting – tsk, tsk – its bad effects are nearly irreversible.

  • hi sis – thought you must know

    (1) Sarah Jones, “Inside the Spectacular Implosion of Religion News Service: The country’s leading religious news wire hired a new publisher in 2016. Then it all fell apart”, The New Republic, April 27, 2018.

    (2) Stephanie Russell-Kraft, “As EIC of Religion News Service is ousted, staff fears loss of editorial control”, Columbia Journalism Review, April 27, 2018.

  • No, I’m a self-styled Buddhist and a LaVeyan Satanist, actually. Where’s my monument in the public square?

  • I thought the decalogue was the foundation of Judaism. One thing these monuments do is bring the Jew haters and the Christian haters out into the public. This vitriol is to such a level that perhaps we need a new term: christianphobia.

  • Sure, once the legislature agrees to sponsor anything other than a Christian monument.

  • Says the ever-fake “Bob”, and no, you can’t block others from seeing my posts about your slithering. You’ve been caught in your tricks, “Bob”.

  • The whole “original sin” thing and the religion that promotes the idea is all bull, all the time.

  • And we have your parents’ bad parenting to blame for you, “Bob”.

    Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself above in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • Just “Bob”‘s usual pick-and-choose. The rest of their stories differ wildly. Funny how a “god” does such flawed marketing…

  • Because you Christians can’t handle sharing the public square with any other religions at all. That’s how insecure you are.

  • No, you’re advocating banning religion from the public square.

    You’re also presenting a lot of nonsense about church and state under the law which is not well-grounded.

  • I asked for a non-Christian monument, not a ban on all religion in the public square. Go back and read my words more carefully, this time. What would be your objection to TST’s veterans’ memorial, exactly?

  • They already have. All they want is for their monument to be installed next to the 10 commandments, to prove that the state government does not favor Christianity over any other religion, as it appears to do currently.

  • TST offered to pay for the installation of their monument when they made their case in person to the state legislature months ago. The hurdle is not money, but legislative approval. Why does the legislature only endorse a Christian monument, to the exclusion of all others?

  • From the article:

    “The Satanic Temple responded swiftly to the installation of a new Ten Commandments monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds in Little Rock.”

    “No sooner had the monument been lowered onto the grounds by a crane on Thursday (April 26), than Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, said his group will join a lawsuit soon to be filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.”

    Absent is:

    “TST offered to pay for the installation of their monument when they made their case in person to the state legislature months ago.”

    or anything equivalent.

    I did find this:

    https://thesatanictemple.com/blogs/the-satanic-temple-news/baphomet-arkansas-update

    which seems to contradict you, and this:

    http://katv.com/news/local/baphomet-statue-one-step-closer-to-being-on-state-capitol-grounds

    which also seems to contradict you.

    The origin of “Baphomet” seems fairly well documented as wholly fictitious and relatively modern:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet

    With that lineage the solution is, after the wholly fictitious Baphomet is erected, to erect facing it a wholly facetious Alfred E. Neuman statute:

    https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/xxx-d01-mad-alfred-18.jpg

    with the caption “What, me worry?” facing it.

    Reductio ad absurdum.

  • Installing a monument to one religion while denying legislative approval to another is, indeed, absurd. You are aware that there are non-Christians living in the state of Arkansas, are you not?

  • I assume you understand that Jews and members of the Latter-day Saints also reference the Ten Commandments. But I already demonstrated you appear to have your knickers in a twist over a non-slight.

    From the article:

    “The Satanic Temple responded swiftly to the installation of a new Ten Commandments monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds in Little Rock.”

    “No sooner had the monument been lowered onto the grounds by a crane on Thursday (April 26), than Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, said his group will join a lawsuit soon to be filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.”

    Absent is:

    “TST offered to pay for the installation of their monument when they made their case in person to the state legislature months ago.”

    or anything equivalent.

    I did find this:

    https://thesatanictemple.co

    which seems to contradict you, and this:

    http://katv.com/news/local/

    which also seems to contradict you.

    The origin of “Baphomet” seems fairly well documented as wholly fictitious and relatively modern:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

    With that lineage the solution is, after the wholly fictitious Baphomet is erected, to erect facing it a wholly facetious Alfred E. Neuman statute:

    https://www.theparisreview….

    with the caption “What, me worry?” facing it.

    Reductio ad absurdum.

  • I observe that you can do nothing but repeat yourself ad infinitum. You are aware that there are non-Abrahamic people living in the state of Arkansas, are you not?

  • You do not understand how disrespectful a 10 commandments monument is to atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Prepare to lose in court.

  • According to The Satanic Temple website

    https://thesatanictemple.com/blogs/the-satanic-temple-news/baphomet-arkansas-update

    “The Satanic Temple has been going through the
    application process to have our Baphomet statue on the grounds of the
    Arkansas State Capitol near a proposed statue of the Ten Commandments.
    There are still more hurdles, but our site plan was approved.”

    and according to KATV in Little Rock

    http://katv.com/news/local/baphomet-statue-one-step-closer-to-being-on-state-capitol-grounds

    the State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission committee approved the temple’s plan for the Baphomet statute.

    Third times the charm if you bother to read either citation this time.

    The government, according to the Supreme Court, is not an agent to ensure that each every religious, irreligious, or ant-religious snowflake is not offended.

  • You are so offended by the thought of any religion other than yours enjoying representation in the public square. Too bad for you. I hope you like the taste of defeat.

  • Well, I see that your cheese has slipped from your cracker, you’ve stopped even reading what’s posted, are now tilting at windmills, and otherwise bloviating.

    Bye bye. Blocked.

  • Cannot possibly reconcile the unbeliever Greaves “no religion gets preference over the other….’ to what was clearly said in Congress Jun 8,1789,and Aug.15,1789 . Nor to American history prior to the Fraud perpetrated in Everson. 1947 and progressively since. No reconciliation with Joseph Story who published in his commentaries that when the Constitution ,and First Amendment were adopted the sentiment was Christianity should be encouraged by the State. –a leveling of all religion or making it a policy to hold all equally in contempt would have caused universal disapprobation if not universal indignation…” No reonciliation at all with Woodrow Wilson Denver 1911 “America was born a Christian nation. ..” No agreement with President Harry S.Truman int he DOJ Library Washington DC Feb.1950 on the fundamental basis for this nations laws.And lest we forget the unanimous US supreme Court decision -Never overturned– Church of the Holy Trinity v.the United States 143 US 457 ,Feb.29,1892 I will defend our Constitution and Laws and NEVER surrender to the enemy of such.

  • A religious establishment is an organized church run by the government like the Church of England in the 18th century, which persecuted and punished people who didn’t adhere to it. That is not the same here displaying the 10 Commandments.

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself above in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is no real José Carioca.

  • Note that the gun supporter, deluded Christian nutcase, and NRA shill presenting himself above in this thread as “Bob Arnzen” variously and dishonestly uses a variety of names on RNS such as Bob Arnzen, José Carioca, and others. However, there is actually no real Bob Arnzen, and there is also no real José Carioca.

  • Constitutional and judicial law does not live in what Woodrow Wilson or Harry Truman says…or anybody who was alive back in 1789. Clearly, the constitution has led to religious neutrality…anything else is establishment of religion and would be disastrous.

    Greaves has it right…His enemies like Roy Moore, with tears in his eyes, have had to take their monuments, with Commandments from Moses, out of our courthouses…

    …Either that, or proudly display Baphomet or Satan next to Moses’s flawed laws.

  • Satan has some power apparently…as we see from all of these previous comments…

    The Satanic Temple demanding as much religious freedom as any other religion…sure does stir up anxieties from a certain monotheistic splinter-sect of Judaism !!

    Fear is especially prevalent in a fundamentalist, evangelical splinter-sect — off of this original splinter-sect !!

  • So why do you hate the free exercise of religion so much?

    If you truly oppose the notion that “no religion gets preference over the other” then you also oppose the notion that all people are free to hold their religious beliefs open and in public, without favor or fear of official reaction.

    You are trying to argue that one religion should have preference and official favor over others. That flies in the face of any good faith reading of the 1st Amendment religious freedoms.

    “I will defend our Constitution and Laws and NEVER surrender to the enemy of such.”

    Yet you show zero understanding and appreciation of it. You are “the enemy of such”.

  • Many states did not have one tornado so far this year while Arkansas already had 15. It just happen the New Testament book of Hebrew Chapter 12 also said Mt Sinai bring the whirlwinds. “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,…..”

    Not a good idea to insult the LORD of the new covenant of Mt Sion by bringing back the old wine skin. “…… the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, …..”

  • Oh, you think it’s like how Chili’s is an “eating establishmnent.” I don’t think even the President’s lawyers would argue anything so preposterous. “The establishment of religion” as used in the First Amendment means an intertwining of church and state.

    The better question is, why do you want it to be so, so much, that you’re willing to prevaricate. Now, you may argue that is a sincere belief, but it’s no more valid than a belief in a flat earth. So if you’re not being duped, then you are the one engaging in manipulation.

    Intertwining of church and state does not honor Christ, and makes both diminished and illegitimate.

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