Satanic Temple Members Rally In Arkansas And Demand The State Erect Satanic Statue On Capitol Lawn

Grace Carr | Reporter

Hundreds of Satanic Temple members rallied at Arkansas’ state Capitol on Thursday and called for the state to reverse its decision barring the group from holding a spot on the Capitol lawn.

The protesters, some local and some who had traveled long distances, rallied together in Little Rock on Thursday afternoon in protest of the state’s decision to bar the Temple members from erecting a Baphomet statue on the Capitol lawn while allowing Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert’s Ten Commandments monument a space.

The rally follows the Arkansas legislature’s refusal to accept a donation from the Satanic Temple for its statue to be placed on the grounds. The group then filed a lawsuit alleging Rapert’s monument is an unconstitutional establishment of religion, the Arkansas Times reported Wednesday.

Lucien Greaves, the Satanic Temple’s spokesperson and co-founder, spoke at the rally along with a number of others.

“The event is intended to be an inclusive gathering where The Satanic Temple will be celebrating pluralism along with Christian and secular speakers. People of many faiths will come together at the Capitol to reject the Arkansas State Legislature’s efforts to privilege one religion over others,” Greaves said, according to a Satanic Temple spokesperson.

Greaves tweeted a picture Wednesday of rally-goers protesting the Satanic Temple ahead of Thursday’s rally.

 

Rapert took a jab at Greaves in an Aug. 9, tweet responding to a piece Greaves wrote that called Rapert’s monument “an assault upon American ‘heritage and history.'”

“While the idea of our Satanic monument residing upon the Capitol grounds is undeniably disturbing to some, we would hope that most of the citizens of Arkansas would be at least equally disturbed that their government has now taken it upon itself to try and act as arbiter of what is or is not an appropriate religious or political viewpoint,” Greaves wrote.

Rapert posted a statement on Facebook before the protest, calling the group “extremist” and pledging to “defend the will of the Arkansas people and the honor of our great state.”

The Satanic Temple, a non-theistic religious organization, does not believe Satan exists but sees Satan as symbolic of a call to fight against tyrannical forces, according to Greaves. Satanic Temple members insist Missouri’s abortion laws force Satanists to violate one of their core tenets, which claims a body is subject to its will alone and beliefs should conform to scientific understanding. (RELATED: Satanic Temple Sues Arizona City Over Alleged Discrimination)

The group has filed a number of lawsuits over council meeting restrictions as well as abortion restrictions.

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Tags : arkansas little rock the satanic temple
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