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story.lead_photo.caption This 2014 photo provided by The Satanic Temple shows a bronze Baphomet, which depicts Satan as a goat-headed figure with two children.

The Satanic Temple says it will bring its 7½-foot bronze Baphomet statue to the state Capitol in Little Rock as part of a protest next month to defend religious freedom.

The rally, planned for Aug. 16, “is intended to bring together religious leaders of different faiths to discuss the importance of the First Amendment and its protection for religious pluralism,” the group said in a news release.

“Freedom of Religion means that the government must not be allowed to endorse one religion over another or inhibit any religious voices from access to public forums in favor of another,” Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said.

Greaves, who uses a pseudonym, added that the protest “isn’t a rally of secularists versus people of faith, Satanists versus Christians, or outsiders versus Arkansas.”

Lawmakers have blocked the group’s efforts to place a statue of Baphomet — a part-man, part-goat deity — alongside the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol.

"While [a bill requiring legislative sponsorship for monuments] prevented the Baphomet statue from being considered, ironically it only magnifies the degree to which the State legislators are endorsing one religion over others," the organization said.

Earlier this year, lawsuits were filed seeking the removal of the Ten Commandments monolith, which was re-installed on the grounds in April. Secretary of State Mark Martin has called members of the organization “a notoriously transparent front for ‘trolling pranksters’ who sue ‘fake and ambiguous names.’”

The organization describes itself as “an organized religion” with a mission “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.”

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  • Quackenfuss
    July 30, 2018 at 11:47 a.m.

    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Unfortunately the First Amendment is being defended by a ridiculous group that wants to put an even more ridiculous statue on the Capitol lawn to prove a point. While I agree with the point being made, I don't want that ugly-ass statue put up on the capitol grounds. As to Pastor Rapert's argument that the Ten Commandments are the basis for all law, and not elements of religion, only 3 commandments are precursors of law (6,8 and 9). Commandments 5,7 and 10 are "laws" of moral guidance. The first four commandments are purely religious. Additionally there are really 613 "commandments" in Mosaic law, all of which Christians were relieved of by Christ. In Christianity, for instance, murder is morally condemned, but a murderer who asks for forgiveness and accepts Christ as Savior will be forgiven and go to heaven. Jason should consider putting a couple of billboards covered in 10 point type behind the capitol building if he really wants to drill down to the ins and outs of the religious origins of law.

  • mrcharles
    July 30, 2018 at 1:07 p.m.

    quack, quack. See the trouble you stirred up, While I too dont want this stupid statute put up, I must beg to differ on the" were relieved of by christ". Who said that , Well paul paul paul. Besides when the son of man comes those goats are going to never ending where Sarah Palin and Pat Buchanan will be featured forever at RNC meeting while the sheep, no requirement noted other than biblically listed, will go to the land of clear streams and no ticks and where it will be 5:00 always.

    Lets grow up and get rid of the Idol that rapert using the government put up. If not I will be forced to put forth an analysis of the writings.

    is it moral guidance to let woman covet their nieghbors husband? Seems that was left out along with rape.

    They say my jewish ancestors wandered around the desert for a long time not knowing murder and those other god matters and other 10 things until they were given a second set. Now if we can just get the proper ten correct maybe people wont be so upset following injunctions of a entity who drowns babies and orders the slaughter of babies and pregnant women [ not really abortion as done by divine command] . The signs i see at deity buildings say the deity is good, but now days the police will come get you and put you in jail for those crimes.

    As for the billboards , I can see it now , " Have you hated a member of your family today, Remember I can get you brunt up forever if you dont!"

    I am sure rapter is a nice guy, its just his delusions that I take exception too forcing them on us good non god fearing primates.

    My grandson says we should put up a statute to Sponge-bob Square Pants, a pleasant chap they tell me.

  • TimberTopper
    July 30, 2018 at 1:34 p.m.

    It will look good beside Rupert's monument!

    July 30, 2018 at 2:09 p.m.

    I love the 5:00 always, Perfect mixed Drinks on the Way

  • NoCrossNoCrown
    July 31, 2018 at 10:09 a.m.

    Knew this was coming when idiot jason jumped up and down to get the current one erected on the ground of the state capitol. This is going to cost the taxpayers millions to defend this stoopid decision. With the current lemmings in the ledge, keep your wallet and checkbook open to fund their shenanigans...

    July 31, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.

    Easy solution. No religious monuments on the grounds. Also please read the first few lines of the treaty of Tripoli.

  • 3WorldState1
    July 31, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.

    Without the devil why would we have to have laws? So logically, our laws come from Satan. Erect it!

  • mrcharles
    July 31, 2018 at 1:33 p.m.

    3ws, the st saul, called paul, said the devil is the god of this world, so we have no choice but to follow your sound wisdom.