Arkansas

Satanists Use Freedom of Religion To Call for Installation of Demonic Statue in Arkansas State Capitol

"This is a rally for all people who hold sacred the founding Constitutional principles of Religious Freedom and Free Expression..."

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|||Twitter/KATVMarine
Twitter/KATVMarine

Satanists have taken their latest free speech battle to the Arkansas State Capitol.

The Associated Press reports that the Satanic Temple unveiled a statue of Baphomet, a demonic, goat-headed creature, and demanded that either their statue be placed in the capitol building or a recently installed Ten Commandments statue be removed. "If you're going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don't agree with that then let's just not have any at all," Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester argued at a Thursday rally.

Arkansas requires legislative sponsorship for all monuments in the state capitol. The Ten Commandments was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert in 2017 and quietly installed last year. In response, the Satanic Temple sent a letter to lawmakers later that year asking for their statue to also be installed. The Ten Commandments was later destroyed when a man rammed his car into the display, but was reinstalled about four months ago.

According to a petition circulated by the rally sponsors, Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, said the demands for the statue were a matter of free speech. "This is a rally for all people who hold sacred the founding Constitutional principles of Religious Freedom and Free Expression that have fallen under assault by irresponsible politicians like Senator Rapert," Greaves said.

"It will be a very cold day in hell before we are ever forced to put up a monument like the profane one they brought," Rapert said after criticizing the Satanists as unserious. A sign underneath the Baphomet statue read, "Future home of the Baphomet monument…Presented in the spirit of religious pluralism by: The Satanic Temple with a special thanks to Senator Jason Rapert."

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  1. Isn’t Baphomet a D&D character? Since when are D&D characters now part of a religion?

    1. Baphomet is not even really a Satanic figure. He was worshipped by the Knights Templar and the depiction above was made by Levi, who was a devout Christian who believed socialism was the true Christianity (which, in a way, is not wrong). Satanism can mean many things, and most of them have nothing to do with devil worship. Many “satanists,” except for atheists such as LaVey, were actually profoundly religuos people. Even Crowley’s beliefs are ultimately Christian at their core.

      1. “He was worshipped by the Knights Templar”

        This is rumored to be the case, yes. Although the only documentation for that was a hastily written excommunication of the religious order when the French king decided that he didn’t want to repay a loan that they made to him.

        Do you even Freemason, brah?

        1. the only documentation for that was a hastily written excommunication of the religious order when the French king decided that he didn’t want to repay a loan that they made to him.

          Jacques DeMolay, thou art revenged!

      2. I don’t recall Jesus talking about government owning the means of production. Perhaps you can cite chapter and verse?

        1. Not necessarily socialism, but I think you could call the early Christians communists to a certain extent – it’s really clear from Paul’s letters that early Church members donated all of the their possessions to the Church and all the Church members held everything in common. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

          It’s why Paul was always wooing rich widows.

          1. You’re largely right.
            But
            Christians weren’t communists
            Communism is Christianity

            1. “Communism is Christianity”

              Of the state enforced, minus the Supreme Moral Being, and non-free will variety…

          2. Not necessarily socialism, but I think you could call the early Christians communists to a certain extent – it’s really clear from Paul’s letters that early Church members donated all of the their possessions to the Church and all the Church members held everything in common.

            That is a voluntary choice; under socialism/communism, you don’t have a choice.

            It’s the same confusion people have between welfare and charity: welfare is forced redistribution by the state, charity is a voluntary individual act.

            1. It might be time to split up the term “communist” into two words for these two meanings:

              1) communist = person who supports communism as a form of government, which necessarily involves the use of lethal force on the unwilling or noncompliant

              2) communist = person who supports communism as a voluntary association, such as a person who joins a hippie commune entirely voluntarily (the ability to freely leave the hippie commune is a requirement for it to be voluntary)

              Meaning 2) is what Square = Circle would be referring to.

              1. Come to think of it, the term for 2) might already exist: anarcho-communism. If not a perfect match, it is probably close enough.

              2. There’s Communism, which is a brand of Socialism, and murdered q hundred million people in the 20th Century, and there’s Communalism.

                Communalism is a volutary association in which all property is owned jointly. It has a long hostory. Largely one of failure, but with some notable successes. To the best of my knowledge, barring Jonestown, Communalists are not statistically more murderous than the general population.

              3. When Archie Bunker said on an episode of All in the Family that someone who lived in a commune was a commun-ist, it got a big laugh, because the two meanings were already quite distinct in the American mind.

              4. Communism has a well-defined meaning, and it refers to (1), not (2). It is an evil, mass-murdering ideology.

                Trying to give the term an ambiguous meaning is a thinly veiled attempt to hide the evils of communism.

            2. ” you don’t have a choice.”

              This. Christianity is predicated on Free Will. Doing the right thing because someone else compelled you to do so is not good, and you get no credit for having done it.

              Hell, do the right thing for the wrong reason (e.g. vanity, greed, etc) and you still get no credit for it.

              Christianity was the inevitable outcome of the intermingling of Greek thought with Hebrew and Zoroastrian mysticism.

              People who choose voluntary association are communalists.

              People who want state enforcement are communists.

    2. Many D&D characters are based on the gods, demi-gods and heros of various mythologies. Baphomet predates D&D by probably a couple millennia.

      1. I always thought some of the coolest monsters or races were the original ones, like beholders. Those are also the ones the owners of D&D vehemently defend as intellectual property.

        1. Intellectual property is in they eye of the Beholder.

      2. Baphomet predates DND by 600 years and was invented as a way for King Philip IV of France and his pals to escape their debts and seize all that lovely Knights Templar money, by accusing them of demon worship.

        Also, the Islamic angle, Baphomet = Mahomet:

        “Under torture, Gauserand de Montpesant, a knight of Provence, said that their superior showed him an idol made in the form of Baffomet; another, named Raymond Rubei, described it as a wooden head, on which the figure of Baphomet was painted, and adds, “that he worshipped it by kissing its feet, and exclaiming, ‘Yalla,’ which was,” he says, “verbum Saracenorum,” a word taken from the Saracens. A templar of Florence declared that, in the secret chapters of the order, one brother said to the other, showing the idol, “Adore this head?this head is your god and your Mahomet.”

        It’s the same stupidity as Satanists adopting Saint Peters cross, the symbol of a Christian’s humility before God for the last 2000 years, as an anti-christian symbol. It’s like Nazis wearing Stars of David and Phylacteries, or BLM burning crosses on the lawns of Black Churches.

  2. Although I must say, for a depiction of Satan, the statue is very dignified.

    1. The kids in the monument seem to really look up to this guy.

      1. Hail to the Chief!

  3. It should be noted that Zoroastrian, Muhammad, and the Ten Commandments appear on facades at the Supreme Court and the Courts have traditionally ruled that the Ten Commandments can be viewed with “historical significance” outside of its religious character thus making their display on government buildings not in violation of the accepted concept of “separation between church and state”. Satanism is not part of any “historical significance”.

    Also, absolutely none of this has to do with “religious liberty”, as that only pertains to religious accommodation via RFRA and the prohibition against government passing laws specifically tailored to harm a faith or require a religious test as part attaining higher office.

    1. Nice troll otherwise.

    2. the Courts have traditionally ruled that the Ten Commandments can be viewed with “historical significance” outside of its religious character thus making their display on government buildings not in violation of the accepted concept of “separation between church and state”.

      The courts have also held that using “in God we trust” as a motto is somehow not religious. Conveniently, long-established religions can just be considered historical/normal/good common sense. Funny that.

      1. Not religious, or not representative of any one single religion?

        Part of the idea behind separation of church and state is that the state is not supporting one religion over another. That’s what this statue is targeting.

      2. “Conveniently, long-established religions can just be considered historical/normal/good common sense.”

        Is not “long-established” the same as “historical”?

        Further, these faiths provided the basis for Western Law and that’s probably why they adorned court buildings.

        “In God we Trust” is not a sectarian statement, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Do Satanists not believe in a “god”? Isn’t their god Satan?

        1. LaVeyan “Satanists” are in fact atheist materialists, using Satan as a symbol while rejecting the existence of all supernatural beings.

          1. I know that about the LeVeyan Satanists, but are these the same ones? Some Satanist groups have just sprung up to troll

            1. What kind of libertarian calls pointing out the disingenuousness of religion-in-government-pushing authoritarians “trolling?”

              A clinger trying to mask his conservatism in libertarian drag, of course.

              1. By labeling what they are doing “trolling”, I am only being accurate in what their intentions are.

              2. Shouldn’t that be racist, bigoted, uneducated, backwards, country bumpkin conservatism, or something like that? What have you done with the real Arthur?

              3. Buy a gun and shoot yourself in the face.

            2. The Satanic Temple are the lefty atheist materialists who don’t quite fit with the CoS.

              They have some common roots with people who called themselves ‘Satanic Reds’

          2. I thought they just liked their kooky BDSM parties and pointy beards. A creepy goth kid leant me his copy of the Satanic Bible in senior year. It’s a big word salad of which I don’t recall the substance but was pretty mundane. The actual Bible is full of some bawdy and grotesque stuff.

            1. So is human history. What did you expect to find?

              1. What do you mean? How did you read my post? Did you infer surprise? I don’t understand your response.

        2. “In God we Trust” is not a sectarian statement, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Do Satanists not believe in a “god”? Isn’t their god Satan?

          No, adherents of the Church of Satan don’t really believe in Satan.

          Regardless, I don’t believe in any gods.

          1. But is this the LeVeyan Satanists? Some Satanist groups have just sprung up to troll.

            “Regardless, I don’t believe in any gods.”

            That’s fine, but “In God We Trust” has been found to have a historical basis and therefore does not violate the separation of Church and State. The preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have numerous references to “providence” and “God”, as well. Thus further supporting the “historical” argument.

            1. You realize something can be both historical and religious, right? Just because Courts have ruled “in God we trust” isn’t religious doesn’t make it so; it’s obviously establishing a religion to declare that the motto of the country involves trust in God.

              1. Yes, but suggesting any non-sectarian reference to diety is an establishment of faith would suggest that the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers established a state faith.

                The US has never accepted the French concept of state atheism (which would be an establishment of faith). It’s always pursued a more agnostic version of state/church relations which has served us well. Muslims don’t riot in Dearborn, MI which can’t be said for Paris. Probably because their faith is accommodated here

                1. Would we be okay with the capitol building putting a big “Allahu akbar” sign next to a big monument to the Seven Pillars of Islam?

                  1. Muhammad adorns a lot of court houses. Because he is acknowledged as a “great law giver” within the Muslim faith. Which is part of the argument that I’m making. We use religious imagery if it was a secular connotation as well

                    1. So if the capitol building just put up the Seven Pillars – purely “historically,” of course – and a nice big scrolly, non-denominational “Allahu akbar” and nothing else, it would be a “historical display” of “history of law-giving” and not an “establishment of religion?”

                      This is how it works in most Muslim countries currently, right?

                    2. “Allah akbar” is not related to the historic development of law, but yes, if a public building only had a bust of Muhammad and the Seven Pillars that would be fine.

                    3. “Allah akbar” is not related to the historic development of law

                      Neither is “In God We Trust.”

                      if a public building only had a bust of Muhammad and the Seven Pillars that would be fine.

                      But weren’t you just arguing that it’s the “historical basis,” which you just said these things lack, that makes it not an “establishment of religion,” but that putting this statue of a demon up would be?

                    4. Your hypothetical is inapt.

                      The analogous statement would not be Allhu Akbar – ‘God is great.’ It would be Inshallah – ‘if God wills it.’ Which, rhetorically speaking is the closer in meaning to ‘in God we trust.’

                      Inshallah would probably pass muster. More so if it were not in Arabic, which unlike Latin, is not generally recognized as part of the Western historic tradition. In English the statement is applicble across (most) all faiths, In Arabic it might more easily be deemed an endorsement of Islam.

                  2. That would be OK. So long as those spaghetti people don’t start putting pasta strainer sculptures up. Then I’m ready for jihad.

            2. “That’s fine, but “In God We Trust” has been found to have a historical basis and therefore does not violate the separation of Church and State.”

              Here’s some of that historical basis you’re talking about.

              History of In God We Trust

              Yep. No religious message there, just a purely historical one.

              /sarcasm off

              “The preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have numerous references to “providence” and “God”, as well. Thus further supporting the “historical” argument.”

              The preamble to the Constitution has no such reference.

          2. “Regardless, I don’t believe in any gods.”

            Since you don’t believe in any “Gods”, could you be so kind as t define the thing you do not choose to believe in?

        3. Is not “long-established” the same as “historical”?

          And yes, that’s my point. If it’s long-established, it can say, “Oh, this isn’t about religion, it’s about history,” which is obvious bullshit. Atheism is also long-established. Where are the monuments to Schopenhauer?

          1. “which is obvious bullshit.”

            I’m not sure if that’s bullshit. The story isn’t clear that that was the basis for setting up the monument. I’m certain that when Zoroastrian was etched on the edifice of the Supreme Court and other state government buildings it was not done to promote the Zoroastrian faith (especially since there are about 100,000 adherents to the faith that remain).

            Also, Schopenhauer was not an atheist. He was devout. But, I agree that religious accommodation should be provided to atheists (although this article has nothing to do with that). And the courts have been moving in that direction to allow for conscience accommodations absent of religion.

            Just remember, though, that without religious liberty, you would not have: the right to conscientious objector status for the draft (first demanded by the Quakers); the right to not recite the pledge of allegiance in public schools (first demanded by Jehovah’s witnesses), or the right to homeschooling (first demanded by the Amish), just to name a few rights.

            Reducing religious liberty will only expand the state and restrict personal liberty. But, again, this article actually has nothing to do with religious liberty.

            1. Also, I would support a statue to Schopenhauer, but only if you’d support my initiative for a statue dedicated to Kant

              1. And we can all agree- no statue to Hegel

                1. See, it’s funny because Schopenhauer didn’t like Hegel, but he and Hegel both admired Kant.

                  1. I am still wiping the coffee off my monitor.

                2. “And we can all agree- no statue to Hegel”

                  Just because David Hume could out-consume him?

                  Meanwhile, Kant was the real pissant here.

                  1. David Hume was the disgrace of the Enlightenment. You want to fight about it?

                    1. Why? Hume’s arguments against induction are classic. His claim that humans are governed by passions rather than reason is now proven science. What is your big problem with Hume?

                    2. “governed by passions” has been scientifically proven?

                      Even Hume would laugh in your face.

                  2. Just because David Hume could out-consume him?

                    But he wasn’t nearly as shlossed as Schlegel, nor was he as big a bugger for the bottle as Aristotle.

            2. Just remember, though, that without religious liberty, you would not have: the right to conscientious objector status for the draft (first demanded by the Quakers); the right to not recite the pledge of allegiance in public schools (first demanded by Jehovah’s witnesses), or the right to homeschooling (first demanded by the Amish), just to name a few rights.

              No, we’d still have all those rights, they’d just be being violated by the state.

            3. Also, Schopenhauer was not an atheist. He was devout.

              Also…no.

              1. Wasn’t he very into Buddhism?

                1. Not really. And besides, Buddhists are typically atheists.

                  1. Not exactly right, yet not exactly wrong.

                    It’s complicated (yet simple).

                2. Wasn’t he very into Buddhism?

                  He was an early Westerner to take it seriously, but I wouldn’t call his take on it “religious.”

            4. The whole thing is ridiculous. If we’re going to have to build a statue to every sicko fringe cult, the Neo-Nazis would be better served converting their political movement to a theological one. Then declaring Hitler their deity and insisting on statues of Hitler in every town.

              1. “Then declaring Hitler their deity and insisting on statues of Hitler in every town.” No, just in the towns that insist on putting up monuments to their favorite sect. If you are going to have one religious monument on public property, you’d better be ready to grant equal recognition to every religion.

          2. Where are the monuments to Schopenhauer?

            Isn’t the entire rest of the building a monument to atheism? The building has a plaque on it somewhere noting that it was designed and built by a man in some year, correct?

            1. Isn’t the entire rest of the building a monument to atheism? The building has a plaque on it somewhere noting that it was designed and built by a man in some year, correct?

              Pretty sure the 10C monument was also designed and built by a human. Are all churches monuments to atheism for the same reason?

              1. Are all churches monuments to atheism for the same reason?

                Almost like it’s up to the (non-)believers to decide for themselves. You and/or the atheists could rightly claim everything, including Churches, as monuments to atheism. The biggest obstacle seems to be that the idea isn’t popular and you/they can’t be comfortable with that for some reason. More like you/they don’t give two shits about any given statue or building and are really upset that you/they aren’t better at controlling how people think.

                1. Almost like it’s up to the (non-)believers to decide for themselves. You and/or the atheists could rightly claim everything, including Churches, as monuments to atheism.

                  I mean, I guess I could, but it seems like that would be a…monumentally stupid thing to do.

                  The biggest obstacle seems to be that the idea isn’t popular and you/they can’t be comfortable with that for some reason. More like you/they don’t give two shits about any given statue or building and are really upset that you/they aren’t better at controlling how people think.

                  Yes, as the person who objects to the placement of religious propaganda in public, I’m the one who wants to control how other people think.

        4. There are references to Baphomet going back to the First Crusade. That seems historical.

          Or is it only the popular religions that get the endorsement of the legislature?

          1. Last I checked he formed no basis for law, but nice try!

            1. Neither did the ten commandments, no matter how often Christians make that claim.

              1. https://publiushuldah.wordpress. com/category/bible-and-civil-government/

                You can take it up with her in her Ask Questions section if you don’t like it.

                1. The Bible and Civil Government

                  You can take it up with her in her Ask Questions section if you don’t like it.

                  1. You can take it up with her in her Ask Questions section if you don’t like it

                    She’s not using the word “God” the way the Founding Fathers used so that she can pretend that the Declaration and the Constitution take their primary impetus from the Bible because Pilgrims.

                    Which 100% ignores the theological developments that led to Deism and the concept of “natural” (i.e. not “divinely ordained”) rights.

                    This woman doesn’t understand the history of her own theology.

                    1. Natural law was first developed by Catholic theologians starting with Aquinas through the School of Salmanaca. All Enlightenment philosophers were pretty clear about the fact that they were taking the Catholic notion of natural law and secularizing it.

                    2. Natural law was first developed by Catholic theologians starting with Aquinas through the School of Salmanaca.

                      Close, but I won’t quibble. You’re ignoring that the notion of Natural Law was declared heretical.

                      Thomas Aquinas was condemned posthumously, but Siger of Brabant and Thomas of Buckingham were declared heretics and exiled for opining that there is such a thing as “Natural Law.”

                      And they got the concept in the first place from Muhammad Ibn Rushd, who in turn was drawing it from Aristotle, so it’s not entirely accurate to describe it as a “Catholic Idea.”

                    3. Pointing to actions in 1210, without noting later Church developments is highly selective at best.

                      https://tinyurl.com/ybsser9m

                      Stiger’s problem was that his form of natural law was not predicated upon God – he wasn’t declared a heretic specifically over natural law, it was his notion of ‘double truth’ as applied to many subjects that got him in hot water.

              2. Other than it being the basis of…law

        5. “In God we Trust” is very much a sectarian statement. Its for all religious sects.

    3. Further, the way you really make free speech a loser is to get progressively worse in your insistence on it’s abject freedom. Why not a statue of Satan murdering children in the state house? The 10 Commandments monument at least says ‘Don’t commit murder’ on it somewhere. This statue doesn’t even appear to say that.

      A thousand stickers of his Noodliness stuck all over the existing monument would’ve been a better idea.

      1. Why not a statue of Satan murdering children in the state house?

        There is no evidence Satan has harmed children.

        The Catholic Church, however . . . .

        (‘My fairy tale can beat up your fairy tale’ is always a charming argument, particularly from ostensible adults. ‘This reference to God — in the pledge of allegiance, on currency, on public buildings — isn’t religious’ is another gem from and for the gullible, superstitious, and mendacious.)

        1. There is no evidence Satan has harmed children.

          That’s because you’re missing the point. Hitler did harm children and isn’t a religious figure. Why don’t we put statues of him up in statehouses? Because it would be dumb.

          ‘My fairy tale can beat up your fairy tale’ is always a charming argument, particularly from ostensible adults. ‘This reference to God — in the pledge of allegiance, on currency, on public buildings — isn’t religious’ is another gem from and for the gullible, superstitious, and mendacious.

          It’s pretty much as childish and mendacious as “They got one so we should get one too!” It’s not an act of principled stance in favor of freedom or free speech motivating this statue/movement as much as petty vindictiveness. There are better ways to defend free speech.

          1. It’s not free speech. It’s establishment of religion.

            1. And what faith is that?

            2. It’s not free speech. It’s establishment of religion.

              It doesn’t matter which it is or isn’t because it’s not their motivation. They don’t prevent the establishing of a state religion by getting their statue put in.

              1. They don’t prevent the establishing of a state religion by getting their statue put in.

                I think their endgame is to get the 10-commandments statue removed on the principle of “if they get theirs, then we get ours” knowing that they’ll never get theirs.

            3. Is the government establishing the Church of the United States? Are you being forced to join a religion? Are you being forced to join a church? Are you being forced to believe in God? No? Then STFU.

              1. Is the government establishing the Church of the United States? Are you being forced to join a religion? Are you being forced to join a church? Are you being forced to believe in God? No? Then STFU.

                So you wouldn’t mind if we swapped out “In God We Trust” for “Allahu akbar” and the Ten Commandments for the Seven Pillars of Islam, right? Since it wouldn’t be forcing you to become Muslim, right?

                1. Is there any public motivation to do so?

                  No?

                  M’kay then.

          2. It’s not an act of principled stance in favor of freedom or free speech motivating this statue/movement as much as petty vindictiveness.

            The problem is the push for Ten Commandments plaques and other religious advertising in government buildings. Objecting to those boorish actions is not petty vindictiveness; it is the pursuit of a solution that vindicates American justice.

            1. “The problem is the push for Ten Commandments plaques and other religious advertising in government buildings.”

              We have long adorned our courts with religious imagery that also substitutes as historical markers in the development of Western Law.

              1. We have long adorned our courts with religious imagery that also substitutes as historical markers in the development of Western Law.

                See – I think this is a good argument for why having the Roman goddess of Justice on courthouses isn’t establishment of religion.

                To argue that publishing the religious laws of the religion that is most dominant among members of the government, and that doesn’t really have any important relationship with the history of our legal system, is also not an establishment of religion is somewhat dicier.

                1. “that doesn’t really have any important relationship with the history of our legal system, is also not an establishment of religion is somewhat dicier.”

                  Zoroaster had even less of a relationship to our law and yet he adorns courthouses. These are symbolic representations of the development of law throughout Western history. And Christianity invented the concept of natural law. Enlightenment philosophers all studied Aquinas who reintroduced philosophy to the West. It’s more difficult to separate Western law from Christian philosophy than it is to separate Christianity from the West.

                  1. Zoroaster had even less of a relationship to our law and yet he adorns courthouses.

                    Zoroaster/Zarathustra introduced the first “reform religion” and the first “divinely based” code of laws, essentially inventing the concept of the state as law-enforcer.

                    The Ten Commandments is a not-particularly-imaginative list of basic principles that are either shared by every society that has ever existed (don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie) and ones that aren’t paid attention to by anyone, really (the rest of them).

                    To claim the Ten Commandments have some important place in the history of the development of law is just weird, and to pretend that the display in Arkansas is some monument to legal history is intellectual contortionism.

                    And Christianity invented the concept of natural law

                    No, it didn’t. The concept of Natural Law goes back to the Greeks.

                    Enlightenment philosophers all studied Aquinas who reintroduced philosophy to the West

                    No, he didn’t. Philosophy was “reintroduced” to the West when Toledo was conquered in 1088 and when the European intellectual class spent the twelfth century learning Arabic so they could study Aristotle. Cf. Adelard of Bath, Roger Bacon, Peter Abelard, etc.

                    The modern European concept of natural law comes from Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina.

                    1. In fact, I want to emphasize that through most of the history of the most dominant strains of Christian thought, “Natural Law” was considered an oxymoron at best, but more likely a delusion of the Devil.

                    2. All well and good, by why stop there?. Where do you suppose Islam – a religion that arose from largely illiterate nomadic bandit tribes of the Arabian peninsula – came to posses such concepts?

                      People love to talk about Islamic literature, art, science, etc. But few ever get around to noting that the vast majority of it was absorbed into Islam when they conquered the Sassanids of Persia.

                      Whose state religion was, wait for it, Zoroastrianism.

                      I could go on and note how the Persians (Sassanids and their precursors) all had significant interaction with Rome (who had already incorporated much Greek thought) and the Hebrews. But I think you see the folly of any sort of ‘buck stops here’ argument.

      2. The 10 Commandments monument at least says ‘Don’t commit murder’ on it somewhere. This statue doesn’t even appear to say that.

        It also says you’re supposed to respect your parents and not take the Lord’s name in vain. Let’s not pretend there’s anything good, reasonable, or neutral about the 10 commandments.

        1. “Let’s not pretend there’s anything good, reasonable, or neutral about the 10 commandments.”

          It’s only formed the basis of law, in addition to other texts, for the last 2,000 years of Western Civilization

          1. It’s only formed the basis of law, in addition to other texts, for the last 2,000 years of Western Civilization

            What percentage of US laws would you say are good?

            1. I would place the Bill of Rights in the good column, but I understand your point.

              1. BORs aren’t laws, they’re rights.

                1. Yes. Agreed. However, they are a recognition of inalienable rights by law

                2. BORs aren’t laws, they’re rights.

                  Not only are they laws, they are the supreme law of the land.

            2. And what percentage of US law is based on the 10 commandments?

              Ok, you have “do not murder” and “do not steal” which are pretty universal and also the law in all non-christian societies. Do not bear false witness applies in court and on product labeling and in some forms of advertising, but I don’t think it’s for religious reasons.

              But what are the other commandments? Keep the sabbath holy. Well, that’s not the law in the US. Honor your mother and father. I don’t think there are any laws against being a dick to your parents. Do not say god’s name in vain. Nope, no laws against that. Have no god’s before me. Phew, no laws against that. Do not commit adultery. Nope, not against the law (anymore) except maybe in the military. Do not covet other people’s stuff. No law against coveting that I’m aware of.

              So as a whole, the 10 commandments form no basis for law in the US. So that can’t be the real reason they’re displayed on government buildings.

              1. Agreed. Zoroastrian and Muhammad adorn many courthouses because of their religious connotations.

                It’s symbolism of the “great law givers”. The individuals, themselves, formed the inspiration for codified law in the Western World. That is the basis

                1. ” Zoroastrian and Muhammad adorn many courthouses because of their religious connotations.

                  Insofar as ‘religion’ = ‘arbiter of moral authority’ I would agree.

                  But their appearance cannot be mistaken for an endorsement of either specific religion.

              2. Truth in labeling was a reaction to China’s 1905 boycott of U.S. goods because Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup for babies did not have “morphine” on the label. The Pure Food Law of 1906 fixed that, but that law only became enforceable in 1907. It was broadened to cover things like the Pharmacopoeia, the definition of whiskey and the definition of a sardine. Crash!

              3. “Do not covet other people’s stuff.”

                The democrats have crafted their entire sociopolitical philosophy around doing just the opposite.

          2. It really hasn’t.

            Four of the ten have been part of pretty much every book of law throughout history, predating the Torah and Judaism.

            The other six? Is all about religious crime and thought crime. Those have been included in more theocratic societies, but they’ve never been the “badis” for anything other then persecuting non-believers.

          3. It’s only formed the basis of law, in addition to other texts, for the last 2,000 years of Western Civilization

            No it hasn’t. Roman law and Anglo-Saxon common law were much more important to the development of modern Western legal codes than the Ten Commandments. Neither are remotely Christian in origin.

            1. ^so much this. Just Say’n is talking out his ass on this one.

            2. Roman law is not ‘remotely’ Christian?

              That’s a joke.

              Yes, Roman law goes way back, probably to the first Kings, or maybe even the Etruscans. But to pretend that centuries spent as a Christian empire had no impact on that law is just silly.

              Ditto for Anglo-Saxon law.

              You might as well be trying to separate the Missouri from the Mississippi at the Delta.

        2. Let’s not pretend there’s anything good, reasonable, or neutral about the 10 commandments.

          *Note to self* Beat the shit out of Cathy L and take all her stuff next time I meet her.

          1. Also would be prohibited by the Code of Hammurabi.

    4. The historical-context argument would be reasonable if the Ten Commandments were presented as one of many developments in the history of law, e.g., along with the Code of Hammurabi, the Twelve Tables, the Justinian Code, the Magna Carta, the U.S. Constitution…, and was given prominence roughly equal to that of the others. This does not appear to be the case in Little Rock: there’s one huge Ten Commandments monument, unaccompanied by any representations of other major historical developments.

      1. The courts have never said that if you present one historical basis for law that also has a religious connotation that you must then provide all the other historical basis for law. That would be like saying that if the Supreme Court has a bust of Muhammad (which they do) that they then must have a bust of Zoroastrian, which is not the case for all court buildings

        1. You’re full of shit as usual.

          1. What a well reasoned response. You seem bright

            1. Your struggle against decency and libertarianism to flatter the authoritarian, stale, religious element of your right-wing electoral coalition is interesting to observe.

              1. Yup. That’s what I’ve done here

                1. Yup. That’s what I’ve done here

                  It is, actually. Your argument all over this page hinges on which elements of religion are officially recognized by the state, which makes them okay, versus those to which the state acknowledges no debt, and therefore no legitimacy.

              2. You are not one to talk about decency when your hateful, petty, vindictive rhetoric suggests you have none.

              3. Arty, you are the most indecent piece of shit I have ever seen here. You would have been tight at home with the people planning to murder people en masse, like Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Mao, etc..

                Those are your people. You are pure evil.

        2. bust of Zoroastrian Zoroaster

          1. Damn. I’m an idiot. Thanks for the correction

        3. Bust out all the busts.

    5. More to the point: the headline here is misleading, because nothing about the complaint deals with “religious liberty”.

    6. It should be noted that the claim that the Ten Commandments appear at the Supreme Court is a lie propagated by Xtians in pursuit of religious exclusivity.

      Historical figures are depicted in reference to their status as lawgivers, and some also happen to be religious, but that is not why they are presented.

      1. So an image of Moses would be ok?

        But an image of what he gave would not?

  4. Provided I’m not paying for it, or its upkeep, I could not care less.

    Put one of Zeus, Allah and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be its linguini!) next to it.

    1. Your lack of Oxford Comma confuses me.

      Also, Allah and Flying Spaghetti Monster would be an excellent band name.

      1. If it’s just the duo, I suggest that it might be a rap combo rather than a “band”, per se.

        Alternatively, you could go the 50’s route, and have it be “Allah and the Flying Spaghetti Monsters“.

      2. likely leads to quick fatwa

      3. I love that imagery.

      4. Just, no gigs at the Bataclan.

    2. Yes, put up a statue of Allah, and see how the Muslims like that.

    3. “Put one of Zeus, Allah and the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be its linguini!) next to it.”

      Do it as a live action Saturday morning kid’s show, with Sid and Marty Kroft producing.

  5. Just because activists create spectacles doesn’t mean you have to cover them.

    And then you wonder why Trump works the press like his personal doormat.

    1. The funny thing is they keep taking the bait, even though it plays right into his hands.

      Yesterday’s coordinated editorials were just the latest example of Trump making the Media hit themselves in the face.

      What better way to disprove Trump’s assertion that the Media are conspiring against him than a large, coordinated effort by the Media to criticize him.

    2. If the activist creating a spectacle you are referring to is Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, I would say he should be covered as he is an elected official.

    3. If by “Trump” you mean “Putin”, and by “the media” you mean “Trump”, then yes, you’re exactly right.

      1. “the press”*

    4. Just because activists create spectacles doesn’t mean you have to cover them.

      You’re talking about the legislator who sponsored the 10C monument, right?

    5. I’m outraged!

    6. Okay, Ken, so what is your standard for which “activist spectacles” should be covered, and which ones shouldn’t be?

  6. Well then they’re going to have to install a Mohamed statue, too. I demand it.

    1. I want a statue of SQRLSY One. He has his own religion.

      1. I want a big statue of GayJay holding the cake.

        1. Looking around for a leppo.

    2. I’d lobby for a 5 ton bronze anus to represent The All-Seeing (Brown) Eye of Justice.

      At least most everyone could be unified in their opposition.

    3. See how the a,usloms react to a statue of Mohammed. I just want to know when, so I can be far away that day.

      1. “Muslims”

    1. yes. yes it was.

  7. It’s assholes like these guys that got Trump elected.

    1. I’ll never understand the support he has from evangelicals.

      1. I agree. The reason why people elected Trump was because of Hollywood elitist liberals. Their contempt for the common people and the traditions they hold was exactly why they elected a common man like President Trump. Just look at the example he has set for evangelicals through the example he sets by his personal conduct. I have one word for that: exemplary. Indeed.

        1. It is, at least, tenacious.

      2. Evangelicals?

        They’re gullible by nature, backward and bigoted by choice, superstitious by childhood indoctrination. The people who gave us faith healers, rattlesnake-juggling, jet-setting televangelists, Pat Robertson, creationism in public schools, and Liberty University were no match for a Bible-thumping, gold-toileted, trophy-wived, revival-meeting-conducting, white-grievance salesman such as Trump.

        1. Bible-thumping

          Corinthians Two is his favorite book to thump.

        2. So sayeth the “Reverend”.

        3. And this is why Trump won and they lost 1,000 seats in the States over the last decade. This is what Team Blue thinks of everyone who lives 10 miles or more away from a major urban center. They made no bones about it.

          Keep it up and you become a regional party.

        4. I defend the Christians’ right to juggle rattlesnakes and believe in Satan, and may their Obamacare be faith-healing.

          1. Fuck off Hank. Don’t you have some abortion videos to jerk off to?

      3. I’ll never understand the support he has from evangelicals.

        The evangelicals I know spit at the mention of the name Obama. When you say he can’t be all bad, there has to be at least one redeeming quality about him, most begrudgingly admit that he seemed to be a decent family man in his personal life. This was even before Trump. As a libertarian, I can say I’m similarly undecided about placing the utmost value on a leader’s personal conduct. This has been the case since Clinton was impeached for perjury and was reinforced later when the IL GOP removed Jack Ryan for allegedly wanting to have sex with his wife. Certainly murderous warlords shouldn’t be running the place but considering we’ve got some of them and that lots of ‘sinful’ behavior doesn’t hurt anyone except the sinner(s) it gets difficult to pick winners and losers based on purely religious principle. Even on religious principle, it’s a bit of a grab bag with any candidate.

      4. Much of American evangelism is simply con artists getting incredibly rich. The leaders of the large organizations and mega churches extract riches from their congregants to promote themselves. They have used scripture to teach that money is an indicator of God’s grace. This has allowed those wealthy people to get fealty from the flock, and they do what wealthy religions have done since the dawn of time, parlay their position to get government to protect their wealth.

        1. Most progressivism is just rich white liberals who are too ignorant to learn anything besides what’s spoon fed to them. They are overwhelmingly cowardly and dumb.

          See how broad generalizations work?

          1. Watching you struggle to defend the backward, superstitious, bigoted, and ignorant because they’re your political playmates — while attempting to keep your libertarian costume in place to mask the movement conservatism — is fascinating and entertaining.

            1. Carry on clinger

            2. And you’re entitled to that opinion.

              1. Bots dont have opinions. They have programmed trolling.

        2. “”Much of American evangelism is simply con artists getting incredibly rich.””

          How much?

          When compared to the number of evangelists, the rich evangelist is a rare dog.

      5. Juicy has never read the 2016 Republican party platform. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.” This movement began with the Prohibition and Republican parties in 1976, after the 1972 Libertarian plank became Roe v. Wade in 1973.

        1. Well, since a fetus is scitnifoaccly a person long before forty weeks of gestation, that would be good policy.

          Not popular with an infanticide enthusiast, such as yourself, but good public policy.

          1. “Technically”.

  8. What’s profane about it?

  9. Is there any more disappointing and boring group than Satanists? You would think Satanists would be some secret cult doing necromancy and secretly controlling all of the outlaw biker gangs or something. Instead, they are just a bunch of dumb ass atheists giving the usual tiresome schtick.

    1. The more theatrical types have weird sex parties.

      I’m told anyway *whistles*

      1. those can be had w/o satan

      2. How weird. Russian hookers, golden showers, raw-dogged porn stars, and father-daughter fetish weird?

        1. Say what you will about Kirkland, but he sure knows how to throw a birthday party.

          1. I’m just reading from the current evangelical/Republican script.

            1. Subscriber, or at the library?

        2. Well, we sure know what you are a Rev. of now.

    2. That’s because necromancy isn’t real.

      1. That doesn’t keep the Wiccans from trying it. It not being real doesn’t mean the people who think it is can’t be interesting. There is nothing more boring than a militant atheist. They even manage to make Satanism boring.

        1. It doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting, but it does mean they can’t actually do necromancy and secretly control biker gangs.

        2. Remind me which side regularly uses the power of the state to impose its sick delusional beliefs on the rest of us you degenerate piece of shit.

          1. Progressives

          2. The side in power.

          3. Progressives. Whom I now see are trying to legislate what parents can order as a beverage for their children in restaurants.

            https://tinyurl.com/y7m24bhc

            This shit just never ends with progtards.

        3. Wiccans aren’t the one claiming to be ritual cannibals.

      2. “necromancy isn’t real”

        It’s real, it just doesn’t work.

    3. Quoth the mystical Trumpista, “evermore!”

      1. You’re a disgusting piece of sit Hank. I’ll bet you watch videos of partial birth abortions and laugh hysterically.

        Oh, and it doesn’t make you somehow smarter, or more sophisticated to be an obnoxious atheist. It just makes you an asshole.

        And I say that as an agnostic.

  10. Per usual, the lefties are in need of a history lesson.

    At the time the Constitution was ratified, most of the colonies/states had a state-sponsored religion (Christian Protestant denominations) and even a litmus test for those who would hold public office. The significance of Article VI and the 1st Amendment was that the FEDERAL government would not sponsor or require adherence to a particular religion and there would be no litmus test for those who would hold public office.

    Prior to this great experiment, every civilization going back to ancient times was a sacral society; sacral meaning that everyone in said society was required by law (and by force) to publicly participate in the state sponsored religion or face execution or expulsion from the society. The one exception was New Testament Christianity prior to it becoming the state sponsored religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine. Even the Protestant Reformation was sacral and persecuted (and put to death) Anabaptist “heretics” who refused to baptize their infants. [continued in next post]

    1. There was even sacralism in the north American colonies. However, lucky for us, the founding fathers saw the wisdom in attempting to create a composite society where participation in religion is a free choice of individual conscience rather than forced by the state. So, for the “satanists” to argue that if the 10 Commandments are in the court room then their statue must be allowed is an argument made form ignorance and a lack of appreciation for their religious freedom which most people in the west today take for granted.

      1. However, lucky for us, the founding fathers saw the wisdom in attempting to create a composite society where participation in religion is a free choice of individual conscience rather than forced by the state.

        That’s not true. Only the federal government was so constrained until many decades later.

    2. Which is why the Bill of Rights applied to the states from the get go. The First Amendment did not apply to the states. That’s why it was worded the way it was. The rest of the amendments gave no exception to the states and applied to them fully.

      1. Wot.

        Prior to Incorporation, the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to the states. It would be well over a hundred years before the states had to worry about the BoR.

        1. In the Bill of Rights, the 1st Amendment is the only Amendment to specifically prohibit Congress only. This was to allow for defamation law in states.

          Amendment 2-10 applied to states as well as the US government and provided a basic structure for state constitutions and Americans basic rights and protections. All 13 original states had constitutions that pretty much mirrored the rights and protections from the BoR.

  11. Reasonites are slipping.

    Nobody equated Trump to being Satan?

    1. That’s because he’s Hitler, not satan. lol

      1. Oh yeah. I forgot. 🙂

      2. Literally.

  12. It seems to me that placing a statue of Baphomet in front of a government building is more appropriate.

  13. Libertarians supporting the government funded and maintained religious monuments, while mocking people of other faith’s for trying to get their monuments to be similarly sponsored.

    How libertarian.

    Also please note, this has nothing to do with “historical” monuments. None of the statues in this story are old enough to drive.

    1. Libertarians supporting the government funded and maintained religious monuments, while mocking people of other faith’s for trying to get their monuments to be similarly sponsored.

      I oppose government funding of Christian symbols; in fact, I oppose government funding almost anything.

      I oppose Satanic monuments, period. Doesn’t matter who funds them. As a libertarian, I can’t prevent you from putting them up on your own property, but I certainly can use any non-violent means from preventing them going up anywhere else.

  14. Put up a statue of Hillary Clinton,close enough.

  15. I’d be a Satanist but I have a strong No Fat Chicks ethos.

  16. First world issues and problems would be the subject of a good book. For instance, I wonder how much time and resources the third world puts into Satan worship, LGBTQ2B2P issues. What are some other first world issues that must seem silly to the not-so-affluent world?

    1. When you leave first World countries, toy start to run into a lot of blasphemy and sodomy laws. So yeah, they deal with these issues too. By imprisoning people.

  17. My religion worships beautiful big-breasted women and protocol requires nudity. You guys are gonna enjoy the statues I put up.

    1. Yes, we could revive the ancient Cham culture in Viet Nam; one of the goddesses had 27 breasts, all large. Unfortunately, she looked like a wheel of 27 breasts.
      ALSo a name for a great TV game show if we can find someone like Charlie Sheen to host.

    2. Bring back Paganism!

  18. Great idea! This lot can offer to replace deported Confederate statues with goat caduceus pentagram figures complete with cub scout salute. That should please everyone.

  19. Why, the good people of Arkansas should just tell these satanistic assholes to go straight to hell!

    … Oh, right.

    Forget it.

  20. If I may channel mainstream America: “If that’s what religious freedom comes down to, we don’t want it.”

    1. That’s the idea. The proposed statue is trolling mainstream America.

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