Some Christians recently protested against a giant Satanic Temple statue unveiled at the Arkansas State Capitol, holding Bible verse messages against a Satanic rally.
CBS News reported that in total 150 people, both Satanists and Christians, were present at the unveiling of the Satanic statue of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet at the state capitol last Thursday.
The Satanic Temple organized what it called a First Amendment rally, insisting that since the capitol allows a monument of the Ten Commandments to stand on its grounds, so should their symbol be allowed as well.
“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,” argued Satanic Arkansas co-founder Ivy Forrester.
The nearly 8-foot tall statue of Baphomet stood in its place for less than a day, however, with the Satanic group removing it later on Thursday. The group says that only legislative sponsorship can allow monuments to stand, but argues that Christians are given special privilege as their Ten Commandments monument is permitted.
Christians at the rally on Thursday displayed signs with messages from the Bible, KATV reported.
John 3:16 was quoted, reading: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Another sign quoted one of the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:3:
“You shall have no other Gods before me.”
“I am the Lord your God,” states Exodus 20:2.
The Satanic Temple has held numerous state campaigns against Ten Commandment monuments, recently getting Oklahoma’s Supreme Court to rule that its own monument was unconstitutional and had to be taken down.
Republican Senator Jason Rapert, who sponsored Arkansas’ Ten Commandments monument, said that legislators will never allow a permanent statue of Baphomet to be erected at the capitol.
Rapert insisted that he respects the Satanic Temple’s First Amendment rights, but at the same time said that the group members are “extremists” and “it will be a very cold day in Hell before an offensive statue will be forced upon us to be permanently erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.”
The Arkansas Ten Commandments monument previously suffered vandalism attacks, with a man smashing it to pieces in 2017, less than 24 hours after it was installed.
Several public space incidents where the Satanic Temple has demanded equal representation and where Christians have counter-protested have led to all religious monuments being taken down.
Such was the case last year at Belle Plaine’s Veterans Memorial Park in Minnesota, which removed a Christian memorial featuring a soldier kneeling before a cross and a Bible, in order to prevent a Satanic memorial to soldiers being erected at the same place.