Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

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Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-08-17 12:45pm

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states ... as-capitol
Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol
The Satanic Temple has unveiled its statue of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet in a rally at the Arkansas State Capitol to protest a Ten Commandments monument already on the Capitol grounds.
Aug. 16, 2018, at 7:27 p.m.

By HANNAH GRABENSTEIN, Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Satanic Temple unveiled its statue Thursday of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet during a First Amendment rally at the Arkansas State Capitol to protest a Ten Commandments monument already on the Capitol grounds.

With Satanists, atheists and Christians among those in attendance, several speakers called for the removal of the Ten Commandments monument or for state government officials to install Baphomet as well. The Satanic Temple said the Ten Commandments monument violates constitutional freedom of religion rights and that installation of their statue will demonstrate religious tolerance.

Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester, who helped organize the rally, said "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."

The statue of Baphomet, who is seated and accompanied by two smiling children, can't be installed under a 2017 law that requires legislative sponsorship for consideration of any monument.

The Satanic Temple has said it will sue the state, claiming religious discrimination. But when the Satanic Temple tried to join a case the ACLU had already brought against the state, the ACLU asked the court to bar the intervention. A judge has not yet ruled whether the Satanic Temple can join the case.

The Ten Commandments monument was sponsored by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert and installed quietly in 2017. Less than 24 hours after its installation, a man drove his car into the monument, smashing it to pieces. The same man also destroyed a Ten Commandments monument outside of Oklahoma's state Capitol. The Satanic Temple had originally tried to install its Baphomet statue there, but Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument was unconstitutional and it was taken down. The Satanic Temple then suspended its Oklahoma campaign.

In an online statement, Rapert said he respected the protesters' First Amendment rights, but also called them "extremists" and said "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."

About 150 people attended the rally, which had a substantial police presence. A smaller group of counter-protesters holding signs with Bible verses stood quietly nearby, occasionally singing Christian songs.

The rally was peaceful. One speaker — a Christian minister — was interrupted by a yelling counter-protester, but police escorted the man who was holding a large wooden stick away from the stage.

___

Follow Hannah Grabenstein on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hgrabenstein

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Arkansas
Sounds like they got triggered.

But the principle is, if Christians can display religious items on public grounds, then why can't other religions including Satanists? I need my flying spaghetti monster and Xenu statue.
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Marko Dash » 2018-08-17 04:57pm

somebody needs to put a giant Cthulhu statue in Newburyport Mass.
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by HortonX25 » 2018-08-18 08:19am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-08-17 12:45pm
But the principle is, if Christians can display religious items on public grounds, then why can't other religions including Satanists? I need my flying spaghetti monster and Xenu statue.
I'd agree to an extent, but what is classed as a religion here? Would it be right legally to say that the COS can display such things, when most of them are not being sincere about it?

Obviously from a legal perspective, it's impossible to prove who and who isn't sincere about religions, but from a personal one, it does make it hard for you to respect groups like this.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Jub » 2018-08-18 09:07am

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 08:19am
I'd agree to an extent, but what is classed as a religion here? Would it be right legally to say that the COS can display such things, when most of them are not being sincere about it?

Obviously from a legal perspective, it's impossible to prove who and who isn't sincere about religions, but from a personal one, it does make it hard for you to respect groups like this.
Why should we respect certain imaginary friends more than others? Why does depth of belief matter when it's vanishingly unlikely that any religion is, metaphysically, correct? I get that religion is a big deal to many many people but in an increasingly secular world why not have a little fun.

Have the Baphomet, next to Xenu, who's chilling next to Odin, while Vishnu stands beside him, the Spaghetti monster next to them, and so on as space allows.

On a lighter note, I want that statue for my lawn. That thing is fucking metal and would make a great conversation piece.
Last edited by Jub on 2018-08-18 09:16am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by applejack » 2018-08-18 09:12am

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 08:19am
mr friendly guy wrote:
2018-08-17 12:45pm
But the principle is, if Christians can display religious items on public grounds, then why can't other religions including Satanists? I need my flying spaghetti monster and Xenu statue.
I'd agree to an extent, but what is classed as a religion here? Would it be right legally to say that the COS can display such things, when most of them are not being sincere about it?
It doesn't take much to legally be a Church, at least at the federal level for tax purposes.

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HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 08:19am
Obviously from a legal perspective, it's impossible to prove who and who isn't sincere about religions, but from a personal one, it does make it hard for you to respect groups like this.
Who cares if they're sincere? The COS is using Satanism to 1) overturn the display of Christian monuments on government property lest the pearl-clutchers end up seeing Baphomet on their statehouse lawn, and if that doesn't happen then it 2) shows how hypocritical conservative Christians are when it comes to the first amendment.
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by HortonX25 » 2018-08-18 10:18am

Jub wrote:
2018-08-18 09:07am
Why should we respect certain imaginary friends more than others? Why does depth of belief matter when it's vanishingly unlikely that any religion is, metaphysically, correct? I get that religion is a big deal to many many people but in an increasingly secular world why not have a little fun.

Have the Baphomet, next to Xenu, who's chilling next to Odin, while Vishnu stands beside him, the Spaghetti monster next to them, and so on as space allows.

On a lighter note, I want that statue for my lawn. That thing is fucking metal and would make a great conversation piece.
The point here is that the COS are basically provokers, trolls, call them what you like. Not the type that are serious about their religious beliefs, instead with the actual religious we have people that believe in their faith enough to go ahead and lay-down their lives for it, as the history of martyrs has shown. Can we really compare the Church of Satan on a psychological level to actual religions and view them as the same? As the freedom of religion is something that is granted due to the sheer emotive force of religion among it's followers. As COS lacks that emotive force and should not be classed as the same thing due to that.
applejack wrote:
2018-08-18 09:12am
But the principle is, if Christians can display religious items on public grounds, then why can't other religions including Satanists? I need my flying spaghetti monster and Xenu statue.
I'd agree to an extent, but what is classed as a religion here? Would it be right legally to say that the COS can display such things, when most of them are not being sincere about it?
It doesn't take much to legally be a Church, at least at the federal level for tax purposes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZ ... u.be&t=880

Who cares if they're sincere? The COS is using Satanism to 1) overturn the display of Christian monuments on government property lest the pearl-clutchers end up seeing Baphomet on their statehouse lawn, and if that doesn't happen then it 2) shows how hypocritical conservative Christians are when it comes to the first amendment.
You're jumping from one thing to another with churches and then the first, what I'm referring to in this case is the concept of the freedom of religion, which I wouldn't really call even unique to the first amendment in America. The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of religion as a big example.

And we should care if they're sincere, the entire concept is founded on the fact they're sincere, if or if not.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Jub » 2018-08-18 10:38am

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 10:18am
The point here is that the COS are basically provokers, trolls, call them what you like. Not the type that are serious about their religious beliefs, instead with the actual religious we have people that believe in their faith enough to go ahead and lay-down their lives for it, as the history of martyrs has shown. Can we really compare the Church of Satan on a psychological level to actual religions and view them as the same? As the freedom of religion is something that is granted due to the sheer emotive force of religion among it's followers. As COS lacks that emotive force and should not be classed as the same thing due to that.
So you're asserting that there are no true believers among Arkansas' CoS members or that their beliefs, the empowerment and glory of the self, are less valid than those of other 'valid' religions? Seems like a pretty bold and arbitrary claim. One that only a religious apologist would make unironically.
You're jumping from one thing to another with churches and then the first, what I'm referring to in this case is the concept of the freedom of religion, which I wouldn't really call even unique to the first amendment in America. The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of religion as a big example.

And we should care if they're sincere, the entire concept is founded on the fact they're sincere, if or if not.
Does the law mention sincerity; the amendment or the ECER? If not, why are you assuming that sincerity matters?

Also, given that the CoS has actually taken a rather prominent and vocal stance towards freedom of religion across the US who are you to question their sincerity? They may not be sincere in their worship of Satan but as a pseudo-secular power they are certainly sincere about the causes they champion. The same can't be said for many Cristian churches which claim they follow the teachings of Christ but don't selflessly give in the way he teaches we should. So really, which is more sincere?

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Aether » 2018-08-18 12:19pm

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 10:18am
And we should care if they're sincere, the entire concept is founded on the fact they're sincere, if or if not.

If you were to establish a religion today, what would you consider to be the necessary requirements to illustrate a practitioner is sincere?

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-08-19 12:03am

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-18 10:18am
The point here is that the COS are basically provokers, trolls, call them what you like. Not the type that are serious about their religious beliefs, instead with the actual religious we have people that believe in their faith enough to go ahead and lay-down their lives for it, as the history of martyrs has shown. Can we really compare the Church of Satan on a psychological level to actual religions and view them as the same? As the freedom of religion is something that is granted due to the sheer emotive force of religion among it's followers. As COS lacks that emotive force and should not be classed as the same thing due to that.
Given the behaviors I see a major number of Christians behave in, I see no reason why I cannot level the exact same accusations at them. Why should I believe self-professed Christians are any more sincere than self-professed Satanists? Especially when these self-professed Christians are the antithesis of everything Christ said someone should be?
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-08-19 12:50am

Aether wrote:
2018-08-18 12:19pm
If you were to establish a religion today, what would you consider to be the necessary requirements to illustrate a practitioner is sincere?
People have to be willing to fund the religion to a significant degree. Money talks and bullshit walks, like anything else. That's always been at the core of religion in every way shape and form.
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Aether » 2018-08-19 01:54pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2018-08-19 12:50am
Aether wrote:
2018-08-18 12:19pm
If you were to establish a religion today, what would you consider to be the necessary requirements to illustrate a practitioner is sincere?
People have to be willing to fund the religion to a significant degree. Money talks and bullshit walks, like anything else. That's always been at the core of religion in every way shape and form.
Well, sure. But I was hoping to get an answer from Horton Hears A Who (sorry, the Universe wanted me to use that reference). He/She implied that the COS isn't a real religion because the followers in this case are not "sincere." I was hoping for a deep dive into that point.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Knife » 2018-08-19 02:34pm

I would propose that putting up a statue in and of itself contradicts the Christians putting it there. So... I question their sincerity. It's only the fact of cultural inertia that they get away with this shit, which is why the COS is pointing out their hypocrisy.
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by applejack » 2018-08-20 02:04am

OK, looks like some folks want to explore the COS as a religion issue.

I should point out that the COS is a different organization than the one in the OP, which is the Satanic Temple. The first is Anton Lavey's group and the latter is a newly formed group. Horton just mixed them up. Maybe we should start properly identifying the actors in this debate to prevent any misunderstandings.

I just wanted to clarify that the effectiveness of the Satanic Temple's activism seems to be more dependent on other people's biases against Satanism in any form rather than what the ST actually believe. However, I hope I didn't come across as saying that they don't genuinely believe. If anything, their acts of "trolling," as Horton puts it, actually seems to line up with the Satanic Temple's mission statement. I was also trying to say that any legal definition by which the Satanic Temple can receive official recognition to exist and act as a religious organization (if it chose to do so) would not rely on Horton's wholly contrived and subjective metric of "genuine belief."
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by HortonX25 » 2018-08-20 05:40am

Ok, done some more research into the Temple and it seems some of them are genuine religious believers in it's tenants. My argument was mainly looking at how they were founded and it lead me to believe they were insincere. Based on that it was in reason to assume the believers weren't.

If you want a better example, how about the Jedi Faith and the census phenomena in the UK. Should we consider them as sincere. Yes/no? I'd find it hard to take such a thing as a serious religion, as it's obviously a satire movement based on Star Wars.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-08-20 07:39am

HortonX25 wrote:
2018-08-20 05:40am
Ok, done some more research into the Temple and it seems some of them are genuine religious believers in it's tenants. My argument was mainly looking at how they were founded and it lead me to believe they were insincere. Based on that it was in reason to assume the believers weren't.

If you want a better example, how about the Jedi Faith and the census phenomena in the UK. Should we consider them as sincere. Yes/no? I'd find it hard to take such a thing as a serious religion, as it's obviously a satire movement based on Star Wars.
one shouldn't be too focused on the source of a religion, social movements especially religious ones can easily grow beyond their initial origin. Lets examine that "Jedi faith" as an example, if the people belive in living according to the jedi code and philosphy who are we to say that their faith is "wrong" or "insincere".

Now do you consider members of the protestant sects of christianity to be sincere, I mean "protestant" isn't a fancy term we gave ourselves for shits and giggles but rather it refers to the fact that our sects trace their origins to protests against the catholic church during the 16th and 17th century, hell the anglican sect was formed because the english king at the time wanted to get out of an arranged marriage. Well tell me do you consider those insincere and if not why?
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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Nicholas » 2018-08-20 03:44pm

Since saying this is absurd and the statue to Baphomet has no business on the Arkansas Capitol clearly isn't going to fly here, even though it is true, I will treat this protest over the 10 Commandments Monument as a serious effort to get this statue placed.

The statute to Baphomet has no place on the Arkansas Capitol grounds for three reasons:

1) It doesn't represent enough of the people of Arkansas. There is limited space on the grounds and limited funds for maintaining public monuments therefor only those monuments which represent a significant number of the people of Arkansas belong on the grounds. Since no website I can find gives a survey which shows a measurable number of Satanists in Arkansas I believe there aren't enough Satanists in Arkansas to justify this monument. This is in contrast to Christians who according to Wikipedia are 86% of Arkansas' population.

2) It doesn't have anything to do with the government of Arkansas. The worship of Baphomet does not and has never played any role in the governing of Arkansas therefor the government has no current or historical reason to commemorate it. This contrasts with the 10 Commandments which are one of the historical basis of Western Law including the law of Arkansas.

3) This statue is hate speech made into a monument. The true message of the statue seems to me to have been neatly summarized by this statement:
Jub wrote:
2018-08-18 09:07am
Why should we respect certain imaginary friends more than others?
This is a refusal to take the faith of believers seriously as something worthy of respect but is intended to mock Christians. This makes it hate speech.

If these people genuinely wanted to put a monument on the grounds of the Arkansas capital they would pick something they actually thought was significant. A statue honoring reason, or science, or humanity, or democracy as freedom from theocracy, or the Magna Carta, or many other things. In sum they are trolling and only people who believe that the 10 Commandments monument is inappropriate for reasons which have nothing to do with this statue think this is a reasonable argument that the 10 Commandments monument should be taken down.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Jub » 2018-08-20 04:31pm

Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 03:44pm
1) It doesn't represent enough of the people of Arkansas. There is limited space on the grounds and limited funds for maintaining public monuments therefor only those monuments which represent a significant number of the people of Arkansas belong on the grounds. Since no website I can find gives a survey which shows a measurable number of Satanists in Arkansas I believe there aren't enough Satanists in Arkansas to justify this monument. This is in contrast to Christians who according to Wikipedia are 86% of Arkansas' population.
This flies in the face of religious equality as defined by US law. The size and membership of a religion give that religion no special rights over other smaller religions and sects.
2) It doesn't have anything to do with the government of Arkansas. The worship of Baphomet does not and has never played any role in the governing of Arkansas therefor the government has no current or historical reason to commemorate it. This contrasts with the 10 Commandments which are one of the historical basis of Western Law including the law of Arkansas.
The 10 Commandments are specifically not something US law is based on with the separation of church and state being enshrined from the very first documents of US law.
3) This statue is hate speech made into a monument.
Protesting your rights being trampled on by Christian lawmakers is hate speech now? Fuck off troll.
This is a refusal to take the faith of believers seriously as something worthy of respect but is intended to mock Christians. This makes it hate speech.
No, it isn't, it's a protest against a political group placing a religious statue on government property in violation of the long-enshrined separation of church and state and religious equality laws. This sort of protest has been gaining ground recently as other religions and secular groups gain power and wish to see equal representation of all religions or no representations of any religion in public government-owned spaces.
If these people genuinely wanted to put a monument on the grounds of the Arkansas capital they would pick something they actually thought was significant. A statue honoring reason, or science, or humanity, or democracy as freedom from theocracy, or the Magna Carta, or many other things. In sum they are trolling and only people who believe that the 10 Commandments monument is inappropriate for reasons which have nothing to do with this statue think this is a reasonable argument that the 10 Commandments monument should be taken down.
Baphomet is a religious icon. The debate is specifically about religious iconography being displayed on government property. While it would be great to see secular monuments treated with the same respect as religious monuments we're not there yet.

Also, because Baphomet is controversial (especially among Christians) using this statue gains more attention to their cause which is the goal of a protest. You seem to be missing the point of this which isn't that Baphomet should be displayed alongside the 10 Commandments but that neither statue should be displayed on government property. Thus the controversial nature of the statue is a plus because many would prefer neither statue be displayed than both statues get equal billing. It just goes to show how some people, including yourself, really feel about religious equality.

It's good when you can use it and should be ignored when it even slightly inconveniences you.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Nicholas » 2018-08-20 07:35pm

Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 03:44pm
1) It doesn't represent enough of the people of Arkansas. There is limited space on the grounds and limited funds for maintaining public monuments therefor only those monuments which represent a significant number of the people of Arkansas belong on the grounds. Since no website I can find gives a survey which shows a measurable number of Satanists in Arkansas I believe there aren't enough Satanists in Arkansas to justify this monument. This is in contrast to Christians who according to Wikipedia are 86% of Arkansas' population.
This flies in the face of religious equality as defined by US law. The size and membership of a religion give that religion no special rights over other smaller religions and sects.
You are correct about the rights of religious groups but that is irrelevant here. Erecting a monument on public land is not a right but a privilege which the state government is free to grant, regulate and revoke as it sees fits. The protesters acknowledge this when they call for the removal of the 10 Commandments monument. If a right were involved it could not be removed without violating the rights of those who put it up. The state government can reasonably grant this privilege to large groups but not small ones.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
2) It doesn't have anything to do with the government of Arkansas. The worship of Baphomet does not and has never played any role in the governing of Arkansas therefor the government has no current or historical reason to commemorate it. This contrasts with the 10 Commandments which are one of the historical basis of Western Law including the law of Arkansas.
The 10 Commandments are specifically not something US law is based on with the separation of church and state being enshrined from the very first documents of US law.
This depends on what you mean by US law and is a much debated topic today where reasonably people are on both sides. If you start with the US Constitution as you do you are correct. But the US Constitution did not appear ex nihilo it had an extensive background including Christian influence and was put over the already existing English common law, which has Christian roots.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
3) This statue is hate speech made into a monument.
Protesting your rights being trampled on by Christian lawmakers is hate speech now? Fuck off troll.
I didn't say that protesting your rights being trampled is hate speech. I said "this statue is hate speech." Since you haven't even attempted to refute what I said I stand by it.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
If these people genuinely wanted to put a monument on the grounds of the Arkansas capital they would pick something they actually thought was significant. A statue honoring reason, or science, or humanity, or democracy as freedom from theocracy, or the Magna Carta, or many other things. In sum they are trolling and only people who believe that the 10 Commandments monument is inappropriate for reasons which have nothing to do with this statue think this is a reasonable argument that the 10 Commandments monument should be taken down.
Baphomet is a religious icon. The debate is specifically about religious iconography being displayed on government property. While it would be great to see secular monuments treated with the same respect as religious monuments we're not there yet.
What evidence is there that Baphomet is a religious icon? The OP provides no evidence for this claim whatsoever. Every statement in it talks about the Baphomet statue as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
Also, because Baphomet is controversial (especially among Christians) using this statue gains more attention to their cause which is the goal of a protest. You seem to be missing the point of this which isn't that Baphomet should be displayed alongside the 10 Commandments but that neither statue should be displayed on government property. Thus the controversial nature of the statue is a plus because many would prefer neither statue be displayed than both statues get equal billing. It just goes to show how some people, including yourself, really feel about religious equality.

It's good when you can use it and should be ignored when it even slightly inconveniences you.
You appear to have forgotten about the beginning of my last post, which you snipped. I wrote:
Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 03:44pm
Since saying this is absurd and the statue to Baphomet has no business on the Arkansas Capitol clearly isn't going to fly here, even though it is true, I will treat this protest over the 10 Commandments Monument as a serious effort to get this statue placed.
I'm handling it this way because this only works as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument if the Statue of Baphomet is equivalent to the 10 Commandments monument. Since the Statue of Baphomet is not equivalent (and I am trying to prove that it is not) this protest is farcical.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Jub » 2018-08-20 08:04pm

Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 07:35pm
You are correct about the rights of religious groups but that is irrelevant here. Erecting a monument on public land is not a right but a privilege which the state government is free to grant, regulate and revoke as it sees fits. The protesters acknowledge this when they call for the removal of the 10 Commandments monument. If a right were involved it could not be removed without violating the rights of those who put it up. The state government can reasonably grant this privilege to large groups but not small ones.
Except that this statue is explicitly religious in nature and thus violates other rights, which is the actual issue here.
This depends on what you mean by US law and is a much debated topic today where reasonably people are on both sides. If you start with the US Constitution as you do you are correct. But the US Constitution did not appear ex nihilo it had an extensive background including Christian influence and was put over the already existing English common law, which has Christian roots.
That's a reach. It would be like saying the current European Union is an inherently Abrahamic construct, it might be true if you squint hard enough at it but in practice you'd draw the wrong conclusions if you based anything off of those roots.
I didn't say that protesting your rights being trampled is hate speech. I said "this statue is hate speech." Since you haven't even attempted to refute what I said I stand by it.
How is this staue hate speech? You haven't really defined the why of this except where you were missing the entire point of the statue in the first place.
What evidence is there that Baphomet is a religious icon? The OP provides no evidence for this claim whatsoever. Every statement in it talks about the Baphomet statue as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument.
Things can be more than one thing. Baphomet is pretty inherently religious when you look at its roots, this statue in particular is more secular especially in how it's being used but its religious nature is also important to those secular protest.
I'm handling it this way because this only works as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument if the Statue of Baphomet is equivalent to the 10 Commandments monument. Since the Statue of Baphomet is not equivalent (and I am trying to prove that it is not) this protest is farcical.
So you're ignoring a good part of the debate and shift goalposts then? Even then you have no leg to stand on. If the Commandments are fine then any religious icon should be if only due to religious freedoms being a protected right. Importance and sincerity shouldn't matter and for every statue/monument to one religion that is placed, there must then be some number of other monuments placed to balance the first monument. Given that no other group, to my knowledge, has yet stepped up to offer their own monument, Baphomet should stay.

Your argument also ignores the fact that Arkansas made a law about having to approve of monuments specifically because they knew this would happen when this monument went up. They are acting in poor faith and thus other poor faith methods are fair game to use against them.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Aether » 2018-08-21 04:55pm

Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 07:35pm
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 04:31pm
3) This statue is hate speech made into a monument.
Protesting your rights being trampled on by Christian lawmakers is hate speech now? Fuck off troll.
I didn't say that protesting your rights being trampled is hate speech. I said "this statue is hate speech." Since you haven't even attempted to refute what I said I stand by it.
Not to pile on, but in the US at least, 'hate speech' isn't codified into law. This is exactly why the Westboro Baptist Church is allowed to openly protest with "God Hates Fags."

Speech certainly can be hateful, mean spirited, and ignorant minus the very select few instances where it is not; i.e., inciting, "fighting words" (which are narrowly defined themselves.)

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-21 05:25pm

^ correct; under most circumstances (not all), people can say pretty much anything they want in the US. It may be highly offensive, racist, homophobic, whatever, but they can say it. As long as it doesn't cross the line into actually advocating and supporting violence against others, it's legally in the clear. The Satanic Temple has every right to put up statues wherever they're allowed to.

Of course there are grey areas here; I don't see anybody trying to bring charges against Donald Trump for the various threats he's made...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Nicholas » 2018-08-21 07:57pm

Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 08:04pm
Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 07:35pm
You are correct about the rights of religious groups but that is irrelevant here. Erecting a monument on public land is not a right but a privilege which the state government is free to grant, regulate and revoke as it sees fits. The protesters acknowledge this when they call for the removal of the 10 Commandments monument. If a right were involved it could not be removed without violating the rights of those who put it up. The state government can reasonably grant this privilege to large groups but not small ones.
Except that this statue is explicitly religious in nature and thus violates other rights, which is the actual issue here.
The existence or non existence of undefined "other rights" which might require the removal of the 10 Commandments monument is a red herring to my argument here. Since you have not addressed the argument I assume that you are conceding that the State Government can reasonably grant the privilege of erecting a monument on public land to large groups while denying that same privilege to small ones.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 08:04pm
Nicholas wrote:This depends on what you mean by US law and is a much debated topic today where reasonably people are on both sides. If you start with the US Constitution as you do you are correct. But the US Constitution did not appear ex nihilo it had an extensive background including Christian influence and was put over the already existing English common law, which has Christian roots.
That's a reach. It would be like saying the current European Union is an inherently Abrahamic construct, it might be true if you squint hard enough at it but in practice you'd draw the wrong conclusions if you based anything off of those roots.
Yes it is a reach. I don't think it is quite as large a reach as you are making it out to be, however, all narrative interpretations of history or reaches in some sense because history is too complicated to be contained in any story. One of the functions of public monuments is to make the reaches which a society's story includes look plausible. The famous history book "Lies My Teacher Told Me" contains a number of examples of public monuments trying to cover far less plausible reaches then this one. To return to the topic the state of Arkansas can legitimately permit the 10 Commendments monument as a monument to part of Arkansas' history while denying a place to the Statue of Baphomet which lacks such a connection.
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 08:04pm
Nicholas wrote:I didn't say that protesting your rights being trampled is hate speech. I said "this statue is hate speech." Since you haven't even attempted to refute what I said I stand by it.
How is this staue hate speech? You haven't really defined the why of this except where you were missing the entire point of the statue in the first place.
What evidence is there that Baphomet is a religious icon? The OP provides no evidence for this claim whatsoever. Every statement in it talks about the Baphomet statue as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument.
Things can be more than one thing. Baphomet is pretty inherently religious when you look at its roots, this statue in particular is more secular especially in how it's being used but its religious nature is also important to those secular protest.
I don't understand what you are trying to do here. So I will summarize the argument on this point as I see it and hopefully you can tell me where I have misunderstood. I started by arguing that the Statue was hate speech by saying:
Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-20 03:44pm
3) This statue is hate speech made into a monument. The true message of the statue seems to me to have been neatly summarized by this statement:
Jub wrote:
2018-08-18 09:07am
Why should we respect certain imaginary friends more than others?
This is a refusal to take the faith of believers seriously as something worthy of respect but is intended to mock Christians. This makes it hate speech.

If these people genuinely wanted to put a monument on the grounds of the Arkansas capital they would pick something they actually thought was significant. A statue honoring reason, or science, or humanity, or democracy as freedom from theocracy, or the Magna Carta, or many other things. In sum they are trolling and only people who believe that the 10 Commandments monument is inappropriate for reasons which have nothing to do with this statue think this is a reasonable argument that the 10 Commandments monument should be taken down.
Since I'm not sure you understood what I was trying to do in this passage I will restate it as a logical syllogism:

Premise 1: Given its context the most logical interpretation of this statue of Baphomet is as a mockery of Christian belief and believers.
Premise 2: Mockery is a form of hate speech.
Conclusion: This statue is hate speech.

In your first reply I read only the sentence where you said "Protesting your rights being trampled on by Christian lawmakers is hate speech now? Fuck off troll." as a response to that argument and the rest of your post as a general comment on how I choose to approach this topic. Given your comments here it seems you intended more of your text as a response to this particular point. I won't try and quote what you intended as a response to this because I am not clear on what exactly was included but the main idea seemed to be that the proposal of this statue should be understood as a political protest against the 10 Commandments monument not as a serious effort to put an additional statue in the Arkansas state capitol. My problem is I don't see how that point helps your argument. There are two ways it could be interpreted by neither helps you.

The first is that you are saying that in context the Statue of Baphomet has no religious connotations. That would refute my premise 1 and thus negate my claim that the statue is hate speech. But since there is no rational way to argue that because the State of Arkansas permitted the erection of a religious monument (the 10 Commandments monument) in the capital they have to permit the erection of a political monument (the Statue of Baphomet) as well it also completely negates the protesters argument.

The second interpretation is that the protesters are using the Statue of Baphomet to make a political statement and don't have any genuine religious sentiments toward it. If this is so then the protesters have chosen a Christian symbol for evil and pretended to have a religious devotion toward it in order to make a political point. In which case they are knowingly and deliberately mocking Christian practice and belief with their statue, if there are people who actually do have religious feelings toward Baphomet they are also committing blasphemy. This doesn't undermine my claim that they are engaging in hate speech it strengthens it!

Since I assume you are not trying to help me make my case what were you trying to do here?
Jub wrote:
2018-08-20 08:04pm
I'm handling it this way because this only works as a protest against the 10 Commandments monument if the Statue of Baphomet is equivalent to the 10 Commandments monument. Since the Statue of Baphomet is not equivalent (and I am trying to prove that it is not) this protest is farcical.
So you're ignoring a good part of the debate and shift goalposts then? Even then you have no leg to stand on. If the Commandments are fine then any religious icon should be if only due to religious freedoms being a protected right. Importance and sincerity shouldn't matter and for every statue/monument to one religion that is placed, there must then be some number of other monuments placed to balance the first monument. Given that no other group, to my knowledge, has yet stepped up to offer their own monument, Baphomet should stay.
Shifting the goalposts?!? The OP of this thread was about a protest that proposed erecting a statue of Baphomet to go with the existing 10 Commandments monument. The follow up posts (before mine) were either people who agreed with the protesters and were laughing at the Christians who now had to either remove their monument or permit Baphomet to go up or a debate of whether the insincerity of the protesters religious beliefs meant that Baphomet could be excluded (an argument which concluded that Baphomet could not be excluded on these grounds because the protestors could not be proved to be insincere). No other arguments for why the 10 Commandements monument should be removed have been made here. In not making and responding to such arguments I am refraining from putting words in my opponents mouths, which is good debating ethics. And refraining from making my opponents arguments for them, which is good debating tactics. I cannot be justly accused of shifting the goalposts.

As for the rest of your argument in this paragraph I believe I have dealt with it above. The placing of a statue in the state capitol is not a right but a privilege that the State Government can grant, regulate or revoke as it sees fit, within the bounds of the Constitution. The statue of Baphomet is different from the 10 Commandments monument in a number of ways (which we have been discussing) and which permit the state government to treat the groups sponsoring them differently.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Jub » 2018-08-21 10:16pm

Nicholas wrote:
2018-08-21 07:57pm
The existence or non existence of undefined "other rights" which might require the removal of the 10 Commandments monument is a red herring to my argument here. Since you have not addressed the argument I assume that you are conceding that the State Government can reasonably grant the privilege of erecting a monument on public land to large groups while denying that same privilege to small ones.
Nice attempt at dodging there. The thing is these 'other rights' are dealing with religious freedoms and when it comes specifically to religious monuments the interpretation that this violates the separation of church and state has been upheld in court. Specifically, I can reference the removal of a similar statue in Oklahoma after their supreme court ruled it violated the separation of church and state. Given that we have legal precedence these rights you are trying to dismiss are intrinsically linked to this sculpture. This, in turn, means, that you can no longer argue that the size of the church matters in this case.
Yes it is a reach.
You said it. We're done with this point.
This is a refusal to take the faith of believers seriously as something worthy of respect but is intended to mock Christians. This makes it hate speech.
First of all, that this statue is designed to mock Christians is pure conjecture that exists only within your head. Second, this does not count in as hate speech in any reasonable legal or moral sense of the term.
If these people genuinely wanted to put a monument on the grounds of the Arkansas capital they would pick something they actually thought was significant. A statue honoring reason, or science, or humanity, or democracy as freedom from theocracy, or the Magna Carta, or many other things.
Baphomet is a symbol to all of these things being a key symbol of Satanism which stands for these things. That you fail to see the meanings inherent to this statue is a personal failing of yours.
Premise 1: Given its context the most logical interpretation of this statue of Baphomet is as a mockery of Christian belief and believers.
Your logic here is flawed. There is no logical path to this assumption and you're merely picking the path that best suits your argument.
Premise 2: Mockery is a form of hate speech.
This is also false by any reasonable definition of hate speech. By legal definition, mockery does not constitute hate speech in the United States. In fact, this exact form of protest is enshrined in the US Constitution. Morally there could be some debate, but given how weak your first 'logical step' is and how false this step is in a legal fashion there's little reason to have that debate.
The first is that you are saying that in context the Statue of Baphomet has no religious connotations. That would refute my premise 1 and thus negate my claim that the statue is hate speech. But since there is no rational way to argue that because the State of Arkansas permitted the erection of a religious monument (the 10 Commandments monument) in the capital they have to permit the erection of a political monument (the Statue of Baphomet) as well it also completely negates the protesters argument.

The second interpretation is that the protesters are using the Statue of Baphomet to make a political statement and don't have any genuine religious sentiments toward it. If this is so then the protesters have chosen a Christian symbol for evil and pretended to have a religious devotion toward it in order to make a political point. In which case they are knowingly and deliberately mocking Christian practice and belief with their statue, if there are people who actually do have religious feelings toward Baphomet they are also committing blasphemy. This doesn't undermine my claim that they are engaging in hate speech it strengthens it!
A statue can and ideally should have more than one meaning. In this case, the group placing it is using it precisely because it has multiple meanings.

1. It's an effective symbol of protest because many US Christians would rather see the 10 Commandments statue removed than stand on equal footing with a statue of Baphomet. This is leaning heavily on the religious aspect of the statue.

2. As a symbol for Satanism, it serves to represent the ideas and ideals of the church. If you see Satanism as a more secular group that serves more to counter the influence of other religions this a secular aspect of the statue. If you see Satanism as a legitimate religion this is another religious aspect of the statue.

3. This statue serves as a symbol of protest regardless of what it depicts simply due to the group that donated it. If they had offered up a secular statue that prominently displayed the name of the group which donated it would also have been rejected summarily. In this way, the statue is given a very legitimate political aspect.

Even if all of these things should prove false or simply not amount to a strong enough reason to place such a monument we have to fall back to the simple fact that the amount. or lack thereof, religious sincerity behind the statue doesn't diminish its purpose.
As for the rest of your argument in this paragraph I believe I have dealt with it above. The placing of a statue in the state capitol is not a right but a privilege that the State Government can grant, regulate or revoke as it sees fit, within the bounds of the Constitution. The statue of Baphomet is different from the 10 Commandments monument in a number of ways (which we have been discussing) and which permit the state government to treat the groups sponsoring them differently.
1. Oklahoma's Supreme Court disagrees with your assertion that the 10 Commandments statue should have been allowed in the first place.

2. Your argument that Baphomet is less worthy of public display than the 10 Commandments flies in the face of US law with regards to equality of religious representation.

3. Even if statement two were not true your assertion that this statue of Baphomet was placed without any sincerity with regard to it stay is unprovable in either direction. While this statue is certainly a protest piece intended to force the removal of the 10 Commandments statue I still think the group would be very happy for their statue to stay if that were the outcome that they achieved.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Nicholas » 2018-08-22 08:12pm

Jub, your last response to me was so tightly snipped and covered so many different points that in the interests of time and clarity I am going to post my response as a coherent piece instead of inter-spacing responses with quotes and I will limit my response to the two points that seem most important to me.

For my first point, I need to start by appologizing, I appear to have started my argument in the wrong place. When I first entered this thread I took it for granted that everyone here agreed that public monuments almost always had multiple meanings and it was not at all unusual for some of these meanings to be secular and some religious. I also took it for granted that everyone agreed that in evaluating whether or not a specific monument should be placed or removed you looked at whether the secular meanings were sufficient to justify its placement and whether the religious meanings were sufficiently central to it to prohibit its placement. While I still think we agree on the first point your last post has convinced me that we disagree on the second point. Your casual dismissal of the relative significance of the secular meanings of the two monuments, your instance that the religious meaning of the 10 Commandments monuments requires that its secular meanings be treated as irrelevant and your point 2 at the end were you said, "Your argument that Baphomet is less worthy of public display than the 10 Commandments flies in the face of US law with regards to equality of religious representation" all seem to imply that your actual position is that no monument with a religious meaning can be supported by any level of the US Government. Since I don't want to put words in your mouth before we can resume discussion on whether or not the 10 Commandments monument and the Baphomet Statue are similar enough that they must be treated the same by the State of Arkansas I need to know what your actual position is regarding state supported monuments with both religious and secular meanings.

The second point I wish to engage with is whether or not the Statue of Baphomet qualifies as hate speech. That involves two separate questions:

First, does the Baphomet Statue mock Christians. You said, "that this statue is designed to mock Christians is pure conjecture that exists only within your head." Actually the first responses to this article including the OP mocked Christian believers. Google defines "mock" as "to tease our laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner." Those first few posts compared the God Christians believe in and adore to:

1) Xenu - an evil dictator from the mythology of Scientology.
2) The Flying Spaghetti Monster - a fairly lighthearted satire of religion and God
3) Cthulhu - a fictional deity created by H.P. Lovecraft
4) Odin - a mythical deity - in this context mythical means has no living worshipers
5) Vishnu - The Supreme being in one tradition of Hinduism

While the last is actually a valid comparison the rest are simply ways of scornful and contemptuous expressions of the belief that the Christian God is no more real then they are. In other words, the first response on this board to the OP was to mock Christians for taking their religious seriously. While I can't know what the people who proposed this statue thought I do think the members of this board are probably representative of many of their supporters and their first response was to interpret the statue as mocking Christians. The idea that this statue mocks Christians is not just in my head but it is widely held as shown by the people posting on this board.

Second, does mocking qualify as hate speech. I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to engage in a debate over legal definitions. Since my argument regards public monuments the publicly agreed on definition of hate speech is adequate for my purposes. I think I can prove that mocking is hate speech with a simple example. For many decades in the US Actors in blackface were used in popular entertainment to mock African Americans. Today that is so universally recognized as Hate Speech that the mere act of wearing blackface completely separated from any context is enough to cause public outrage and widespread condemnation of the person who was stupid enough to wear blackface for engaging in hate speech. So yes, mocking is hate speech.

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Re: Satanic Temple Unveils Baphomet Statue at Arkansas Capitol

Post by Solauren » 2018-08-22 08:19pm

Actually the Norse Pantheon (and several other ancient pantheons) do have active living worshippers.
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