LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Satanic Temple has unveiled its statue of a goat-headed, winged creature called Baphomet during a 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 Thursday, a parade of speakers called for the removal of the Ten Commandments monument or for state government officials to install Baphomet as well. The Satanic Temple says the Ten Commandments monument violates constitutional freedom of religion rights and that installation of their statue will demonstrate religious tolerance.
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 all monuments. The Satanic Temple has said it will sue the state, claiming religious discrimination.