A 3,000-pound goat-headed statue of the Satanic idol Baphomet is to be part of a protest of the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol, organizers say.
The statue is owned by the Satanic Temple, which describes itself as "non-theistic religious organization." The co-founder of the temple, who uses the pseudonym Lucien Greaves, announced Monday the statue will be part of the protest on August 16.
"We're trying to show people that they have a state government that is completely undermining the very bedrock principles of American values, and for that purpose we're rallying on the Capitol grounds and bringing the monument with us when we do it," said Greaves.
The Satanic Temple first offereed to donate the statue to the state in response to the erection of the Ten Commandments monument, but was denied.
According to Greaves, the protest is part of a lawsuit alleging the Ten Commandments monument is a violation of the First Amendment. The temple used a similar approach in Oklahoma City.
In the case Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the Ten Commandments monument that had been erected on its Capitol grounds was a violation of the Oklahoma constitution, which states, "No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion . . . ."
The Ten Commandments monument was removed from Oklahoma’s state Capitol grounds in 2015.