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VITAL REMAINS Vocalist Wants A Statue Of Baphomet Built At The Oklahoma State Capitol

This has a lot to do with religious freedom and little to do with being a dick for the sake of being a dick, surprisingly.

This has a lot to do with religious freedom and little to do with being a dick for the sake of being a dick, surprisingly.

Vital Remains vocalist Brian Werner is a high priest in the Satanic Temple, so naturally he feels as though it's his obligation to propose to have a 7-foot tall statue of Baphomet built before the Oklahoma Statehouse (seen above).

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Werner wants this statue to be an "'homage' to Satan, [with] the purpose of the monument [being] to complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument that already resides on the North side of the building," according to his IndieGoGo. While Werner was looking for $20,000 for the thing to be built, he's already up to almost $27,000 with three days still left on the campaign (as of me writing this around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14).

The IndieGoGo account spells out exactly why they want the monument, which essentially boils down to freedom of religion and the fact that Christianity can be on display but nothing else:

"The existing Ten Commandments monument, donated to the Capitol Preservation Commission in 2009 by Mike Ritze, a representative of the Oklahoma State Legislature and ordained Southern Baptist Deacon, has raised the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who filed suit in August of 2013, noting that, 'the monument stands alone, with no other monuments or memorials in the immediate vicinity.' Also of concern to the ACLU is the 'self-evidently exclusive' religious message 'that supports and endorses the faiths and creeds of some churches and sects.' We believe that in being allowed to place our monument within the proximity of the Ten Commandments monument, we can appease the ACLU’s concerns.

By accepting our offer, the good people of Oklahoma City will have the opportunity to show that they espouse the basic freedoms spelled out in the Constitution. We imagine that the ACLU will also embrace such a response. Allowing us to donate a monument would show that the Oklahoma City Council does not discriminate, and both the religious and non-religious should be happy with such an outcome. Our mission is to bring people together by finding common sentiments that create solutions that everyone can appreciate and enjoy."

The way Werner is going about this is so level-headed and professional that it's hard not to see it his way. I love that this isn't being done as a joke or a silly way to "stick it to the man" or some childish bullshit. No, Werner genuinely wants to represent a religion he believes in to the rest of the world. Wrner actually talked about the project to The Deciblog:

“We wanted something that wasn’t blatantly offensive, something that was family-friendly, something inviting. We also wanted something interactive. It had to have historical significance. There are two snakes where the back meets the seat of the chair; you can see that symbol at any hospital in the world. This statue speaks to plurality, to freedom of speech, to multiculturalism. These are the core fundamentals of our belief system.

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“We didn’t want to just put up a massive upside-down cross with a middle finger. We were trying to come up with something more cohesive. We get comments all the time that ‘I don’t believe what you believe.’ And that’s the exact point. A lot of people don’t believe what we believe. We want to put it up to show the duality of our nation. Not everyone in this country is a Christian. There are Buddhists, Muslims, atheists…”

See, America? Not all Satanists are "evil" or whatever. In fact, any given Satanist is just another person practicing their religion… so why should that be any different? I say let 'em build the statue.

[via MetalSucks]

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