So Satan wants in on public displays of attention. As if his policies didn’t already have purchase with a significant portion of the principalities and powers that currently spend our tax dollars. In Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain, the ACLU is typically being a pain. The American Civil Liberties Union (your laugh here) has sued to remove a monument that depicts the Ten Commandments, presumably because Thou Shalt Not Steal irks the legal set to no end.
The New York-based Satanic Temple formally submitted its application to a panel that oversees the Capitol grounds, including an artist’s rendering that depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard that’s often used as a symbol of the occult. In the rendering, Satan is sitting in a pentagram-adorned throne with smiling children next to him.
“The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond,” temple spokesman Lucien Greaves said in a statement. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
Yes, like “What is Charles Manson doing right now?”
Similar requests for monuments have been made by a Hindu leader in Nevada, an animal rights group and the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
What to do, what to do. . . If we allow every religion, as well as every idiotic and sadistic cult, to demand public space, someone is liable to cannonball over the clutter. And that’s a lawsuit no one wants.
But we know what’s going on here (and by we, I mean the readers of this blog, not the megaphone massagers at the Associated Press): it’s an attempt to bury Christian symbols in a plethora of diverse rivals, such that Christianity is depicted as just one of many ways people either ward off or worship evil. Or it’s an attempt to ban all symbols so as not to erect a trip hazard to the graceless, namely atheists, who must have their own nothingness reflected back to them at all times, like Vlad the Impaler.
Is there a constitutionally viable way to preserve monuments like the Ten Commandments without crowding them out with traditions that, as a matter of historical fact, have not informed the judicial and political substructure of this nation, or with the games morons play to show that the deductible on their meds is too high?
Or is it time to say goodbye to such public displays of piety? Maybe they were always a tad show-phony, like wearing that cross your grandmother gave you to a bachelor party. Or maybe the great public consensus as to right and wrong, good and bad, Truth and falsehood, has simply fragmented into rival vagaries, like those cable channels in the number 200s. (I will leave it to my Lutheran confreres to discuss the 2K implications. Why 2k? Please, don’t bring that up again.)
I have plenty of easy answers, like sneeze on everyone until order is restored or reanimate John Wayne so he can punch appropriate demon-worshipers and communists in the face. But what we need are difficult-to-understand answers that will tie lawyers up in knots. Because that’s what our beloved republic has devolved into: a courtroom where a million different clamoring jackanapes are staking a claim to their fifteen minutes of fame.
Oh where are Fathers Merrin and Karras when you need them?