Church of Satan Brings Statue of Baphomet to Arkansas Capital in Protest of Government Favoritism Towards Christians
The Church of Satan temporarily erected a statue of Baphomet in Arkansas' capital city on Thursday to protest a monument featuring the Christian Ten Commandments on government property.
The statue, shown here outside of the Arkansas State Capitol, was brought to Little Rock by Satanic Arkansas as part of a rally held outside the building.
"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," said Satanic Arkansas cofounder and rally organizer Ivy Forrester.
Republican senator Jason Rapert sponsored the Ten Commandments monument in 2017, and less than 24 hours after its installation, a man drove his car into it, shattering the stone monument. The same man drove his car into a similar monument to the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court later ruled the monument to be unconstitutional, and it was removed.
Sen. Rapert referred to the protesters as "extremists."
"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," he said.
A 2017 Arkansas state law requires legislative sponsorship of any such monuments, and the stature of Baphomet was removed by Satanic Arkansas later in the day on Thursday.
The rally attracted both atheists arguing for the separation of church and state, and Christian counter protesters, but was ultimately peaceful; perhaps due to a sizable police presence.
Satanic Arkansas has attempted to sue the state of Arkansas for religious discrimination, and is awaiting a judge's ruling on whether or not they will be allowed to join a lawsuit against the state brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).