Ron de Varona
Freedom of speech is a funny thing. People only really like the policy if it lines up with their own beliefs.. A very good example of this is when statues are erected, since statues are permanent shrines to an idea or person. What is the right course of action when a religious piece is submitted for review to be put in say, a park? As Americans we have the freedom of religion and expression. Any religions statue could be built, right? Well, not quite. Apparently legislators really only like Christian figures for their monuments in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The issue had come about after controversy stirred about the Arkansas state capitol erecting a statue of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds, which violates the first amendment, by having a religious icon in place a federal building.
That’s when people really got upset, specifically a gentleman that drove his truck into the monument. Then a large group of Satanists proposed a statue of the prophet Baphomet to be erected instead.
Satanic Arkansas cofounder Ivy Forrester was quoted saying, “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,” which is what should have been said to begin with.
You could say the Satanists won this one, because after the Capitol agreed to remove their monument, the Satanists also withdrew their proposal for their own. It is probably the coolest statue I have ever seen, and after some reading on that Baphomet guy, he seems pretty on the up and up.
Being an agnostic person, I am interested in hearing of each new religion I come across so I looked into Satanism. If you can get past the fact that it is called Satanism, the religion is all about seeking a good life through your own will and not through tyrannical authority as they put it.
He preaches about the equilibrium of the opposites: male/female, good/evil, etc. Honestly there are some good ideas, but the likelihood of a satanic monument being erected rather than no monument at all is pretty unlikely.
I just think if you are going to go ahead and put a religious statue, put one that looks cool for once. Brazil has Christ the Redeemer and that’s pretty hard to top.