Satanic Temple leader 'very happily surprised' by support for Oklahoma monument

New York's Satanic Temple spokesman says much of the supportive response for his group's Oklahoma Capitol monument proposal is coming from people who are not Satanists.
by Carla Hinton Modified: January 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: January 25, 2014

“They are starting to look past the labels to see what we're actually doing and what we actually stand for. I am surprised, but I'm very happily surprised,” Greaves said.

“We've gotten a flood of emails from more Oklahomans who stand behind this project and are willing to support it — sign a petition, sign a waiver, you know, help establish our standing or help in any way they can,” he said.

“We've heard some criticism that we don't serve Oklahoma values, and I think there is no monolithic voice of Oklahoma values. There is a diverse population in Oklahoma like there is anywhere else, and it's simply ignorant to claim that there is one uniform voice of Oklahoma that can be spoken through any particular politician's narrow view.”

‘Plurality of voices'

Greaves said the Satanic Temple was contacted by its members in Oklahoma to spearhead the monument project.

Greaves said they believe that if the Ten Commandments monument is allowed to stay, other monuments such as the satanic statue also should be allowed. Other requests for monuments at the Capitol have been made by an animal rights group, the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and a Hindu leader in Nevada.

The satanic monument's supporters, including those who are not Satanists, also believe in this principle, Greaves said.

“This has definitely captured the imagination of a lot of people,” Greaves said.

“There's no small number of individuals. Granted, a lot of those individuals who reached out, with emails prefaced by ‘I don't consider myself a Satanist but ...' or even ‘I'm a Christian, however ...,' but they understand the value in upholding this constitutional freedom of religion and freedom of speech — the principle that we don't discriminate based on race, religion or creed, and that if you open up the public domain to one voice, you have to allow a plurality of voices and that's really what we're founded upon.”

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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