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Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot: Satan and the Ten Commandments

If your religious beliefs are recognized by the government, then someone else’s religious beliefs must be recognized by the government too. Is that OK with you? What if that someone else worships Satan?

In America, we respect freedom of religion, not the freedom to only recognize certain religions. As a reaction to the Oklahoma state legislature allowing a Ten Commandments monument to be placed at the Oklahoma Capitol building in 2012, a satanic group has revealed a design for a 7-foot statue of Satan that it wants placed at the Capitol building near the Ten Commandments monument. The New York-based Satanic Temple believes the decision by the legislature to allow a Ten Commandments monument on state property opens the door for their religion to be represented.

The proposed statue depicts Satan as a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a long beard. Satan is sitting on a throne with a pentagram and is accompanied by smiling children. The Satanic Temple says, “The monument has been designed to reflect the views of Satanists in Oklahoma City and beyond. 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.”  That makes Satan seem like a loving, caring grandfather.

The idea of a monument to the Ten Commandments on public property is acceptable to many people, but the idea of a statue of Satan on public property is appalling. When the government recognizes one religion, where should the line be drawn when it comes to the recognition of other religions?

It has always been my understanding that American was founded on freedom of religion, not on Christian beliefs.  The fact that most of those who settled in America were Christians does not supersede the concept of freedom of religion, which would mean respect for freedom of any and all religions. Often lost is the true intent of those who came to America to escape religious persecution; their intent was to establish a land where individuals were free to express their religious beliefs regardless of what they were.  The freedom to express religious beliefs was more important than the actual, specific religious beliefs of the earliest settlers.

Those who support and promote monuments to the Ten Commandments on city, state or federal land are inviting any and all religions to be equally represented. Many may argue that worshiping Satan is not actually a religion, but how exactly would one disqualify satanic worship as anything but a set of religious beliefs?

My position of defending freedom of religion in this case will be easily misunderstood as support of Satan worshippers, but it is actually support for the founding principles of this country. If it meant allowing a statue of Satan to be placed on the Oklahoma State Capitol property, would you still support a monument or a reference to the Ten Commandments (any Christian symbols9 on such property?

The common argument is that Christians dominate America, therefore Christianity should be accepted without the equal acceptance of other religions.  Again, this is America, and in this country we protect the rights of minority groups as much as we protect the rights of the majority. Our history and the Bill of Rights point out our patriotic respect for those who are not part of our majority and that is worth recognizing and celebrating!

I don’t believe that a monument to the Ten Commandments will convert people to Christianity any more than I believe a statue of Satan will suddenly lead people to become satanic worshippers.  Our religious beliefs and convictions should be strong enough so that tangible symbols of another religion do not make us less committed to our own religious beliefs, and our beliefs and tangible symbols like statues should not be needed to make our beliefs and convictions strong.

Freedom is easily defended when you believe in the ideas being freely expressed.  Our challenge in America is to understand that true freedom – the freedom which is the foundation of this country – also includes the expressions with which we disagree.

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Topics : Religion_Belief
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Locations : New YorkOklahomaOklahoma City

01/08/2014 12:26PM
Scoot: The Ten Commandments and Satan
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01/08/2014 1:17PM
Non-religious significance of Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments is one of the oldest recorded lists of laws in the world. It has been used in creation and implementaion of every western government and legal system since the spread of Christianity. As a result, the Ten Commandments have a significant cultural and historical significance outside of religion. Allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed does not require displaying a statue to Satan. A statue to Satan has no cultural or historical significance. It is just a cheap stunt.
01/08/2014 2:01PM
Ten Commandments not Christian
Scoot the Ten Commandments are not Christian they are old testiment and they are Mosaic Law. The satanic statue represents and supports an ideology that actuall violates the laws of our nation, for example human sacrifice, drinking blood etc... the Ten Commandments actually represent a list of laws for all of humanity to live by not just Christians.
01/08/2014 5:13PM
Jesus was a standup guy!
Christians are taught that Jesus died for "our" sins. What a stand up guy he was! He died for what he thought was right and "we" honor him by saying that he and only he is right! Why is it ok for us to blindly follow one belief and completely dismiss another? Saying all satanist believe in drinking blood and human sacrifice is like saying all Christians believe in stoning and killing those who disagree. Most satanist believe in self empowering and not blindly following what we are told. Remember this. Being Christian doesn't make you a bad person. But forcing your beliefs on others does. Being an atheist doesn't make you a bad person but forcing those beliefs on someone does.
01/08/2014 5:23PM
What Satanic Temple actually does/believes
If you took a minuet to do some actual research, instead of believing the rants of uninformed preachers who refuse to do so, you would have found that they are nothing like you say. (No, I don't believe in Satin or God for that matter) They completely reject the Christian view of Satin if you just take a minute to look on thir website http://www.thesatanictemple.com/ you would have found the following: Mission Statement The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice. As Satanists we all should be guided by our conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity. As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights. Beliefs The Satanic Temple seeks to separate Religion from Superstition by acknowledging religious belief as a metaphorical framework with which we construct a narrative context for our goals and works. Satan stands as the ultimate icon for the selfless revolt against tyranny, free & rational inquiry, and the responsible pursuit of happiness. In theological terms, the mythology translates thus:Satan rouses the Fallen Angels God is supernatural and thus outside of the sphere of the physical. God’s perfection means that he cannot interact with the imperfect corporeal realm. Because God cannot intervene in the material world, He created Satan to preside over the universe as His proxy. Satan has the compassion and wisdom of an angel. Although Satan is subordinate to God, he is mankind’s only conduit to the dominion beyond the physical. In addition, only Satan can hear our prayers and only Satan can respond. While God is beyond human comprehension, Satan desires to be known and knowable. Only in this way can there be justice and can life have meaning. The Satanist harbors reasonable agnosticism in all things, holding fast only to that which is demonstrably true. The cultural narratives through which we contextualize our lives must be malleable to conformity with our best scientific understandings of the material world… Those understandings, in turn, must never be so rigidly codified as to themselves be inflexible to advancements yet unknown. Thus, Satanism is an evolving religion, unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds in darkened times. Belief must reconstruct itself to fact, never the other way round. This is the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, even (and especially) when to do so irretrievably dissipates blissful and comforting delusions of old. That which will not bend must break, and that which can be destroyed by truth should never be spared its demise. This is an ultimatum. Hail Satan! I No sacrifices, just benevolence and empathy among all people. Now you may chose to believe that's all lies and that they keep the human sacrifices a secret, but since you can no more prove that than you can some first century rabbi rose from the dead, it has no place in US law.
01/08/2014 10:29PM
Hi there Scoot, Just wondering. Are you still on WWL 870am at 8:00pm? I really like listening to you,but seem to keep missing you. Thanks!
01/09/2014 4:24AM
That took courage
Thanks for having the courage to remind folks of our country's founding principles. Such honesty is rare .
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