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Oklahoma’s 10 Commandments To Get A Sister Memorial … From The Sata...


Oklahomans Must Love That They Will Host The Satanic Temple's New Memorial

Remember the Satanic Temple, which performed a ritual to turn Fred Phelps’ dead ...? They are still at it, now in Oklahoma. The Satanic Temple has filed the papers to put up a memorial on statehouse grounds, next to the state’s display of the 10 Commandments. They are doing this by citing Okla.’s religious displays legislation, signed into law in 2009. And they are absolutely serious about it. According to their press release:

The Satanic Temple, an established New York City-based religious organization, has offered to donate a public monument to Oklahoma’s Capitol Preservation Commission for display upon Oklahoma City’s capitol grounds. Described as an “homage” to Satan, the purpose of the monument is to complement and contrast the Ten Commandments monument that already resides on the North side of the building. The donation offer has been submitted and is currently awaiting the commission’s reply.

The Satanic Temple Is Dead Serious About This.

When Patheos heard of this, they reached out to the temple, and had some questions answered. The statement boils down to the Satanic Temple’s willingness to embrace the new Republican-led insistence of religiously backed memorials, and they plan to take full advantage of it.

Earlier reports of the temple called them the Religious Yes Men. The irony is that the tenets of theChurch of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, not only make this mix of satire and dogma plausible, they embrace it.

While none would consider Father Guido Sarducci a spokesperson for the Catholic Church, Satanists have no problem with getting its message out through any means possible. After all, the founding principles of Satanism can be found in the works of none other than Ayn Rand. If anything, Satanism isthe epitome, and the end-form of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. With the popularity of Ayn Rand’s philosophy among the Republicans, including one-time GOP VP hopeful Paul Ryan, the idea of them rejecting the Satanic Temple’s monument is impossible to fathom. It would instead be a true affirmation to their love affair with selfishness.

Okla. brought the Satanic Temple upon itself.


To celebrate Oklahoma’s new religious memorial laws, the Satanic Temple has filed the paperwork to put up a monument on the state capitol building’s lawn.

Okla., thanks to its argument for religious monuments on public display, now must accept the Satanic Temple and their memorial. The law allows them to put it right next to the 10 Commandments, if they so desire. Next week, who knows, perhaps the Satanic Temple will get the opportunity to name a new public school. It’s not like the state would be hypocrites who would only accept their own narrow religious views in direct violation of the .... Wouldn’t that be something to witness?

So, what is it going to be GOP? A memorial to 666 himself, courtesy of the Satanic Temple and its members in Okla., or a return to the tenets of this nation, with a wall of separation between Church and State. Because once you open up the gates, and let the flood of religion into the public commons, you can no longer control whose messages go out to the public.

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*Laughing* Oh, how I adore stupid Republicans.

And I love people who will use an issue like this to try to score partisan points.

I can assure you there are plenty of Republicans opposed to state religion and a shitpot of democrats who support it.

How about we focus on the actual issue here and leave the partisan bashing out of it?

If there is a relevant "Christian left" out there, fighting to tear down the wall between church and state, I'd very much like to see this "shitpot" of evidence that it exists.

I didn't say there was a "Christian left" like you describe out there.  I said there were "Democrats."  Quit strawmanning, 

And there are plenty of southern Democrats on board with this agenda.  Sure none of them will ever be nominated for president unless the (national) Democratic Party changes, but that's not the claim I was making.

My complaint with you is that you automatically equate "Republicans" with "the religious right" like they are one and the same.  And in point of fact, when your complaint should be with the "religious right", you just jump directly to "Republicans." 

OK, you want to complain about the religious right trying to do their thing?  Do so.  I will be right there, shoulder to shoulder with you.  But I know plenty of rank-and-file republicans who are disgusted with the religious right but swallow the bullshit because economic issues or the gun issue are more important to them, and it is bigotry on your part to just call all Republicans "the religious right" regardless of what their national leadership is doing.

I'm not putting on the soft gloves just because that makes you uncomfortable in your party affiliation.

I have not been a registered Republican since 1996.  I spent a number of years as a Libertarian after that but have been registered Unaffiliated for the last ten years.

Again, if you want to bash the religious right here, I will happily hand you the club to do it.  But, dammit, bash the religious right, not "Republicans."

On reading this over, I fear I could be misunderstood on one point.  I am NOT saying "never discuss political issues on T|A"  I am saying that when discussing maneuvers by theocrats of the religious right (which is what this topic is about), it is bigoted to ascribe that to "Republicans" as if all of them are guilty of it.

ascribed it to "stupid Republicans", as if the stupid ones are guilty of it, not "Republicans", as if all of them are guilty of it.

You'll have to forgive me on that one.  The way you post about Republicans all the time, and on all sorts of different issues, had me thinking you thought Republicans were automatically wrong and democrats were automatically right, I mean "correct," and that this was just an intensifier.

Apparently, they're so plentiful you still haven't named a single one.

You seem to be suffering from the misapprehension that I was talking about politicians.  In spite of the fact that I said "rank and file" in a sentence that was specifically referring to Republicans.  And context should make it pretty clear that I could just as easily have said so in a statement referring to Democrats as well, but I do sometimes succeed in not being repetititve.  And I said this in my first post on this thread.

When you step into the rank and file, you will note that only 58% of Democrats would be willing to vote for an atheist.  (You might be familiar with that poll.)  That's only ten points better than the number among Republicans.  Surely if the membership of the two parties (which, remember, is what I was talking about) were that far apart on church-state issues, the gap would be just a bit bigger, no?  And it means that 42% of the Great, Glorious Democratic Party is too bigoted to vote for an atheist even if she or he were otherwise qualified. 

But OK.  You want to talk officeholders?  You won't pay attention to the point I was trying to make about the membership of both parties, but will badger me until I point you to a legislator? Here goes then:

The very same law we are talking about, Oklahoma's Religious Displays law, HB 1330 from 2009, passed 83-2 in the House and 38-8 in the senate.  (

The composition of the OK house at the time was 61-40 R/D, and the Senate was 26/22 (

Even making the most generous (to Democrats) assumption possible, that ALL of the non-voting legislators (16 in the house and two in the senate) were Democrats who would have voted "nay", and that every single Republican was present and voted "aye," that still means that at least 22 democrats (more than half of them) voted AYE in the house, and at least 14 of them (damned near two thirds) voted for it in the Senate.

It's more than likely that some of the absent votes were Republicans.  If so, that makes it even worse for the Democrats, even if you assume that all Republicans present voted for the bill.

Regardless of whether that is true, it is a mathematical certainty that a majority of Democratic legislators in each of the houses voted for this bill.  The very bill the Original Post was about.  And thus, there are plenty of Democrat officeholders willing to push this agenda.

But yeah, OK (pun intended).  "Stupid Republicans" it must be.

It still sounds you're arguing that separation of church and state is not a partisan issue; that the parties in general have symmetry on it.
Show me where I said they were symmetric.
Look, I have had several days to think this through.  I believe I can state things with more clarity than I did earlier.
My thesis is that there are sufficient numbers of Democrats on board with the idea that the United States is essentially a Christian nation, and that atheists are not fit for office and otherwise "defective", that it is unfair to simply blanket portray this as a "Republican" position.  And that to give Democrats who do this sort of thing a pass, whilst criticizing only the Republicans, is selective criticism.  And it hurts the cause of secularism to do so.
Sure, Steve. "Only" 58% of Democrats would vote for an atheist, which is "only" ten points better than the 48% of Republicans who would.
That's a statistically significant gap which supports my point and damages yours. For instance, "only" Democrats are capable of nominating an atheist for President. Presidential elections are "only" decided by single-digit margins of victory in battleground states. This difference-maker is an indicator of a divide that runs along partisan lines, as I said.
It may be a partisan divide (I certainly did not claim there was no difference), but it's not a terribly deep one, and certainly not deep enough to selectively condemn one side of it.  Nearly half of one party holds a position you are exclusively condemning the other party for.  A ten percent difference is sufficient to give one side a complete pass and brickbat the other?
86 percent of Democrats maintain that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure health care coverage, and 30 percent of republicans do.  That is a difference of FIFTY SIX PERCENT.  That is a stark partisan divide, not a weak one.  I think we can both agree one side of that issue deserves a brickbat; but I am going to go way, way, WAY out on a limb and say that I doubt we will agree which side that is. :-)
Here's another one:  "Gun laws should be more strict":  77% of democrats agree.  23% of republicans don't.  FIFTY FOUR PERCENT.
Of course it would stereotying to say "All democrats support gun control, all Republicans oppose it."  But it's widely accepted shorthand to say "Democrats support gun control, Republicans oppose it."  About half the time someone will insist it should be qualified with "most" (and they are technically correct) but with a fifty-plus percent gap people generally see what you mean and will figure you don't literally mean "every single Democrat" when you say "Democrats."  But the reason this works is because the delta between the two parties is so huge.
Compared to this sort of divide on some very current issues, ten percent is freaking piddling.  That's what I was trying to say there.
A ten percent gap, with both sides within eight percent of an even split, and with the Democrats within the margin of error of being majority "I won't vote for an atheist" means you don't have enough of a difference to just blanket call it a Democrat/Republican difference.
Remember, it's an absolute certainty that this bill passed both houses of the OK legislature, with the concurrence of a majority of the Democrats.  (I tried to get a specific tally by name of the vote, then figure out the exact partisan split, but I was only able to get to a broken/removed page.)
Well that's Oklahoma.  Often called the "Buckle of the Bible Belt."  (Though I suspect it has plenty of competitors for that dubious distinction.)  But then there was the "In God We Trust" vote in the House of Representatives on November 1 2011.  Lots of people from thoroughly "blue" states in the US Congress, presumably from really "liberal" districts.  President Obama ripped the House a new asshole for this one--though his rationale wasn't an objection to the motto, but rather, basically, a call to quit focusing on trivia.  Not really secular street cred there.  But note that the vote was 396-9.  (
[As a side note, Obama has made religious references a lot since assuming office (he is, outwardly, a theist though many atheists seem to think he's a closet A), but I will give him kudos for being willing to acknowledge the existence and worth of atheists.  He's clearly not one of the 48 percent I am complaining about.]
What we are dealing with is a cultural divide that cuts across party lines.  Is it weighted towards Republicans?  Yes.  I never said otherwise, I did say there were a "shit pot" of Democrats on the wrong side of the line.  (And just to make sure I am not misunderstood, that statement does not imply that there isn't a bigger, shittier pot of Republicans.)  Personally I believe forty eight percent of registered Democrats unwilling to vote for an atheist no matter what, is enough to constitute a "shit pot."  Admittedly it's a non-scientific term so your mileage may vary. :-)
Is there a statistically significant difference (i.e., greater than the usual 3-5% margin of error) between the two parties on this?  Of course.  I did not say there was no statistical difference.
But the difference is not significant enough to let Democrats off the hook, simply because they are Democrats.  In fact, there are in absolute numbers ever so slightly more Democrats  who will not vote for an atheist than there are Republicans.  D party registration is 28%. 48 percent of them won't vote for an atheist, that's 13.44 percent of the total population.  R registration is 23%, 58 percent won't vote for an atheist, that's 13.34 percent.  A tenth of a percent difference is well within the margin of error and can be ignored.  Amongst the general population, the two pots may be sized differently, but they both contain the same amount of shit.
The Oklahoma vote shows that as you move up into leadership ranks, elected representatives and the like, the shift is noticeable, but not so noticeable that you won't still see a majority of Democrats vote to put a ten commandments monument on public land.
By selectively condemning Republicans only for being theocrats you ignore a substantial portion of the problem.  Why weren't these people "stupid Democrats?"  Why ignore their existence?

What you should have done right out the gate is condemn every single one of the stupid religionists who voted for it. 
This next part is speculative, but in ultra-religious Oklahoma, how likely would an irreligious Democrat be to proffer an insincere vote to erect a Christian monument for the sake of political survival?
You speculate that the ones who have a D after their name may have been intimidated (by threat of voter retaliation) on the issue.  If that were to turn out to be true, that would rather prove my point because that would mean that their Democratic-voting constituencies will reject them for doing the right thing.  Apparently they realize that there are plenty of Democrats on the wrong side of the divide.
But I think we agree that we really don't know the motives of that majority of Democrat legislators (or the ones in Washington DC in 2011) who voted for it.
But I would maintain that even if it were true, it doesn't excuse their actions.
I'd personally be surprised if none of them were intimidated, and I'd be surprised too if all of them were. But for those that were, wouldn't holding their feet to the fire give them one more reason--one little bit of added strength--to resist the pressure and do the right thing?  And if they weren't doing it out of a feeling of intimidation--that they sincerely thought it was a good idea to put the fucking Ten Commandments on public land, then it's definitely worth holding their feet to the fire.  Ds (since I am talking about them right now) and Rs too.  Blaming the whole thing on Republicans distinctly fails to do anything to correct the Democrats.  (One of the strengths of a group like FFRF is that they focus on just this sort of bullshit as their exclusive issue, and they do complain when Democrats step over the line, instead of ignoring the transgression.)
Making excuses (even if only speculatively) for theocrat-voting Ds and ascribing the whole ball of shit to Republicans accomplishes nothing, at least not anything towards getting those Democrats to not do it again.
As I said before, if you want to bludgeon the religionists for doing things like this, I'll hand you a figurative club to do it with--assuming I have a spare, because I'll be really busy doing likewise right then.
But if you want to spare the religionist Democrats the bludgeoning, just because they aren't Republicans, and engage in name calling directed at only one of the two parties (sure, namecall them both if you want) when both parties voted with a majority for the measure, I am going to call you on it.

[A long recapitulation of my pre-clarification statemend--ignored.  I was hoping for less focus on this, in favor of focus on my cleaned up statement, especially since I acknowledged I wasn't being clear before.]

[stuff that is beside the point--my point--ignored.]

I'll tell you what, Steve. When you see the same kind of religious crackpots among the Democrats, pushing away for God, you be sure to point them out. I'll be happy to join you in bashing them. I think it's going to be a long wait before we see them in the significant numbers we find them among the Republicans.

A majority of them vote for this shit when presented with it.  The fact that their leadership usually works to ensure they don't get presented with it is utterly beside the point.  (I have refused to address your attempts to point this out in the past because whether it is true or not simply is not germane to my point.  This is like demanding that I address your claim that the sky is blue when I am trying to explain to you that grass is green.)  I am interested in the actions of specific individuals.  Because I want to hold them accountable.  I don't regard people as primarily cogs in a machine, letting them off the hook just because they are cog in my preferred machine, what they do as individuals I will hold them accountable for.  That's enough for me to condemn those individuals that do so.  In other words, I am not condemning the Democratic party as a whole, just some individual democrats.

My point is, these individuals voted for these bills when presented the opportunity to do so.  They are morally accountable for that vote, as are the Republicans for both presenting and voting for the bill.  Yet you refuse to hold them accountable, apparently because it would break the narrative you want to present that this is something only Republicans are responsible for.

You continue to insist that it is somehow relevant that it's Republican leadership that brings the bills forward.  That does not excuse the votes of a majority of Democrats for those bills.  Period.

Hold them accountable, for fuck's sake.  Stop laying all the blame on Republicans.

We're done here.

I believe that they already have the monument to IPU, they just don't know it yet!

That is the problem with lack of foresight. They didn't think the law would haunt them, literally, as it is doing now. This should be interesting

It's perfect poetic justice. 

The sad but true thing is that I didn't want to put this on my Facebook page because someone, somewhere would inevitably think that because I posted it I am a Satanist. 

I heard about it because my ex-husband posted it on his Facebook page, and I meekly "liked" it.  I have never been the same since my "Pope me with a fork" typo incident on Facebook.  My mother, who is an atheist and holds little regard for the Papacy, called me up and told me off in grand style.  I don't care so much that she told me off, but I do care that she was upset.

In the same way, I don't want to be interjecting Satan into unsuspecting Christians' Christmas.  Many of them sincerely deserve it, but most of them probably don't.

It's perfect poetic justice.

It is indeed.

These clowns do NOT understand that the sword has a double edge and cuts both ways.  But boy do they get outraged when they get a demo.

In fact I used that exact phrase in this blog entry of mine.

I consider my general 'atheist leanings' as an artifact of my science interests, and  philosophy, mathematics training.

I tried being a member of a local pagan group, but like theism, my arms & legs stick out more ways than I could count. The wine was rather nice, the sweats, the clothing optional Fall Equainox gathering were fun, but the best time was during a wonderful over nighter in late fall with a bright full moon! One could just about see the nature spirits cavorting if you had enough wine, sadly I could just never drink that much!




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