Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Support the Satanic Temple Monument

Yes, it is odd that a Wiccan -- considering we don't believe in Satan -- would urge others to support the Satanic Temple (who, incidentally, also does not believe in a literal Satan). But differences in religious beliefs aside, sometimes when there are bigger issues at stake, you have to work towards a common goal. 

This rant post is in reference to the 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma on the state capitol grounds. Read more about it here: Oklahoma governor says Ten Commandments to stay at Capitol during appeal.

Here's what's been going on in a nutshell:

* Oklahoma legislators had a massive stone 10 Commandments monument placed on government ground. 

* They claim that it is not religiously motivated at all, but that it is a historic monument (of course, people against taking it down keep citing religious reasons, such as how it's a shame to take 'God' out of the public arena; even those who worked to erect the monument said they had to be 'very careful' about the language they chose-- code for 'we had to play semantics big-time to dispute accusations that the 10 Commandments is a religious topic.').

* The ACLU and various groups in support of the separation of church and state took it to court. It's been a long, drawn-out battle going on for about three years now. 

* The Satanic Temple applied for the right to install a 9' tall bronze monument of Baphomet in order to present a more fair and balanced view on the capitol lawn. They don't actually want the statue there; but they feel if a Christian monument is to be erected, then there should be other monuments as well to represent diversity.

Credit: Satanic Temple

(For the record, an atheist group also applied for the right to put up a Flying Spaghetti monument, which if this 10 Commandments monument stands, I would support as well. I would support a monument for one of each religion to clutter that state lawn and donate to each cause, just to avoid having one single religion represented on government property-- even if that single one were my own).  

* The case went to the Oklahoma state Supreme Court, and the court ruled it was against the Oklahoma state constitution, which states that government property cannot be used to promote any religion. Good on them! 

* The state had until this week to remove the monument. 

So it sounded like the matter was settled, but apparently not. 

Now, the same politicians who sought to put up the monument (some of whom even privately contributed to it's creation) are fighting to have the OK Supreme Court hear the issue again-- but first they're trying to have an amendment made to the OK state constitution to allow for the 10 Commandments monument-- and only the 10 Commandments monument, no others (such as the attractive Temple of Satan monument).

In the mean time, the governor Mary Fallin  decided to go against the court ruling and keep the monument in place.  

Please feel free to contact the governor through her website to let you know how you feel about that, or contact Attorney General Scott Pruitt to share your feelings about the governor blatantly disregarding a state SC ruling.

It is seriously absurd for anyone to argue that a 10 Commandments monument is NOT religious, when about 40% out of the 10 Commandments require people to obey and worship the Abrahamic God. 

Our founding fathers did include in the U.S. Constitution that a 'Creator' endowed us with certain rights, though they did go through great lengths to keep out any name or specific concept of that creator, or any specific alleged creator's requirements of mankind. In fact, the Constitution gives us express rights not to follow the 10 Commandments.

We are within our rights to have other Gods before the Abrahamic God. We are perfectly within our rights to create idols if we choose, take the name of any God in vain, and ignore the Abrahamic Sabbath day. 

Frankly, there's no laws telling us that we have to honor our parents, either-- and I'm the first to admit that some parents don't deserve to be honored. Beyond respecting their rights by law, we don't have to honor them. 

And if I feel like coveting something, that's no one's business but my own. As long as I don't cross legal boundaries and actually take something that doesn't belong to me, I can covet all the live-long day. I'll covet the hell out of something if I feel like it.

And as far as adultery goes, I don't personally believe that should be a criminal offense; breach of contract, sure. Reason for divorce, good enough. But I don't believe the government should be criminalizing personal relationship problems. 

So unless they want to pare down the 10 Commandments to numbers 6, 8 and 9 it really has no place on government property serving as some kind of moral compass for people who are within their Constitutional rights to not share that particular faith point of view. 

Frankly, I really hope someone takes the Governor of Oklahoma to court for deliberately violating a state Supreme Court ruling by not removing the monument.

Many of the founding fathers were deists and Masons; and Puritans believed in fairies and hated Christmas, but you don't see the same people fighting for the 10 Commandments monument fighting to have 'historical monuments' pushing those points of views... so saying this 10 Commandments monument has nothing to do with  trying to push a religious agenda into the public arena is the biggest, bold-faced lie since the story about Washington saying "I cannot tell a lie" after not actually chopping down a cherry tree. 

These same lame-brains who thought the Satanic Temple's monument would have been an outrageous offense on public property don't seem to understand why a 10 Commandments monument might be viewed in the same way by others. 

Recent SCOTUS rulings on other cases have actually said that it's okay for religious displays in public buildings as long as the locals vote for it. The problem is, the locals who make up the majority are being exclusive to other religions, and that's as good as promoting only one through the government. The Constitution says that the government cannot endorse a religion, but religious people are using the government to endorse their religion by voting to allow only one religion to be represented.  

I also hope that the Satanic Temple, who in all fairness withdrew their application to place the monument on the Oklahoma capitol grounds after the ruling on the 10 Commandments was made, reconsiders, re-applies and takes the state on in a legal battle. To keep up with news for the Satanic Temple and their plans you can view their Facebook page:   Satanic Temple on Facebook.

My Tip for You Today: If you also think that religious advertisements of one group (to the exclusion of all others) have no place on government land and in government buildings that we all share, write your letters, give to the causes fighting against religious monuments, make your blog posts, spread the word on your blogs and social media, sign petitions, and basically keep at it.

The 10 Commandment monument is beautiful, and should be displayed because it is so meaningful to so many people, but it should be displayed in a more appropriate place-- a church, a museum, a historical landmark, anywhere on private property. And if privately funded religious monuments and messages are allowed on public property, diversity should be represented (though honestly, I'd personally prefer to just keep government buildings and lawns uncluttered). 

Wiccan religious monuments should not be on public property while all others are excluded. Muslim religious monuments should not be on public property while all others are excluded. Satanic religious monuments should not be on public property while all others are excluded. Likewise, Christian religious monuments should not be on public property while all others are excluded. 

People who push this kind of display will cry that their liberties are being trampled, however the agenda behind pushing for these kinds of displays is with the very deliberate goal of obliterating the liberties of others. This kind of hypocrisy needs to be stopped in its tracks.  

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