What the...??

Vital Remains Vocalist Brian Werner Campaigns to Have Baphomet Statue Erected on Lawn of Oklahoma State Capitol

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So, have you guys heard this whacky story about how The Satanic Temple wants to put a seven-foot-tall statue of Baphomet on at the Oklahoma Statehouse? The statue would even include quotes from William Blake and Lord Byron — both of whom wrote extensively and elegantly about Satan — and would, according to a statement by The Satanic Temple, “serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures… [and] 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.” In fact, they have an Indiegogo campaign in-progress to raise funds for the statue, and with four days left to go before that campaign ends, they’ve already exceeded their $20,000 goal.

Here’s is an actual image of the proposed statue:

Satanic-monument

Crazy, right? The Satanic Temple can’t seriously think this gonna can happen… right?

But here’s the thing: The Satanic Temple isn’t just being dickish for the sake of it. The reasoning behind their crusade is a valid one: they’re protesting the lack of separation of church and state which Americans are supposed to hold quite dear. Explains The Raw Story:

“Oklahoma state legislators in 2009 approved the installation of a privately-funded Ten Commandments  monument. It was installed last year over the protests of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Satanic Temple wasn’t the only group to apply for a monument; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and a Hindu group have also requested a place near the Capitol steps.”

Okay, so this is all interesting stuff, but how does it relate to metal, you ask? Well, as it turns out, one of the men leading the charge for the erection (heh heh) of the statue is Vital Remains Vital Remains vocalist Brian Werner, who is a High Priest in the Satanic Temple. (I guess he’s in no danger of being murdered by a poser-hating fan.)

MetalSucks contributor Justin Norton recently interviewed Werner for The Deciblog, and their conversation was unsurprisingly fascinating. Here’s Werner discussing the design of the proposed monument:

“We wanted something that wasn’t blatantly offensive, something that was family-friendly, something inviting. We also wanted something interactive. It had to have historical significance. There are two snakes where the back meets the seat of the chair; you can see that symbol at any hospital in the world. This statue speaks to plurality, to freedom of speech, to multiculturalism. These are the core fundamentals of our belief system.

“We didn’t want to just put up a massive upside-down cross with a middle finger. We were trying to come up with something more cohesive. We get comments all the time that ‘I don’t believe what you believe.’ And that’s the exact point. A lot of people don’t believe what we believe. We want to put it up to show the duality of our nation. Not everyone in this country is a Christian. There are Buddhists, Muslims, atheists…”

Like I said, it’s a really interesting interview, and funny to boot: when asked how he got into Satanism, Werner replies, “As soon as I found out Santa wasn’t real, things went downhill.” HILAROUS! Read the entire interview here.

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