This year, located in the state of Arkansas, a statue was unveiled. This statue was a tribute to Baphomet, the deity that the Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping. Later, the likeness of this goatman, has since been associated with the occult and other mystical traditions. Baphomet has also become a satanic worship symbol over time.
Many were both outraged and shocked, that this statue was temporarily erected outside the Arkansas Capitol by The Satanic Temple. One man Michael Tate Reed age 32, apparently couldn’t handle this, so he drove his car into the statue thus destroying it 24 hours later. The 7 ½-foot-tall Baphomet statue, was broken into pieces everywhere.
(Michael, also destroyed a Ten Commandments monument outside Oklahoma’s state Capitol)
Initially, The Satanic Temple made arrangements and later moved the bronze statue outside the capitol during a First Amendment protest held on a Thursday. This was done in protest against a Ten Commandments monument, that was permanently mounted on Capitol grounds.
Ivy Forrester who is a co-founder of Satanic Arkansas said, “If you’re going to have one religious monument up, then it should be open to others and if you don’t agree with that, then let’s just not have any at all.”
After being interviewed, The Satanic Temple said that the Ten Commandments monument violates their constitutional freedom of religion rights.
The statue, featured several small children standing next to Baphomet, that had wings protruding from its back.
According to a state law, a monument such as this, cannot be added unless legislative sponsorship exists for the monument. The Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas Capitol was sponsored by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert and installed quietly back in 2017.
Rapert said in an online statement that he respects the protesters’ First Amendment rights, but also called them “extremists” and said “it will be a very cold day in hell before an offensive statue will be forced upon us to be permanently erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.”
The Satanic Temple said it would sue Arkansas over religious discrimination and tried joining a suit with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — something the ACLU tried to block, according to the Associated Press.
However at first, things went pretty quietly at the peaceful rally. There were a few protesters who were holding up signs and also read Bible verses singing songs nearby.