Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin has taken action to safeguard the Ten Commandment monument at the state capitol from potential protests by The Satanic Temple (TST). In response to TST's request to place their trademark statue of Baphomet with Children, a winged goat-headed humanoid creature with two children underneath it, beside the Ten Commandments monument, Griffin filed a motion with a federal district court. First Liberty Institute's counsel Lea Patterson explained that displaying the Ten Commandments as a representation of law and moral behavior, which has both religious and secular significance, is a legal and constitutional tradition that the Supreme Court has previously upheld.
Arkansas Attorney General Rejects The Satanic Temple’s Claim That Ten Commandments Monument Is Discriminatory https://t.co/nRv0EkXiEI
— US Burning (@UsBurning) March 8, 2023
In 2018, The Satanic Temple, together with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed a lawsuit arguing that the Ten Commandment monument was discriminatory towards other religions and implied that the state government was taking an official stance on religion. In opposition to this, AG Griffin and FLI urged the federal court to dismiss the claim and allow the monument to remain, arguing that TST's lawsuit was an effort to suppress or discourage religious speech.
The Satanic Temple cleared to enter the 10 Commandments lawsuit:https://t.co/gpRnp63RNz https://t.co/gpRnp63RNz
— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) December 19, 2018
The motion filed by AG Griffin also pointed out that TST had made no substantial attempt to find a sponsor for legislation that would allow their 'Baphomet with Children' monument to be placed on the Capitol grounds. Additionally, when TST was informed that approval from the General Assembly was required for any new monument, they reportedly did not try to comply with the regulations until several months later, and threatened to take legal action if their application was not approved. This behavior serves as proof that TST's real intention was to reduce or discourage speech with religious significance.
The Satanic Temple's use of the court system to further their own objectives and impede the religious freedom of others is evident. This behavior is an insult to the enduring custom of acknowledging the Ten Commandments as a representation of law and moral behavior. It also undermines our nation's dedication to religious freedom. It is imperative that we prevent this extremist group from exploiting our legal system to advance their own interests and infringe upon the rights of others.
AG Griffin and FLI wrapped up the motion by contending that the Establishment Clause does not mandate the complete exclusion of religion from the "public square." They also highlighted that the government is not required to acknowledge a "mockery of religion" to appreciate the significance of a "legal and ethical document with religious connotations." This is a crucial reminder that we need to safeguard our nation's pledge to religious freedom and prevent radical organizations like The Satanic Temple from exploiting our legal system to advance their own agenda and weaken the deep-seated practice of recognizing the Ten Commandments as a representation of law and moral behavior.
The effort made by The Satanic Temple to exploit our legal system to advance their own objectives undermines our nation's pledge to religious freedom. Their endeavor to impede the rights of others and promote their radical agenda through the court system is unacceptable. Therefore, it is essential that we defend our religious freedoms and safeguard our country's established practice of recognizing the Ten Commandments as a representation of law and moral behavior. We must not permit extremist groups like The Satanic Temple to exploit our legal system to advance their agenda and undermine our nation's devotion to religious freedom.