If the Oklahoma Legislature can make room for a monument to the Ten Commandments outside the Statehouse in Oklahoma City, then the Satanic Temple of New York wants an artistic expression of its faith in the same place.
The state’s lawmakers brought this on themselves with their pinched view of religious privilege. If Oklahoma chooses to make its Statehouse a prop for religious art, then every faith can claim space. That is how ACLU Oklahoma sees it, and I agree. But my own core view fits an aside offered by the legal organization’s director: don’t have any such religious art on state property. Take down the Ten Commandments. The legislators can honor them by living the values, and call it performance art.
America’s strength is in its religious diversity and religious freedom. Indeed the term “religious tolerance” has always annoyed me. The freedom to worship does not exist in this country because of the indulgent tolerance of anyone, especially a numerically superior faith.
These disputes pop up all the time. Here is a link to a column I wrote almost to the day a decade ago about a controversy in Everett.
Religious tensions exist in all forms. Even the Satanists come in two forms: theistic and atheistic. The heck you say. The former venerate a deity they see as closer to home than that out-there God. The latter snicker about everything.