LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas, August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Christians came together two weeks ago to protest an event promoting Satan on the steps of the Arkansas state capitol building.
Held on August 16 and organized by the Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple, the “First Amendment Rally” was attended by roughly 150 mostly young, tattooed individuals wearing black clothing. Atheists, satanists, and one Christian minister addressed the crowd as police stood guard. A seven and a half foot statue of Baphomet, a half-man, half goat creature representing the devil, was transported in on the flatbed of a truck.
The Satanic Temple argues that their statue should be allowed to permanently stand alongside a Ten Commandments monument installed on capitol grounds in 2017. The group also advocates for abortion and the repeal of pro-life laws.
About two dozen Christians were on hand to protest the Satanic Temple’s rally, singing songs and holding signs with Bible verses on them. One woman's poster quoted Matthew 4:10: “Away with you Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”
One protester, Lisa Hayes, a Catholic from North Little Rock, told the Arkansas Catholic, “I just felt the need to pray over people who worship Satan and give support where needed for our faith.”
The grassroots Catholic group America Needs Fatima organized a reparation event for the gathering the day before it took place.
Equipped with banners reading “Satan has NO rights” and “We are a Christian Nation,” roughly 275 Catholics of all ages peacefully prayed under the shadow of the Arkansas capitol dome as dozens of cars honked their horns in support. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima was also present.
Buses from as far as Topeka, Kansas carried over 80 people seven hours so they could participate. One woman travelled from Australia.
Following the protest, a petition with 25,000 signatures against the satanic statue and in favor of the Ten Commandments monument was hand-delivered to Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson at his office by José Walter Ferraz, an America Needs Fatima “chauffeur,” and a family from Arkansas.
John Horvat, the Vice President of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, told LifeSiteNews, “State officials like the governor of Arkansas should oppose the placement of a demonic statue and the Satanic rally that was held. Their role in society is to uphold and defend the common good.”
“Satanism and the destruction of the moral order clearly do not favor” the common good, he added. “Protest and petitions like ours encourage public officials since they see just how unpopular Satanism is.”
The Satanic Temple has 15 chapters in the United States and one in Canada. They claim the Ten Commandments monument violates their freedom of religion, and are attempting to join the ACLU in a lawsuit to get it removed.
Arkansas Republican state Senator Jason Rapert told THV 11 that the Satanic Temple is nothing more than a group of “pranksters” who “take advantage of gullible people” and “promote the profane.”
“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,” he said.
Rapert sponsored the 2015 bill that approved the Ten Commandments monument, which was eventually erected in 2017. Within 24 hours of being installed, the monument was smashed to pieces after a man yelling “freedom” drove his car into it. The same man was arrested for destroying a Ten Commandments monument outside the Oklahoma state capitol in 2014.
Governor Asa Hutchinson
State Capitol Room 250
500 Woodlane Ave.
Little Rock, AR