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HOUSTON (LifeSiteNews) — A towering gold statue of a humanoid woman originally named in homage to the so-called “right” to abortion was erected at the University of Houston this month.

Until October 31, the university will prominently feature a sculpture with braided hair shaped like ram horns, tentacle-like protrusions in place of arms, and a “lace” collar in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The statue strikes some commentators, including Texas Right to Life, as “satanic,” since the “horns” are reminiscent of a Baphomet image. While the artist behind the work, Shahzia Sikander, has not admitted to deliberately echoing satanic imagery, Christians argue that the admitted pro-abortion significance of the statue is indeed satanic.

Last year, the New York Times published an article about an identical sculpture designed by Sikander when it was placed atop a New York City courthouse. Sikander told the Times that she named the artwork “NOW” because it was “needed ‘now,’” when the reversal of Roe v. Wade limits women’s so-called “right” to kill their babies through abortion.

“The luminous figure is a nod to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as seen in the detail adorning her collar,” Sikander explained in a statement about the sculpture. “With Ginsburg’s death and the reversal of Roe, there was a setback to women’s constitutional progress.”

Ginsburg is considered a “feminist” icon in large part because of her radical pro-abortion stance. The late justice went so far as to defend a “right” to partial-birth abortion multiple times, even as Justice Clarence Thomas described in one dissenting opinion the brutal manner in which abortionists crush the skull or vacuum out the brains of babies during partial-birth abortions.

Inscribed on the statue is the word “havah,” which can be interpreted to mean “to breathe,” and also translates to “Eve.”

“Eve is also the first lawbreaker, right?” Sikander noted to The Art Newspaper, appearing to put a positive spin on original sin and defiance of God’s law. This characterization would accord with a positive view of Satan as the “original rebel.”

Sikander avoids such references, however, explaining in her statement about the piece that “The figure’s hair is braided into spiraling ‘horns,’ which mimic the movement of the arms and express the figure’s sovereignty and autonomy.”

She added, “Part of the body loops out and into itself, in place of arms and feet, offering a non-fixed idea to the notion of the body — something amorphous, like the self. It refuses to be fixed, grounded, or stereotyped.”

A replica of her statue has been temporarily installed by the University of Houston. Dubbed “Witness,” it is surrounded by a mosaic-encrusted dome “skirt” and accompanied by a video projection animation by Sikander called “The Reckoning.” According to the university’s description of the “art,” the projection “remind(s) us that Mother Nature (another allegorical goddess) is the only essence that prevails.”

“Witness” has been erected in the Cullen Family Plaza, where students often take graduation pictures with their families, or take breaks in between classes.

Sikander’s works were selected by The University of Houston System Public Art Committee (UHSPAC), which “periodically invites proposals from artists to further the mission of the system.”

UHSPAC told LifeSiteNews that the University of Houston and UHS “take no position” on legal abortion.

Timon Cline, editor-in-chief of the Christian magazine American Reformer, argues that at minimum the University of Houston’s decision to host the statue amounts to “state-sanctioned paganism.”

“The intended message of the Medusa statue is clear: state-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded paganism,” Cline told The Dallas Express. “It is no coincidence that just as testaments to our national history, a Christian history, are being reviled and quite literally demolished, monuments to the successor religion are being promoted. Heroes are being displaced by mythological monsters.”

“The University of Houston’s participation in this charade is beyond shameful,” Cline continued. “Any institution of higher learning worth its salt should recognize the inversion of Western tradition and morality represented in this statute. And that’s the point for all Texans: they do know what they’re doing. Such institutions are no longer worthy of support. Their incongruence with the American way of life is increasingly apparent.”

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