An eight and a half foot tall bronze statue of a goat-headed Satan will be unveiled in secrecy during a ticketed event in Detroit. The owner of a popular local restaurant had backed out when opponents issues threats, organizers said.
The one and a half ton statue of Satan is backed by an inverted pentagram and on both sides surrounded by two young children gazing up at the deity. Satan features horns, hooves, wings and a beard.
The Satanic Temple of Detroit, a religious organization according to their website, advocates for the separation of church and state. They do not worship Satan as a supernatural deity or being, but a symbol of the “eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom”.
The group’s cofounder, Lucien Greaves, told the Associated Press that they will release the location of the unveiling the day of, and that details will only be distributed to ticket holders.
“Tickets are going to be pre-ordered to cut down on harassment … people threatening to burn the venue down,” Greaves said. “We’ve gotten those kind of messages,”
Those messages included calls to actions such as “Let’s burn the statue down!”, and more subtle threats like “I bet it would blow up real good,” reports Raw Story.
The statue was to be unveiled at Bert’s Marketplace in Detroit’s Eastern Market district, but Bert Dearing said he gave the group their rental money back, saying, “We weren’t away they were into devil worshipping.”
The statue was designed and built for $100,000. It was originally planned for the state Capitol of Oklahoma City until the state Supreme Court banned religious displays, including the Ten Commandments, on Capitol grounds.
Greaves said the statue will not stay in Detroit, but that they want to erect it outside Arkansas’ Statehouse where a Ten Commandments monument is in the works.
Detroit was selected for the unveiling because The Satanic Temple has a “strong congregation,” there, Greaves said. The Detroit chapter’s founder Jex Blackmore said there are more than 200 registered members there.
Bishop Charles Ellis III, pastor of the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, with more than 6,000 members, said he is not concerned about the statue of Satan. America, Ellis said, “was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”
Photo Credit: Screenshot via WXYZ