In a controversial event this weekend (July 25), the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple held a public unveiling of a 9-foot, 1-ton (1.02 tonnes) bronze sculpture of Baphomet, a winged deity with a goat’s head, as adherents chanted “Hail Satan.”
The sculpture was placed in an industrial building by the Detroit River, after the group unsuccessfully bid for a location in Oklahoma near a monument honoring the 10 Commandments of Christianity. The Oklahoma State Supreme Court recently ruled that the 10 Commandments monument, which is on state capitol grounds, violates the state’s constitution banning the use of state property for religious purposes. A similar monument was authorized in Arkansas earlier this year, and the group now plans to transport the statue there.
Expecting demonstrations, the Satanic Temple held the location of the unveiling secret, notifying ticket-holders for the event at the last moment. The celebration featured dark punk concerts and DJ-sets, and Facebook photos indicate the night was a success.
The Satanic Temple writes on its website that it practices “non-theistic Satanism,” which means it does not believe in supernatural beings. ”We understand the Satanic figure as a symbol of man’s inherent nature, representative of the eternal rebel, enlightened inquiry and personal freedom rather than a supernatural deity or being.”