Work on a 7ft tall monument of a goat-headed demon destined for erection at the Oklahoma state Capitol is well underway.
New York-based Satanic Temple revealed the design in January, which depicts Satan as Baphomet sitting on a pentagram throne flanked by two children.
The proposed location would see the statue, set to be cast in bronze, placed adjacent to a Ten Commandments monument.
An artist trained in classical sculpture is working on the statue in New York
This week Vice reporter Jonathan Smith was offered a sneak peek of the work – crowd-funded to the tune of almost $30,000.
Despite ongoing opposition and threats of physical attack against the proposal – which the Satanic Temple says is its constitutional right after the 2012 erection of the privately-funded Ten Commandments monument – the group plans to go ahead.
Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves Smith told Smith he: “wouldn’t expect these outraged and nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.”
At present, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission has placed a moratorium on considering any new requests after the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued to have the Ten Commandments monument removed.
The work will be completed in a few months and cast in bronze
Greaves says if Baphomet – which is due to be finished in a few months - does not end up in Oklahoma the Satanists will try to find it another home.
He added: “There are no shortage of public locations across the US where religious monuments await a contrasting voice.”
Earlier this year politicians in the state insisted Satanists should not be given the same treatment as Christians.
The statue depicts Satan as Baphomet, a goat-headed figure with horns, wings and a beard
Republican Earl Sears told Raw Story: “I think it is very offensive they would contemplate or even have this kind of conversation.”
But during a debate on Fox News, when asked whether the proposed erection of the statue “was not a mockery and absolutely ridiculous?”, David Silverman, President of the American Atheists replied: “Absolutely not – not a mockery, not ridiculous. The separation of the church and the state is what makes America great.
“Religious freedom means the government cannot take sides over one religion or another.
“You may not like the Satanists but guess what? It doesn’t matter.”