A New York Times article takes note of the competition for statuary on the Arkansas Capitol grounds since the legislature decreed that the Ten Commandments should be memorialized there for — wink, wink — their “historical” significance. Our ChristoRepublican legislature would never promote religion in their law-making, would they?
The assorted proposals to honor other spiritual causes include one for a statue of Hanuman, a monkey-faced Hindu deity offered as an educational tool by the Universal Society of Hinduism; a bronze statue of the goat-headed, cloven-hoofed demon Baphomet proposed by the Satanic Temple; and a giant vegetable banner proposed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Such a banner would honor “a value system that people of other religions or no religion can appreciate,” a P.E.T.A. spokesman told the Associated Press, echoing the plea for equal opportunity underlying the other proposals.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said proposals would have to be submitted to the state, but no one is betting on seeing any of the proposed monuments join the 15 now on the Capitol grounds.
The article notes the obvious religiosity of a Ten Commandments memorial brought one to grief in Oklahoma. Should that happen in Arkansas, hopes of holy vegetables and monkeys would go a-glimmering, too. The item mentions the Oklahoma court decision:
The court found it has obvious Jewish and Christian overtones that made the monument unconstitutional under guidelines set by the United States Supreme Court. Whether the Arkansas Supreme Court might agree is an open question.
Ain’t that the truth?