The Oklahoma Capitol grounds may be getting kind of crowded

Soon after the Satanists announced their intention to put up a monument next to the Ten Commandments on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds, Hindus have come forward saying that they too want to have their religion acknowledged.

Rajan Zed, a board member for the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a press release Tuesday (Dec. 10) announcing the group’s intention to apply. Zed said the design would follow.

Hanuman, the monkey king, is an important deity in Hinduism, the world’s third largest faith. He is most popular among devotees of the avatar Lord Ram and others following a devotional path. There are more temples and roadside shrines to Hanuman than to any other deity in all of North India. For Hindus, Hanuman is one of the finest exemplars of a life of love and service of God.

A statue of a monkey deity seems perfectly suitable for a Midwestern town. The legislators seem to be less contemptuous about the Hindu request than the Satanist one, which seems unfair to me.

Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican from Bartlesville, Okla., who called the Satanist monument offensive, was less inclined to speak directly about a Hindu monument.

Why Hanuman, you ask, out of all the avatars of god at their disposal? Zed explains that “we would love to have a statue of Lord Hanuman, who was greatly revered and worshipped and known for incredible strength and was perfect grammarian.” And who can be opposed to better grammar?

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says that there is no problem at all. He says that when the US constitution was written, the word religion meant only Christianity, so only Christian monuments are protected and hence all the other monument requests can be thrown out, no problem. Take that, you grammar zealots!

This is getting to be fun. So who’s next in line? We’re looking at you to put in your application, Buddhists. And don’t be slackers, Wiccans! And Zoroastrians should probably consider putting in a fire monument. And since the measure of your devotion and the power of your god is given by the size of the monument, don’t stint when it comes to size.

Via Ophelia Benson there is a great clip in which David Silverman of the American Atheists takes on Shmuley Boteach and Bill Donohue and the Fox News host and comes out just great. The other three were totally contemptuous of the Satanists. It will be interesting to see what they say when they learn about the Hindus. And I learned about the Festivus beer pole in Florida. Good times!


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    How many Oklahomans will see a monkey statue and think, “This time those Darwinists have gone too far!”?

  2. AsqJames says

    A statue of a monkey deity seems perfectly suitable for a Midwestern town.

    Would have been even better in Tennessee.


  3. mnb0 says

    “This is getting to be fun.”
    You have no idea how much fun this already is to an atheist Dutch outsider like me. Lots of Schadenfreude and the only ones who don’t make fools out of themselves are my fellow atheists!
    There is no way theists can win this. Hopefully it will take a long time before they realize it.

  4. Matt G says

    This is what happens when you open that door! It reminds me of Michael Behe’s testimony in Dover when he was force to acknowledge that opening the door to Intelligent Design opens the door to astrology and every other pseudoscience out there.

  5. says

    Someone needs to call the Rastafarians and the Zoroastrians. They should add some colourful sights and smells to a public Square of Religiosity.

  6. kraut says

    The host of this show and Bill Donohue are almost unbearable to watch were it not for Silverman.

    They really believe that a display based on pagan symbols originally decked with the entrails of vanquished warriors are not stolen? That the feast itself is not a mockery of the festivities of Saturnalia around the winter solstice?
    That Donohue thinks that in a country like the US were everything is infested by the teachings of christianity atheists are falling off a tree instead of being former catholics, protestants,lutherans etc. who read the bible from end to end and found it more than wanting? That man is so stupid it really hurts.
    The host can be excused for her being a moron, She works after all for Faux news.

    “Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17-25. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the weeklong celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman.

    B. The ancient Greek writer poet and historian Lucian (in his dialogue entitled Saturnalia) describes the festival’s observance in his time. In addition to human sacrifice, he mentions these customs: widespread intoxication; going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license; and consuming human-shaped biscuits (still produced in some English and most German bakeries during the Christmas season).

    C. In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.[2]

    D. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.”

    Those idiots don’t even know the history of their much beloved “christmas”, and the utter nonsense they seem to believe that those holidays are somehow not man made? Was it an ejaculation of the holy ghost who created those feast?

  7. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Monkey magic!*

    Thought that was a Buddhist thing not a Hindu one but, wait, actually shared isn’t it?

    * Old TV show reference – Monkey (Hanuman?) was a sort of god / hero who was punished for something by Buddha and had to accompany the monk Tripitaka (a boy played by a girl) and a Pig demon ex-god Pigsy and a water demon Sandy to travel from India to China (or was it China to India?) to deliver the Buddhist sutras and become .. something. Human or god or free of a magic punishment collar or suchlike. Kids show from the 1980’s on Aussie TV with lots of martial arts. Fun viewing.

  8. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    D’oh This :

    A statue of a monkey deity seems perfectly suitable for a Midwestern town. … Why Hanuman, you ask, out of all the avatars of god at their disposal?

    Was supposed to be at the top / start of the last comment. (#7.) Sorry. Wish we could edit comments here. Sigh.

  9. mobius says

    Donohue thinks that the Satanist monument should be banned because some people (read: Bill Donohue etal) find it offensive. By that logic, since I find the 10 Commandments monument offensive it should be banned as well.

    As I see it, we either allow none or we allow all.

  10. Wylann says

    That’s pretty obvious to anyone with more than half a brain cell, mobius, or alternately, anyone whose livelihood doesn’t depend on being offended and outraged.

    Of course they are going to be outraged and offended though, their privilege is being challenged (and it’s part of the narrative they want to paint of being persecuted).

  11. Numenaster says

    @flex: I found a 4-volume version that was very thorough. Took me most of a year to read, but it was fun anyway. Arthur Whaley’s version, incorrectly titled “Monkey”, is extremely abridged and I don’t recommend it.

  12. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @Numenaster : I’ve only seen the TV series – no idea there was & will have to see if I can find the book now. Thanks.

  13. flex says

    From Abe Books, this looks like it was Anthony C Yu’s translation for the University of Chicago in 1977-83.

    At ~$100 for the set, used, I might be able to pick it up.


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