Satan and God clash on the Steps of the Arkansas Capitol after the Arkansas State Legislature blocks a permit for a Satanic monument to be placed on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.
Problems and Purpose:
The described problem stemmed from a bill that the Arkansas Legislature, the governing body for the State of Arkansas, (a state in the United State of America) passed in 2015 that would allow for religious monuments to be placed on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol. Following the passage of this bill, when other religious organizations tried to place a monument after the State authorized placement of a Ten Commandments monument. The Ten Commandments monument comes from a story told in Christianity and Judaism, when God inscribed commandments on two tablets and handed them to Moses. Christian groups around the country advocate for the placement of those Ten Commandments in front of state houses and court buildings, as they see them as the ultimate rules of law. On August 16th of 2018 a demonstration was held in regard to this issue.
Background History and Context:
Back in 2015 the Arkansas Legislature passed a bill that would allow a Ten Commandments monument to be placed on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol . One thing that this Law did to comply with federal law separating church and state was require that the monument or monuments be funded by private funds . Shortly after this bill passed other organizations wanted to place their religious monuments on the state grounds as well. One of these groups was the Satanists who wanted to place a statue of Baphomet, a satanic goat monster. The state denied their original permit by calling an emergency session of the legislature.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities:
Satanic Temple, Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert, and the Arkansas Legislature were the main entities involved with this altercation.
Participant Recruitment and Selection:
Because the protest happened on state grounds (outside) no one was excluded. The Satanic Temple recruited people by asking members of their organization and they also posted on social media. When it was all said and done around 100-250 showed up as witnessed by a Time Magazine video . Sen. Jason Rapert was very influential for the installation of the Ten Commandments monument so when people saw him tweet about what the satanic group was planning on doing people came to counter protest. Around 100 people came to show their support for the Ten Commandments monument. You can see most of the people in the same Time Magazine video listed above. The various citizens, they drove by and honked against Satan thus showing their support for the Ten Commandments. It is unclear exactly how many people were involved because they were not recruited but just happened to drive by a sign that asked them to honk.
Methods and Tools Used:
The methods and tools consisted of social media interaction to get people to participate. The use of cell phones was very prevalent in this case; text messaging was also used. When it came to the actual demonstration people participated by showing up and physically being at the State Capitol.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation:
On August 15-16, 2018, over a hundred people came to oppose the statue and followers of Satan escorted their statue on a flatbed truck . To be clear, the Satanists were protesting the Ten Commandments monument while the Christians protested the statue of Baphomet. In short, what happened was that the Satanic group wanted to have their monument displayed but they were denied, so they planned a rally (demonstration) for their statue and to protest the Ten Commandments monument. When the Christians heard about this, they then wanted to show their support for their monument and to protest the Satanic group. The two groups interacted on the steps of the capitol and on social media as they pushed their point. In addition to these two groups a third group emerged: this group was people who drove by the capitol and honked their car horn in support of their respective groups . The protest ended when the Satanic Temple’s request for a spot on the grounds was denied. With this demonstration being close in physical location to he offices of all three Little Rock Arkansas news networks the events of the demonstration were carried on local TV news and in print around the state.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects:
This protest did have an effect on the Ten Commandments monument as now it is being challenged in court and could possibly be removed from the grounds.  Part of the reason it is being challenged in court was because this demonstration drew attention to what Arkansas is doing. As of right now there are no plans before the state legislature to add a new statue from the Satanic Temple. The people who drove by in their cars and honked their horns did have an impact in energizing those people standing on the Capitol grounds.
Analysis and Lessons Learned:
While the main goal of the Satanic temple might not have been achieved, they did however help draw attention to the fact that Arkansas had allowed one group to put a religious monument on the grounds of the capital but has denied this option to others.  I would say that they succeeded in the fact that more people know about this issue. The people participating in this event learned that because of their actions that day their voice was heard, which could possibly lead to change if the Arkansas Supreme Court forces the state to remove the monument. I would say that participation was good in the sense of people actually speaking out about their issue.
 Rapert, J. Et all (2015) AN ACT CONCERNING THE PLACEMENT OF A TEN COMMANDMENTS 13 MONUMENT DISPLAY ON THE STATE CAPITOL GROUNDS; AND 14 FOR OTHER PURPOSES. http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2015/2015R/Acts/Act1231.pdf
[ 2] Mohs, M., (2016), Ark. State Capitol 10 Commandments Monument Moves Forward. THV11. Mar 3 2016 https://www.thv11.com/article/news/local/ark-state-capitol-10-commandments-monument-moves-forward/66950569
 Ducharme, J., (2018) The Satanic Temple Protest a Ten Commandments Monument in Arkansas With Its Baphomet Statue https://time.com/5370989/satanic-temple-arkansas/
 Selk, A., (2018) A Satanic Idol Goes to the Arkansas Capitol Building https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/08/17/a-satanic-idols-3-year-journey-to-the-arkansas-capitol-building/
 Satter, L., (2019) In trial over Ten Commandments monument at Arkansas capitol, judge limits release of tape https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/sep/12/monolith-trial-judge-limits-release-of-/?news-politics
 Hoyt, R., (2018) Sen. Rapert says ‘very cold day in hell” before Baphomet statue allowed on capitol grounds https://www.thv11.com/article/news/religion/sen-rapert-says-very-cold-day-in-hell-before-baphomet-statue-allowed-on-capitol-grounds/91-584967664
The first version of this case entry was written by Michael Morrison, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and then edited. The views expressed in the entry are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.