Christopher Sommer: Devil's Advocate For Civil Debate

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Christopher Sommer is an Oklahoman of eight years and a PR representative for the Oklahoma Red Cross; since January, he has been curating a parody Twitter account for Baphomet, a deity celebrated by Satanists and the subject of heated debate over religious freedom and representation on the Oklahoma State Capitol lawn.

Some context: last fall, a monument featuring the Ten Commandments was erected on the north lawn of the State Capitol. Local atheists, alongside the ACLU, protested the construction of the monument, arguing it ran counter to separation of church and state.

The Oklahoma chapter of the Satanic Temple decided to go in a different direction; they proposed, designed and lobbied for the construction of a seven-foot-tall statue of Baphomet, a pagan deity thought to be used by the Inquisition to discredit the Knights Templar, next to the Ten Commandments.

This plan was supported by the Satanic Temple in New York: spokesperson Lucien Greaves set up an Indiegogo campaign for the statue's construction that earned $28,000. As tension between the Temple and conservative members of the state legislature, @BaphometOKC quietly walked onto the scene.

Today on Living in Oklahoma, Christopher Sommer talks about the genesis of @BaphometOKC and his thoughts on the growth of Oklahoma City in the eight years he has lived here.