a reply to: zbeliever
The statue is not the statue of 'the devil' - it is a statue of the sabbatical goat as depicted by Eliphas Levi in 1856. That sabbatical goat
represents the binary unity of all things: female and male, dissolve and create, animal and man, the sun and the moon. From it's lap we see the symbol
of knowledge: two snakes curled around the tree of life. And that tree of life is put where it is intentionally: it can also be seen as the male
organ, giving life. The two snakes might be seen as the two faces of knowledge: the snake itself is the ultimate duality in one: it's venom can both
kill and cure. And what of the two it does is determined by man, the only measure of good and evil.
This 'goat' is just an icon, used by "magicians" to discuss various concepts. Levi's definition of a magician is very close to how I see it. According
to Levi a magician "looks on the wicked as invalids whom one must pity and cure; the world, with its errors and vices, is to him God's hospital,
and he wishes to serve in it."
Note that this requires the magician to be aware of good and evil, of what actually IS wicked. This knowledge is
partially born into man, partially taught, and symbols like the 'goat' merely serve to help with that.
This statue is simply that: a statue. It serves as an icon, but is not to be worshipped, as it is stupid to worship a statue (which you can read in
the Bible too). Such images and statues are useful though, like the statues of angels, Mary, the Saints or Jesus hanging from the cross (not a pretty
sight either). Stuatues are not to be worshipped, they are merely put in place so the people are reminded (by themselves or their ancestors) to
discuss good and evil and to teach them that it is not God who defines good and evil - it is man.
The sabbatical goat itself has no name.
It is often referred to as being named Baphomet. This likely stems from medieval times. Baphomet is most likely just a misprononciation of Mahomet =
Muhammad. Crusaders, returning from a longer stay in the Middle East had adopted various teachings of Muhammad and had included them into Christendom.
The most powerful of these crusaders were the Knights Templar, whom became very powerful - so powerful they were seen as a (political!) threat. The
weird stories circulating around the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created mistrust. King Philip IV of France took advantage of these rumours
for his own good (he had huge debts with the Templars) and in 1307 (on a Friday - hence the popular belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck) many
of the Order's members in France were arrested, tortured, subsequently they confessed and were burned at the stake. King Philip pressured Pope Clement
V to dissolve the Order in 1312. The rumours of these weird knights that believed in the teachings of "Baphomet" remained and were picked up by
nineteenth and twentieth century magicians and hippies. The rest is just pop-culture.
So, you need not worry. Baphomet is not a deity. He is not 'worshipped' - most certainly not by the people that erected this particular statue.
Actually, if it were a public statue, I'd advise you to visit it, and use it to discuss Evil and Good with your children, family and/or friends. For
example: abortions are often seen as evil by Christians - but are they? Why do we think this, and is this indeed true? Always? Is killing animals to
devour them - Good? Is killing people - Good or Evil, why? Is it a Good or Evil thing to give a new kidney to a mass murderer, because it was randomly
determined he should get that kidney and not your loving and caring father?
A statue - be it a cross with a dead man hanging from it or "Baphomet" - is just that. It is what happens inside your head and how that influences
your behaviour and that of others what matters.
May your day be filled with joy.