| OKLAHOMA CITY
OKLAHOMA CITY Jan 14 A regular on WABC's "Imus
In The Morning" program apologized on Tuesday for saying
Satanists who want to put a statue of Satan next to a Ten
Commandments monument already outside the Oklahoma state capitol
should be shot.
On a Jan. 9 radio show, simulcast on Fox Business Network as
the "Mensa Meeting", Bernard McGuirk said the Satanic Temple
should be allowed to put up the planned 7-foot tall statue and
then its members should be shot right next to it.
"My comments were rooted in ignorance," McGuirk, sidekick to
radio shock jock Don Imus, said on Tuesday on the show.
"Satanists do not promote evil a la Charles Manson or
Hitler. Regardless, I don't want to see anybody shot, that's the
truth of the matter, so I do apologize unequivocally. I
apologize for those comments and certainly, certainly withdraw
them," he said.
Controversy over religious monuments on the Oklahoma
statehouse grounds has been swirling since legislative approval
was granted to Christian groups using private funds in 2012 to
erect a large stone tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
The American Civil Liberties Union is still fighting in court to
remove the monument.
Other religious organizations demanded equal exposure at the
capitol, proposing monuments to Satan, a monkey god, world peace
and even one to honor the satirical Church of the Flying
Spaghetti Monster. The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission
has banned any new monuments until the ACLU court fight is
It was not the first time McGuirk publicly apologized for
harsh comments. In 2007, after the on-air duo was fired for
calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team "ho's"
during a broadcast, McGuirk and Imus apologized to the team.
Fox officials confirmed that McGuirk had made an apology and
referred questions to the producers of the show, who could not
be reached immediately for comment.
The Satanic Temple's legal counsel called McGuirk's original
comments reckless and an incitement to violence and demanded an
apology from the Fox News Network.
"For that kind of thing to be advocated by Fox commentators
is hypocritical and dangerous," Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien
Greaves said in an interview.
Greaves said he hoped the incident would continue to build a
dialogue about different religions.
"We were definitely shaken up by (McGuirk's original)
comments," said Greaves. "We are happy he made the apology. It's
our mission to open people's minds to look past arbitrary labels
and to open dialogue."
(Reporting by Heide Brandes; Editing by David Bailey and