Pro-lifers hold prayer rally in response to ‘satanic’ statue at University of Houston — By: Catholic News Agency

Texas Right to Life President John Seago speaks to ENN Anchor Tracy Sabol on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 / EWTN

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 28, 2024 / 15:00 pm (CNA).

Texas pro-lifers are rallying in prayer against a “satanic” statue on display at the University of Houston that a pro-life leader says is “advocating for abortion rights.”

The 18-foot tall golden statue, titled “Witness” by artist Shahzia Sikander, depicts a woman with braids twisted in the shape of ram horns. She is held up by a metal frame meant to proclaim her “authority in the world.”  

John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life, the group that organized the Feb. 28 prayer rally, told EWTN News Nightly on Tuesday that the commissioners of the statue are “embracing satanic imagery.” Ram horns are often associated with Satan and satanism in Western art. 

The statue, one of two sculptures constituting a project called “Havah…to breathe, air, life,” was transported from Madison Square Park in New York City to Texas. The statue was on display from Jan. 17 to June 4, 2023 in New York and is set to be displayed from Feb. 28 to Oct. 31, 2024 in Houston. 

Sikander in her artist statement specifically referenced the Supreme Court’s 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade. The artist alleged that the court’s decision was associated with “the dismissal … of the indefatigable spirit of women who have been collectively fighting for their right to their own bodies over generations.” 

“However, the enduring power lies with the people who step into and remain in the fight for equality,” she said. “That spirit and grit is what I want to capture in both the sculptures.”

Seago told ENN Anchor Tracy Sabol this week that the sculpture is “concerning to Texans” and “disappointing from a public institution.” 

The sculpture, he argued, is intended “to celebrate disobedience from God while advocating for abortion rights.”

“The artist and the commissioner of the statue are very clear that this statue is to celebrate abortion rights,” Seago said. “This is to actually celebrate disobedience from God through imagery that we find in the Bible.”

“In the documents talking about the art, they’re very clear that the idea is to turn horns into a piece of pride, not a piece of shame associated with Satan and satanic forces,” he continued. 

After the statue’s move, there was “immediate blowback” from alumni, other elected officials, and supporters of the university, Seago said. The university said they would cancel the statue’s installation, but the school later decided to display it on campus. 

Seago said that what is “most disappointing” is that the decision “shows that the university administrators and leaders really think that that is the best that they have to offer their students.”

“Right now, college students are being targeted by the abortion industry, even in a pro-life state where they’re mailing abortion pills directly to students on campus,” he said. 

“We want the message to be clear. There are better options. There is support,” Seago continued. “There are those that are here dedicated to supporting those students in the community around the university. There’s a great pro-life group that is serving students every day.” 

“We have more to offer than abortion,” he said. “And unfortunately, the University of Houston is sending the wrong message with this statue.”

In January 2023, a similar statue of a horned figure was installed on top of a New York courthouse, as reported previously by CNA. That statue was also part of Sikander’s “Havah” project.

Read More