Southwest Missouri lawmaker describes his concerns with Ceres statue

Local News

MISSOURI, (Missourinet).– A southwest Missouri lawmaker who opposes returning the Ceres statue to the top of the Capitol in Jefferson City says the state should not be promoting any religion.

State Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, describes Ceres as a “false god.”

“Ceres as an agricultural goddess of Rome and I believe that represents a religion of sorts, so we shouldn’t be putting goddesses or gods of any type at the dome of the Capitol,” Moon says.

While the Office of Administration (OA) plans to return Ceres to the top of the Capitol this month, Moon has written a letter to Governor Mike Parson (R), asking him to stop it. Representative Moon tells Missourinet the statue should be placed at another location at the Capitol, but not on the dome.

“They (state officials) spent the money, they restored the exterior, you can still put her (Ceres) someplace else,” says Moon.

Moon, who’s a deacon and Sunday school teacher at High Street Baptist Church in southwest Missouri, says God “commanded the Israelites to have no gods other than him.” Ceres is the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain.

He says he hasn’t had an opportunity to speak to the governor by phone or in person, since Monday’s letter. Governor Parson’s spokeswoman, Kelli Jones, tells Missourinet the governor’s office has no response to Representative Moon’s letter, at this time.

During an interview with Missourinet at Friday’s unveiling ceremony at the Statehouse, Governor Parson indicated the statue would return to the dome.

“And she’s all dressed up, she’s pretty to go back up on top of our state Capitol and represent all of us here in the state of Missouri,” Governor Parson told Missourinet, next to the sculpture.

Moon admits he should have addressed the issue when Ceres was taken down for restoration in November 2018, saying he forgot about it until last week’s news coverage. That’s when he received a call from a constituent, asking about it.

The Ceres sculpture weighs more than 1,400 pounds. The restoration cost about $400,000, all part of a massive $50 million renovation project at the Capitol aimed at addressing deteriorating stonework on the facades, dome and drum, which was finished in 1917.

Ceres was placed on the Statehouse dome in October 1924 and remained there until November 2018, when the restoration process began.

OA says the statue was struck by lightning about 300 times during those years, mainly atop the head. Representative Moon suggests placing a lightning rod on the top of the Capitol, instead.

Copyright © 2019 · Missourinet

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