January 2020 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

A 10-foot-tall statue of the Roman goddess Ceres should not be returned to the state capitol building in Missouri, a state legislator has argued.

State Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) wrote to Gov. Mike Parson (R) in early December asserting that the statue, which was erected in 1924, should not be returned to its spot atop the capitol building in Jefferson City, reported KRCG-TV.

“God commanded the Israelites to ‘have no gods other than him,’” Moon wrote. “He also said, ‘Do not make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.’ Governor Parson, you and I have placed our trust in the same Lord, the God of the Bible. As such, I appeal to your good judgment, as a follower of Jesus Christ, to direct the Capitol Commission to not return the false god Ceres, the Roman goddess, to the top of the Capitol dome.”

The statue, which weighs 1,400 pounds, was removed for restoration and cleaning in November 2018. It was returned to the Capitol dome Dec. 17. 

In Roman mythology, Ceres represents agriculture, grain crops and fertility and is sometimes depicted holding stalks of wheat. The statue was originally erected to honor the state’s agricultural heritage.