A Satanic display seemingly mocking Christianity has gone up inside Florida’s state Capitol this week. The controversial display was once called “grossly offensive” by state officials.
The display was put up quietly this week by The Satanic Temple without an announcement or ceremony. The display had caused controversy in the last year, and the same display was actually rejected last year and called offensive by state officials. It nearly led to a First Amendment lawsuit, but this year, the Satanic organization was able to erect the display.
The Satanic display includes an angel suspended by string above a lake of flames. The diorama also had two Bible verses, including one in which Jesus told his disciples: “And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'”
The Satanic Temple is a non-profit organization that aims to “encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice.”
The group considers itself an organized religion, and states its mission as follows.
“As an organized religion, we feel it is our function to actively provide outreach, to lead by example, and to participate in public affairs wheresoever the issues might benefit from rational, Satanic insights. As Satanists, we all should be guided by our consciences to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity.”
The Satanic display at the Florida capitol is not the only display from Satanists this holiday season. In Michigan, the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple put up its own displays inside the Michigan capitol. In what the group called the “Snaketivity Scene,” a snake was seen offering a book titled Revolt of the Angels as a gift.
The group claimed that its display was in response to the prevalence of Christian displays at Christmas time.
“I think that this holiday season is a time of year that is celebrated in many different ways,” Jex Blackmore, a spokeswoman for the Satanic Temple, told Fox News. “Having our government endorse one singular viewpoint or method of celebrating the season is problematic when we have a diverse community of people in Michigan. We wanted to add to that conversation by having our representation of how we may celebrate this time of year.”
The Satanic Temple group in Florida has plans beyond the display inside the state capitol. After a ruling that school districts can distribute religious material in public schools, the group announced plans to distribute Satanist literature.
[Image via TBO.com]