A couple in Mountain View, Colorado want local police to consider the theft of their “Vote Satan” sign to be a hate crime and they aren’t going down without a fight.
According to Luigi Bellavite, the sign, which was hanging next to an American flag was a part of his yards “theme” which looks like a year-long Halloween display with fake spiders, skulls, upside down crosses and mannequins dressed as witches and devils.
Speaking to ABC7 News Bellavite and his wife Angie admit that they belong to the Church of Satan but they say the church isn’t just about believing in Satan. Luigi tells ABC7:
“I don’t believe there is a devil down there with horns and a pitchfork.”
According to Bellavite he only posted the sign because it “symbolizes freedom from dogmas.”
Bellavite says he doesn’t care about the actual sign which only cost $20, his big issue is that under the first amendment he is supposed to have freedom of religion.
While police did file an official theft report Bellavite wants more, noting:
“If it was the Star of David, absolutely it would be a hate crime. There are such double standards that some religions and some ideas are protected and other are not. That’s why I’m (talking to the media.)”
In the meantime while some neighbors find the house “creepy” others say the Bellavites are not troublemakers and tend to keep to themselves, never pushing their religion on anyone.
The couple believes a group of kids in the neighborhood likely stole the sign so they could keep it as their own which in turn wouldn’t really constitute a hate crime.
According to the churches website the Church of Satan which was founded in 1966 believes in indulgence and “kindness to those who deserve it.”