The state of Florida has agreed that satanists, those who worship the devil, deserve equal representation in the capitol.
This is not the first time satanists have been in the news. According to an earlier report from the Inquisitr, Republicans call abortion supporters satanists — quite a huge accusation.
Satanists, who belong to the The Satanic Temple, state their mission as “[f]acilitating the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty,” as well as “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice. 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.”
According to Slate, in 2013 the state “allowed Christians, Jews, secular humanists, atheists, and Pastafarians (those who worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster) to construct testaments to their faith. But Florida prohibited the Satanic Temple from placing its own display in the capitol, labeling it ‘grossly offensive.’ So this year, the temple reapplied, with some additional legal backing: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State threatened to sue Florida for violating the temple’s free speech rights if the state refused to permit its display.”
“Free speech is for everyone and all groups,” Americans United executive director the Rev. Barry W. Lynn said in a statement. “State officials simply can’t get into the business of deciding that some unpopular messages are ‘offensive’ and must be banned.”
Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves is very optimistic in their chances of getting a favorable ruling. “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he said, “the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, which in fact they are not.”
Florida caved and now the satanists have equal representation in the capitol. Their argument was grounded in the First Amendment’s freedom to speech. Very soon, the satanists symbol may be hanging in the capitol, which may offend some people. This, however, is the right of the satanists to freely express themselves under the First Amendment.
[Image via Wikipedia]