The Satanic Temple display in Tallahassee was up for about a day, before someone became offended enough to try taking it down. Susan Hemeryck, 54, has been arrested for desecration of the sculpture that an Atheist group erected to counter the Nativity scene.
In an effort to be more open-minded toward all religious groups, officials allowed the group to put up the display of an angel falling into flames, countering the traditional Christmas staple of the Nativity scene. A sign above it said “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.” According to Fox News, it was meant as a satire, but Hemeryck saw nothing humorous or clever about it.
The display was a result of a hard-won fight after having been denied for years, with Americans United for Separation of Church and State threatening legal action if the display was denied again.
As the Tallahassee woman wearing a shirt with the words “Catholic Warrior” proceeded to tear the display down, she told nearby officers she was “sorry and had to take down the Satanic display,” adding that it was “not right.” Police told her to stop and put it back, telling her that what she was doing was a legal violation, but she persisted and began to rip the Satanic Temple display apart. Tallahassee News states she “could not take it anymore.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State made a statement Tuesday concerning Hemeryck’s actions.
“This act of mindless vandalism should be condemned by all decent people and all those who support true freedom of religion. It’s important to remember that free speech in an open forum is for all groups, even those whose message some deem controversial or unpopular.”
Though some may have found it offensive, they fought to get the Satanic Temple display among those of other groups. Other displays included that of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a six foot pole made of beer cans celebrating Festivus, a fictional holiday invented in the Seinfeld TV series.
‘Catholic Warrior’ arrested for damaging Satanic Temple display http://t.co/yzJ6KGWLpm
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) December 24, 2014
Susan Hemeryck gave the press a detailed explanation of her reasons.
“It’s just wrong, when you remove baby Jesus two days before Christmas and put Satan in his place – that just can’t happen. I couldn’t allow it to happen… I was there at the right time and the right moment and I needed to take a stand against Satan.”
Hemeryck is facing the charge of criminal mischief for her vandalism. Do you think she was right in attempting to tear down the Satanic Temple display? If not, what should she have done?
[Image via Christian Examiner]