The Satanic Temple has been known for their statues and publicity stunts over the years. Recently, they seem to have won the upper hand in Illinois, both figuratively and literally.
According to BBC, the Satanic Temple has placed a statue of a hand clutching an apple with a snake wrapped around the arm. The statue is inside the Illinois statehouse, between a Christmas tree and a Menorah.
A number of groups are calling for the statue’s removal. People have also taken to Twitter and other social media outlets to express their displeasure with the current statue on display. At the front and center of the controversy is the group known as Illinois Family Action, which tweeted some words vehemently speaking against the statue.
“Satanic Temple monument was added to the Illinois Capitol rotunda displays. They fail to realize that the little baby in the manger has CRUSHED Satan’s head and the gates of hell will NOT prevail.”
David Druker, a spokesperson for the Illinois secretary of state, did not express any endorsement of the statue, but did endorse a constitutional right to include the statue in the rotunda.
“Under the Constitution, the First Amendment, people have a right to express their feelings, their thoughts. This recognizes that.”
While the words didn’t do much to quell opposition, they seem to provide a definitive answer to whether or not the statue stays or goes. It seems for the foreseeable future, the Satanic statue will remain on display.
The Satanic Temple has been known for controversial statue placement in the past.
Previously, the Satanic Temple attempted to have a seven-foot-tall statue of Baphomet installed before the Oklahoma statehouse. The statehouse also had the Ten Commandments prominently on display and the Satanic Temple felt that inclusion of its monument to Baphomet should be allowed to be included under the First Amendment.
That very Baphomet statue has been the subject of a more recent controversy. In October, Netflix premiered its original series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on the streaming platform. The series depicted a fictionalized group of Satanic witches, which the Satanic Temple felt was contrary to their values. To make things worse, the series displayed a very similar statue in the fictional school its titular character attends.
The Satanic Temple filed a $50 million lawsuit against Netflix for inclusion of the statue, which they felt was an example of cultural appropriation.
Netflix and the Satanic Temple eventually settled that lawsuit out of court.