Satanists Put Up Holiday Display Next to Nativity Scene

The Satanic Temple of Illinois has put up its annual holiday display next to a Nativity scene at the state’s capitol.

“Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds,” the Temple’s Minister Adam said in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol, the Chicago Tribune reported. “Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms.

“Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens personal sovereignty.”

“Hail Satan,” a gathering of Satanists replied at the scene held last week.

Since 2018, the Satanic Temple has installed a holiday display at the Illinois State Capitol. This year’s display features a crocheted snake nestled on a copy of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ 1543 book “On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres,” surrounded by a bowl of crocheted apples.

The group says the display commemorates Sol Invictus. Sol Invictus is held Dec. 25 and celebrates, according to the Temple’s website, “being unconquered by superstition and consistent in the pursuit and sharing of knowledge.”

Last year’s display featured an iteration of Satan as a goat baby. But the swaddled Baphomet as it was called drew pushback from protesters.

Still, according to the Temple’s minister, despite appearances, “there is no devil worship here. In fact, I’m insulted when people think of us as devil worshippers. Satan is more of a mascot and metaphor for us.”

During an interview for WCIA, Adam, the Temple’s minister, said Copernicus’s book was a statement about banned books. In 1616, the Catholic Church banned it.

“The serpent of Genesis and the apples symbolizes that whole ‘forbidden knowledge’ sort of thing,” Adam says. “The book, obviously, is one that was banned but also something that is really important to remember, which is that Copernicus himself was not actually persecuted by the church.

“Instead, he worked in harmony with them. And we like to see that this is an affirmation of our Satanic values by existing in harmony with other religions.”

The group’s display stands alongside a near two-story Christmas tree. Following in short order near both reads a sign saying: “The State of Illinois is required by the First Amendment to allow temporary, public displays in the state capitol so long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars.”

“Because the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda is a public place, state officials cannot legally censor the content or speech of displays.”

While the group’s display is protected speech, not all were in agreement it ought to be there. Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield Diocese decried the group’s display, calling for their “salvation.”

“Christians look forward to eternal happiness with God in Heaven,” Paprocki said. “Those who worship Satan are doomed to suffer the pains of Hell with the evil one and his minions forever. People are free to choose. I pray for the conversion of sinners and their eternal salvation.”

He also added the group should “reject the devil’s lies and turn to Christ.”


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