The Satanic Temple is wishing Michigan a happy holiday season by erecting its own Satanic display on the Capitol grounds, according to a release. The Michigan State Capitol Commission granted approval for the display as a Nativity scene was under consideration at the location as well.
The activist group "holds to a firm belief in a strong separation of Church and State, but works to ensure plurality wherever there is a breach in the divide," according to the release. In other words: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
This follows a news last week of the Satanic Temple securing approval for a similar holiday display at the Florida Capitol rotunda
— a move decried by pundits like Glenn Beck
. “This is religious liberty, and we must never let our government begin dictating which viewpoints are worthy of representation and which are not,” says Satanic Temple spokesperson Jex Blackmore in defense of the displays.
Previously, we reported that the Satanic Temple is working on establishing its first chapter house in Detroit
, and also interviewed spokesperson Lucien Greaves
The Satanic Temple's holiday display features a Satanic crucifix emblazoned with the words "The Greatest Gift is Knowledge" with a red serpent wrapped around it.
The display will be available to view on the Capitol grounds from Dec. 21-23. Take a peek below.
[Update: Monday, Dec. 15, 2014] Blackmore tells us the snake was carved out of “insulating foam sealant,” and uses fishnet to create the scales ("which adds a sort of bondage aspect, I suppose," she says). "Nativity scenes are about the birth of Christ," she says. "This display is about the birth of human enlightenment." Blackmore also points out that the display uses solar-powered lighting.
Blackmore adds that the book is Anatole France's The Revolt of Angels
, open to the page for Book XXVI, “The Conclave”, specifically displaying a quote that begins, “Sons of heaven, my comrades, you have freed yourself from the bonds of celestial servitude ...”