I am not among those who are outraged by nativity scenes but I definitely sympathize with those who are. And once you open the gates to allowing religious displays on government property, well then you need to understand that it's an all or nothing type of rule. The people in Lansing, Michigan, our capital, are learning that this holiday season as the Satanic Temple (Detroit Chapter) is moving ahead with plans to place its own holiday display on the Capitol lawn. The Satanic display was originally planned in response to a Christian nativity scene but the Christians were apparently lacking in organizational skills and so far have not finalized plans to get their nativity scene in place.
I guess the Satanists were a bit more motivated. Being in the minority or being the underdog can certainly tend to make someone work a little bit harder. Until the Satanists announced their plans the only Christians who were working seriously on a nativity scene were from out of state.
The group, which describes itself as a collective of “Satanists, secularists and advocates for individual liberty," has received permission to put up a display on the north Capitol lawn from December 21 to 23.
"We would prefer that no religious iconography was displayed on Capitol grounds or on state grounds for that matter," said Jex Blackmore, founder and head of the Detroit chapter. "But if there was going to be a singular voice represented, we felt it was best to add to that representation of diversity here in Michigan."
John Truscott, a member of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, confirmed that The Satanic Temple has been granted approval for the temporary outdoor display.
"We are restricted by the Constitution and bound by the Constitution to recognize their First Amendment rights," said Truscott. "We don’t have the ability to reject them if they meet the guidelines of the Capitol."
But on a personal level, Truscott said he thinks it is "absolutely disgusting to hijack a Christian holiday," and he expressed hope that the public will "just completely ignore these negative forces."
What do you think?
Does Blackmore have a point?
You're Queen or King for the Winter. Do you allow this Satanic holiday display?