A Detroit-based group has been approved to put up a Satanic display on the north lawn of the Michigan capitol building.
The group, which includes secularists and Satanists, will be allowed to show their holiday display from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23. According to Uncover Michigan, the display is being called a “Snaketivity Scene” and features a snake wrapped around a satanic cross that reads, “The greatest gift is knowledge.” The display also includes a book that reportedly is featured to symbolize knowledge.
“Encouraging families to have important discussions and to learn from each other and to spend the holidays promoting knowledge … is just something we think is important,” said Satanic Temple member Jex Blackmore. The Satanic Temple consists of secularists, Satanists and “advocates for individual liberty,” and members say they do not actually worship Satan.
While the Satanic display will be up later this month, a Nativity scene that was submitted for approval will not be included on the Capitol lawn. The scene was approved, but the person who submitted it lives outside of the state and has been unable to find somebody to put up and tear down the Nativity every day. This is a condition of all displays at the Michigan capitol, as permanent displays are prohibited.
Members of the Capitol Commission, who approved the display, have expressed personal opposition to it but say that denying the group the opportunity to display would have violated their rights.
“It's their First Amendment right, so we have no say about it unless they refuse to comply with the rules,” member John Truscott said. “My personal opinion is that I'm repulsed by it, but we have no say in the matter.”