The Satanic Temple along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has announced they are suing an Indiana county that refused to allow a Satanic display during the month of December.
The lawsuit claims that a Franklin County ordinance that requires permits for displays and activities be restricted to county residents is a violation of the First Amendment.
“Our joint lawsuit with the FFRF is our response to this arbitrary limitation,” Satanist spokesman Doug Mesner said. “I suspect that the arbitrary restriction of local standing is merely but an effort at keeping varying viewpoints to a minimum.”
The Indianapolis Star says the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit.
The Satanic Temple wanted to display “an artistic three-dimensional sculpture mounted on a wooden platform” between November and January and the FFRF wanted to display cut out figures marking the “December 15 nativity of the Bill of Rights.”
“FFRF wishes to erect this display on the courthouse lawn in order to highlight what it believes to be the paramount importance of the Bill of Rights and to otherwise express itself,” the lawsuit reads.
“Additionally, FFRF is aware that it has members who reside in the county and also has members that visit the county. It would also like to erect its display to support these persons and to make sure that their secular beliefs are adequately represented.”
A group of Satanists are outraged that a county in Washington is hanging a sign in their public hearing room that has the national motto of “In God We Trust.”
The Satanic Temple of Seattle is saying the sign is advocating Christian “tyranny”.
“We see Satan as our symbol of the rebel against tyranny,” said Satanic Temple’s Lillith Starr, who founded the Seattle chapter in late 2014, according to KING 5 News.
The sign was donated to the county by a local non-profit group, so there is no taxpayer dollars going to the sign.
The Satanists are demanding that they be able to place a sign of their own with any message they choose to add. They said most likely the sign would say “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “From the Many, One.”
Clark County’s manager said he doubted the council would welcome such a sign.
A group of Satanists have placed a display on the Michigan State Capitol grounds to mock the placement of nativity scenes in publicly available areas.
The Satanic Temple set up what they call the “Snaketivity Scene” that shows a snake wrapped around a book called “Revolt of the Angels.” The whole thing is wrapped around the Satanic cross.
Satanic Temple spokeswoman Jex Blackmore said her group really doesn’t worship Satan despite the fact they’re called the Satanic Temple.
“Having our government endorse one singular viewpoint or method of celebrating the season is problematic when we have a diverse community of people in Michigan,” she said.
Senator Rick Jones, who was sponsoring the nativity scene on the Capitol grounds, said he representa “the light and not the darkness.”
“They could have put theirs up in July or April or sometime. They didn’t need to put it up in the Christmas season,” Jones said. “That’s OK. We’re going to ignore them. I’m not afraid of the snake people. I’m sure that Jesus Christ is not afraid.”
The Satanic Temple of New York will have a prominent place at the Florida State Capitol building during the Christmas season.
The group will be posting a display for “Festivus”, a fake holiday created on a television sitcom. The display from the group will be a six foot tall stack of beer cans.
The display had been rejected last year by the Florida Department of Management Services as being “grossly offensive.” There was no explanation by the group this year why the display was given approval.
A spokesman for the Satanists said the difference was that this year the group showed up with lawyers.
Christian groups say that these outside groups posting displays are not doing it to wish well to residents during the holiday season.
“This is not a religious endorsement by our state government. It’s freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and we will all be up there,” Pam Olsen of the Florida Prayer Network said. “But are they really putting them up to wish everyone a happy holiday from the atheists and the Satanists, or are they up there to protest baby Jesus?”