Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Satanic Temple Now Two for Two

The Satanic Temple's proposal for a holiday display at the state capital was recently approved in Florida, but the group is not stopping there. This week, their proposal for a holiday display in Michigan was also accepted. Michigan has yet to approve a proposal for a nativity scene, so if things remain as they are now the state capital may find itself with a Satanic display but no corresponding Christian one.

Michigan considered a nativity scene for the state capitol this holiday season. Instead, they got the snake from the Garden of Eden sitting in front of a pentagram, offering a book representing “knowledge” as a gift.

A local chapter of the Satanic Temple — a group best known for testing the limits of the intersection of free speech and religious expression, and not for actually worshiping Satan — announced this week that its proposal for a small holiday display was approved by the state. It’s the second such display from a local chapter of the group to gain approval this year.

I expect it's unlikely that no Michigan Christian group will submit a proposal for a nativity scene, but if they don't I'm of the opinion that this is exactly how the whole holiday display process should work. Any religious group that applies with a reasonable proposal should be able to put up a display, with "reasonable" having no relation to the religion practiced by the group. As with many things in life, sometimes what matters is showing up.

As activists for the separation of church and state, The Satanic Temple is continuing to do a great job. As I see it, it's a lot more interesting to watch the interplay of these competing displays than it is to be met with the same old thing every year.

UPDATE: As I expected, a Michigan Christian group has stepped up and will be putting up a nativity scene tomorrow morning. The Satanic Temple's display will join it on Sunday.

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