The Satanic Temple likes to stir the pot. They often challenge the role of religion in government by asking for the same rights and consideration of other religions that are allowed to display themselves without being challenged. Mostly Christianity, which is given a pretty prominent place in many state buildings around Christmas time. To push back on that, the Satanic temple has campaigned to have their winter display put into the Illinois State Capitol building, and they’ve been successful two years in a row.
The display, which is officially called Snaketivity, shows a woman’s hand offering and apple with a snake wrapped around it, and it reads, “Knowledge is the Greatest Gift.”
Artists: Holiday Gerry and Rosa PosaPosted by The Satanic Temple - Chicago Chapter on Monday, December 3, 2018
The Friendly Atheist reports that the Illinois chapter of the Satanic Temple has said that the statue is meant to promote “The Satanic Temple’s values of advocating knowledge and rationality over superstition, ignorance, and dogma.” It was created by artists Holiday Gerry and Rosa Posa.
Most people don’t seem particularly offended by the addition, but in 2018, Senator Paul Schimpf wrote a letter to the Secretary of State’s office, saying the display should not be protected under the constitution, despite its guarantee of freedom of religion.
“The Satanic display should not have been approved,” he wrote. “It does not celebrate or recognize the observance of a religious holiday. Instead, the display seeks to provoke and antagonize members of the Christian and Jewish faiths. As such, you would have been well within your discretion to deny that display request.”
I've had a lot of questions about the satanic sculpture at the Capitol. Here's a letter I delivered to the Secretary of...Posted by Senator Paul Schimpf on Friday, December 7, 2018
And yet, it is risen again:
The Satanic Temple - Chicago Chapter Holiday Display Returns to the Illinois State Capitol: https://mailchi.mp/3ddd34b4aaf0/knowledgeisthegreatestgiftPosted by The Satanic Temple - Chicago Chapter on Sunday, December 1, 2019
In their press release, the Chicago chapter of the Satanic Temple wrote, “Chicago appreciates this Constitutionally-protected opportunity to contribute its perspective to the numerous religious viewpoints on display in the capitol during the winter holiday season. The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious organization determined to halt the dangerous encroachment of theocracy into American government.”
The display is there to be visited until December 28th, which is probably less time than the pagan evergreen tree will be up.