Satanic Temple Erects Monument In Illinois State Capitol

The Satanic Temple has been making a name for itself in recent years by sponsoring displays and events in opposition to religious expressions in public places.

Most recently, the group placed a monument of sorts alongside holiday displays by Christian and Jewish groups inside the Illinois State Capitol building. According to local reports, the Satanic Temple titled its exhibit the “Serpent of Genesis” and included a 12-foot snake surrounding a copy of the book “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium” by astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

As a representative of the temple explained, the book was chosen because of its assertion that the Earth orbits the sun, which made it one of the “most controversial books of its time.”

Four years ago, the Satanic Temple included a display at the same location beside a Christmas tree and Menorah, which prompted backlash from local leaders. While some officials called for its removal, the state cited the U.S. Constitution in determining that it could not discriminate against the contents of a particular exhibit.

“The State of Illinois is required by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to allow temporary, public display in the state capitol so long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars,” read a sign at the rotunda.

Illinois Secretary of State spokesperson Henry Haupt said at the time that the temple had completed all necessary paperwork to secure a spot for its display.

In response to the most recent criticism, a Satanic Temple “minister” acknowledged that detractors have the right to be offended, adding: “But we have every right to be here, and we’re not going to sanitize that message because someone else is offended by that.”

The organization has sponsored similar displays at other public places across the country and has also made headlines for its efforts to initiate an “After School Satan Club” at various U.S. schools.

A chapter in Virginia recently resubmitted an application to establish such a club at a Chesapeake-area school, angering many local parents in the process. Aspen Nolette, who founded the group Chesapeake Parents for Freedom, said this is just one more issue for concerned parents to consider when sending their kids off to school.

In addition to “boys attempting to go into girls’ bathrooms” and “pornographic books and graphic novels in our schools,” Nolette said: “And now you’ve got After School Satan Clubs. From what I’ve seen, and I’ve been involved in this for a couple of years, parents are at their wits’ end. The Satan clubs seem to be where they drew the line.”