Satanists Get Display at Florida Capitol. Cue the Outrage.

After a two year fight, the Satanic Temple — really just a group of atheists with a flair for the dramatic — will be allowed to put up a holiday display at the Florida state capitol in Tallahassee (limited public forum, for the win). The same display was rejected last year because the state deemed it “grossly offensive.”

Florida’s Department of Management Services had reportedly responded to a December 2013 attempt to place the display near a nativity inside the capitol by noting that The Satanic Temple’s holiday imagery was “grossly offensive.”

“The department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season,” Sherrie K. Routt, administrative assistant at Florida Department of Management Services, wrote at the time, according to the Christian Post.

The display shows an angel falling from heaven into hell, which is pretty much exactly what the Bible says happened. I guess it’s only “grossly offensive” when the “wrong side” does it. And while we’re on the subject of being grossly offensive, what exactly does the devil do in the Bible that makes him so offensive? Not much. Allegedly tricks Eve into gaining knowledge, which I think makes him the hero of that story. Does Satan order mass genocide in the Bible? Nope, that’s God. Does Satan command that women who aren’t virgins on their wedding day be stoned to death? Nope, God again. God is a lot more offensive than the devil if we are to believe the Bible.

The comments at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze are hilariously overwrought and clueless.

I find this whole thing intriguing! Most people will find the satanist display offensive. So if it is wrong to most everyone – why is that? Is the opposite (Christian tradition) right? Is this a battle of “religions” or a battle of good/evil, right/wrong?

This is where Liberterians get it wrong. There is a “right way.” It’s not “any way is okay.”

This country *was* founded on principles inspired by all that is good. That Way comes from the Man who changed humanity and our measurement of time: Christ the Lord.

So do we want everyone, including satanists, celebrating their beliefs? The answer is absolutely not. There is an order to things; a time and place for things; and a proper way of doing things. People wish to deny that these ways were demonstrated by Jesus…

He is the Alpha and Omega. Since He started Christmas, and it really was never about any iconographic imagery about Him but rather HIM, He will also finish this work. The Omega will come and destroy much more than petty mockery. Satan and his followers days are numbered…

You should be able to urinate on it if you want…

First of all, Satan has nothing to do with the celebration of Christmas–that’s right–CHRISTMAS, not THE HOLIDAYS. Secondly, it is an insult to Jesus Christ and to those who celebrate His birth. Are you all idiots? What makes you think you owe “equal time” to satanists who believe in human sacrifice among other wicked things? Jesus stays; Satan out!…

What sane Florida legislator would allow this is beyond me? This is an example of a person with no backbone. Is this now the standard? Let any foolish attempt at freedom of religion to mock us all? God help us…

When Satanists, Buddhists, atheists or whoever can prove that the country was based on their beliefs, they can have equal space. They have the freedom to believe what they will, but they do not have a right to equal time or a free platform to spread their views. Christians should sue the state for permitting such displays…

I pray the Lord comes soon and puts an end to this madness. Who thought it was a good idea to cater to evil? Really? These people are not religious they are using a belief system to commit crimes and immoralities. I really don’t think their behavior was what the founders had in mind when they said freedom of speech and religion. They are abusing a loophole.

It goes on like that for hundreds of comments.

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  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    You’ve got the whole Job story, too. Yes, Satan persecuted Job but who said “Sounds like a good idea to me, go right ahead”?

    My new theological hypothesis: Satan was the good deity who lost out to the evil one in an internal political battle. Since the winner gets to write the history, God paints himself as benevolent and good, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  • raven

    The display shows an angel falling from heaven into hell, which is pretty much exactly what the Bible says happened.

    ??? Not that I know of. There was no war in heaven in the bible. There is one in Revelation. It hasn’t happened yet according to most xians.

    They got that from Milton who retconned it from Revelation and wrote a story. Most of what xians believe isn’t in the bible. It’s just something they make up and retcon any way they can.

  • Alverant

    Personally I think those nativity displays, celebrating the rape of a pre-teen, are more offensive than the Satanists displays. But then christians think they are the sole deciders of what’s offensive.

  • raven

    Well, I’ve seen worse atheist Xmas/Holiday displays. They are often just a placard with something along the lines of, Your god is nowhere and does nothing because he doesn’t exist.

    Which is true but not very holidayish or seasonal. Really, it looks like being an atheist destroys people’s artistic abilities and creativity.

    There have been a few. The Tree of Knowledge with books like Principia, Darwin, and scientific instruments was good. A little thought could come up with many more. As a Pagan, i want a display of Thor and the other Aesir gods battling the Frost Giants to drive winter back to Helheim and bring spring.

    PS Start the clock!!! Nonxian holiday displays usually get vandalized. In the first few hours. And keep your backups ready.

  • raven

    Nativity displays are trite and clichey. Boring. Seen one plastic sheep you’ve seen them all.

    I’ve always wanted an all dinosaur Nativity scene. Everyone, especially kids loves dinosaurs.

    They make commercially available all cat and all Zombie ones. The Zombie Nativity scenes have never seemed too seasonal to me though.

  • captainoblivious

    The comments on the cbslocal website linked on Drudge are hilarious as well. Atheists are having fun in there. You all should go play. make it a proper feeding frenzy!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about. A Satanist holiday display inside the state capitol easily the least crazy thing about Florida.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Seen one plastic sheep you’ve seen them all

    Hey, the shepherds “watched” their flocks by night.

  • Steve Morrison

    Actually, the Bible doesn’t say that Satan tempted Eve in the Garden; it says that the serpent did. The belief that the “serpent” was really the devil in disguise is a much later interpretation.

  • raven

    Actually, the Bible doesn’t say that Satan tempted Eve in the Garden; it says that the serpent did.

    True. Satan hadn’t been invented when someone wrote Genesis.

    After they got kicked out, the snake, who was just a “beast of the fields” lost its legs and met a nice girl snake and they went off to make babies.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    raven @ # 2: Not that I know of.

    The linked story cites Biblical references:

    … the scene is described in Isaiah 14:12, which reads, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”

    Luke 10:18 also references Lucifer’s fall from heaven: “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”

    The link also includes a picture, showing the display (a wonderfully cheesy work of art) quotes Isaiah. It doesn’t show the face of the fallen angel in much detail, but apparently it has too much hair to be a recognizable depiction of Gov. Scott Voldemort.

  • raven

    the scene is described in Isaiah 14:12, which reads, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”

    1. Where is the war here? It talks about just one being, the morning star.

    2. FWIW, a lot of scholars seem sure that this was a mistranslation. The morning star is supposed to refer to a Babylonian king who lost a war. I’ll see if I can find the reference.

  • tbrandt

    The whole story is about the King of Babylon. You don’t even have to do any guesswork or interpretation. Isaiah 14:4 (KJV here) introduces the proverb which includes the line about Lucifer:

    That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!

    It’s about the comeuppance of the king who destroyed Israel and drove its elite into exile, and about the promised return of the Israelite elite to Jerusalem.

  • raven

    http: //listverse. com/2014/11/04/10-things-everyone-gets-wrong-about-satan/

    8 Lucifer Isn’t Another Name For Satan

    Anyone who’s been to Sunday School knows the story: Satan was originally an angel named Lucifer who turned on God and was cast down from Heaven. The thing is, that story is nowhere in the Bible. The one time Lucifer is mentioned is from a relatively new translation, and it’s also a misinterpretation.

    The only occurrence of the name Lucifer in the Bible is in Isaiah 14:12, in this verse: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Seems pretty straightforward, but it turns out that it’s another case of misinterpretation and mistranslation. If you go back to the original Hebrew text, you find a story not about a fallen angel, but about a Babylonian king who figuratively fell from his throne when he began persecuting the Israelites.

    By the time the book was translated by Christian writers, the king became an angel. The name Lucifer comes in when the king’s name, Helal, gets translated. Helal means “day star” or “son of the dawn.” The Romans found a word close in meaning. Lucifer is the Roman name for the planet we call Venus, which is often the first visible celestial body to appear near dawn. The name didn’t have anything to do with the appearance of a Satan-like figure until much later, when its imagery was cemented with a fourth-century translation of the text by Jerome.

    Listverse is as good a theological source as any. LOL.

  • Michael Heath

    A Christian quoted above:

    This country *was* founded on principles inspired by all that is good. That Way comes from the Man who changed humanity and our measurement of time: Christ the Lord.

    What we unbelievers continually fail to appreciate is the powerful magic spell of a Christian miscapitalizing a word.

  • Michael Heath

    A wingnut writes above:

    First of all, Satan has nothing to do with the celebration of Christmas–that’s right–CHRISTMAS, not THE HOLIDAYS. Secondly, it is an insult to Jesus Christ and to those who celebrate His birth. Are you all idiots? What makes you think you owe “equal time” to satanists who believe in human sacrifice among other wicked things? Jesus stays; Satan out!…

    Bill O’Reilly be trollin’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    A semi-comment on Raven @ 14:

    Modern day xians miss out on a really fascinating topic of study when they eschew the history of the Bible in favor of an allegedly literal interpretation.

    What prompted the creation of the Book of John (to take just one example) truly is much more interesting than what John has to say. This, of course, is anathema to fundagelical, as is the history of the early Christian sects. And, while the texts of the babble have no provenance, the history is convincingly documented.

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” Johnathan Swift

  • raven

    and our measurement of time: Christ the Lord.

    Not really. We use CE and BCE these days. Common Era and Before Common Era.

    IIRC, it was the Babylonians who introduced our time measurements. Seconds, minutes, hours using a base 60 numbering system they got from the Sumerians.

    I’m a huge fan of the Aesir Pagan gods from which we got the days of the week. Today is Freya’s or Frigga’s day. The Roman gods have most months.

  • Sastra

    First of all, Satan has nothing to do with the celebration of Christmas–that’s right–CHRISTMAS, not THE HOLIDAYS. Secondly, it is an insult to Jesus Christ and to those who celebrate His birth.

    But Bill, a lot of people celebrate Christmas without celebrating, believing in, or caring about Jesus’ birth. It’s a holiday for EVERYBODY — remember? That’s why you wanted all the nonchristians in the government and schools and cities and stores to put up trees and garland and shout out and wish each other a hearty “Merry Christmas,” instead of keeping the sacred rituals and beliefs private and obscure and confined to the churches and homes of the pious. Right?

    Oh, I really, really hope American Atheist continues with and steps up their new approach, their happy, positive “You Don’t Need Christ in Christmas” campaign — and that all the other freethought groups join in with the wonderful things Christmas means to them. Christmas for everybody! It’s secular (but you can add in a silly religious meaning if you want.)

    That is my Christmas wish.

  • Randomfactor

    “Sounds like a good idea to me, go right ahead”?

    And when asked about it later, says “who the fuck are YOU to ask me why I’m hurting you?”

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    ArtK @ 1: That’s pretty much the whole premise behind Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series. Actually a pretty decent read, and worth the 7 (8 now, according to his website) books to get to the last one.

  • John Pieret

    From a much more reliable source than the Bible:

    Poor ignorant things, the command to refrain had meant nothing to them, they were but children, and could not understand untried things and verbal abstractions which stood for matters outside of their little world and their narrow experience. Eve reached for an apple! — oh, farewell, Eden …

    It was pitiful. She was like one who wakens slow and confusedly out of a sleep. She gazed half-vacantly at me, then at Adam, holding her curtaining fleece of golden hair back with her hand, then her wandering glance fell upon her naked person. The red blood mounted to her cheek, and she sprang behind a bush and stood there crying, and saying —

    “Oh, my modesty is lost to me – my unoffending form is become a shame to me — my mind was pure and clean; for the first time it is soiled with a filthy thought!” She moaned and muttered in her pain, and drooped her head, saying, “I am degraded — I have fallen, oh so low, and I shall never rise again.”

    Adam’s eyes were fixed upon her in a dreamy amazement, he could not understand what had happened, it being outside his world as yet, and her words having no meaning for one void of the Moral Sense. And now his wonder grew: for, unknown to Eve, her hundred years rose upon her, and faded the heaven of her eyes and the tints of her young flesh, and touched her hair with gray, and traced faint sprays of wrinkles about her mouth and eyes, and shrunk her form, and dulled the satin lustre of her skin.

    All this the fair boy saw: then loyally and bravely he took the apple and tasted it, saying nothing.

    The change came upon him also. Then he gathered boughs for both and clothed their nakedness, and they turned and went their way, hand in hand and bent with age, and so passed from sight.

    – Mark Twain, “Passage From Satan’s Diary,”

  • grumpyoldfart

    When you look at the nativity scenes you will always see wise men visiting Jesus in a stable, which is strange because nowhere in the biblical story of the nativity is there any mention of a stable. In fact the only place specifically mentioned is an house.

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

  • moarscienceplz

    grumpyoldfart #23

    Was Jesus born in a house or a manger?

    It’s true that a stable is not mentioned. Some people who lived in very cold climates did keep their farm animals inside their homes, so the manger reference doesn’t absolutely disprove that a house rather than a stable was the scene.

  • bushrat

    This country *was* founded on principles inspired by all that is good. That Way comes from the Man who changed humanity and our measurement of time:

    I’m glad he clear up that he was talking about Jesus, because I was confused as to whether he was talking about Buddha, Pope Gregory the 13th, Montezuma, Sir Sandford Fleming, Emperor , Julius Caesar etc.

  • Synfandel

    That Way comes from the Man who changed humanity and our measurement of time: Christ the Lord.

    So THAT’s who did it! Damned daylight saving time! Fiddling with the way we measure time just so he can drink beer longer into the summer evenings. Who’s he think he is…God?

  • anubisprime

    satanists who believe in human sacrifice among other wicked things?

    “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-18)

    And…

    “I will hand you over to ravaging men, artisans of destruction. You shall be fuel for the fire, your blood shall flow throughout the land. You shall not be remembered, for I, the LORD, have spoken” (Ezekiel 21:33-37 NAB)

    Irony meter just gone got busted …again!

  • felidae

    If you are stupid enough to send Glenn twenty bucks a month to listen to him rant, then its no surprise that you will make stupid comments

  • birgerjohansson

    Raven:

    “I’ve always wanted an all dinosaur Nativity scene. Everyone, especially kids loves dinosaurs.”

    .

    A dinosaur nativity scene would end badly. Have you never seen Eddie Izzard do “Jesus Arrives 65 Million Years Early”?

    (he also did the classic “Death Star Canteen”)

    I would definitely pay $$$ for a zombie nativity scene.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    what exactly does the devil do in the Bible that makes him so offensive?

    He was anti-authoritarian. I always imagine him asking yahweh the question Socrates asked of Euthyphro, and being drummed out of the heavens for being an irredeemable wiseass. Come to think of it, that’s sort of Socratic, too. Maybe Socrates was the devil.

  • jonathangray

    There was no war in heaven in the bible. There is one in Revelation. It hasn’t happened yet according to most xians.

    Stupid cunt.

  • raven

    @29

    [PDF]Download Papercraft Zombie Nativity Set PDF

    zombiechristmas. org/downloads/zombie-christmas-nativity-creche.pdf

    Papercraft Zombie Nativity. This kit includes: … Cut out all parts to remove white background; make slits at red lines for insertion of tabs. • Fold scenery … Display your handsome nativity scene with pride. Get mored cards and zombie goodies.

    There you go. This downloaded one might be free, although I haven’t checked. It’s paper and scissors so might be aimed at children.

    There are others. Some of them are ceramic and not inexpensive.

    Probably the best bet would be to buy Zombie action figures at Walmart or Target and mix and match with a Nativity set. You could throw in some Vampires, Frankenstein, and Star Wars characters as well.