The Michigan State Capitol Commission, at the behest of members of the state legislature, recently decided to allow a nativity scene to go up on the ground of the capitol building, though it hasn’t happened yet because the law hasn’t been changed to allow permanent displays. But the Satanic Temple is going to put one up that meets the current standards.
Plans for a Christian nativity scene at the Michigan Capitol are on hold, but “The Satanic Temple” is moving forward with its own holiday display that was originally planned in response.
The group, which describes itself as a collective of “Satanists, secularists and advocates for individual liberty,” has received permission to put up a display on the north Capitol lawn from December 21 to 23.
“We would prefer that no religious iconography was displayed on Capitol grounds or on state grounds for that matter,” said Jex Blackmore, founder and head of the Detroit chapter. “But if there was going to be a singular voice represented, we felt it was best to add to that representation of diversity here in Michigan.”
John Truscott, a member of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, confirmed that The Satanic Temple has been granted approval for the temporary outdoor display. It will be limited to 3-feet by 3-feet in size and must be removed each evening because of a pre-existing ban on overnight displays.
“We are restricted by the Constitution and bound by the Constitution to recognize their First Amendment rights,” said Truscott. “We don’t have the ability to reject them if they meet the guidelines of the Capitol.”
Truscott said he thinks it’s “absolutely disgusting” that they would put up the display, but knows he can’t stop it. There’s an easy fix to that, John: No displays at all. Let people put up all the displays they want at their churches or their homes and leave the government out of it.