Satanic Temple Gets Permission to Put Holiday Display in Florida Capitol | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Satanic Temple Gets Permission to Put Holiday Display in Florida Capitol

After being rebuffed by officials last holiday season, the Satanic Temple has been given the green light to erect its holiday display in the Florida Capitol rotunda this year.

According to the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Florida's Department of Management Services has agreed to allow the temple's display to be put up, reversing its stance from last year, when officials called the display "grossly offensive."

Last year, other groups' displays were allowed to be erected, including a Nativity scene, a Festivus pole made from beer cans, and a spaghetti monster sculpture.

See also: Satanic Temple Not Allowed to Put Holiday Display in Florida Capitol

Undeterred, the temple resubmitted a request to have its display put up this holiday. The group submitted its request in early October to avoid similar confusion as last year.

Last year, the group had also submitted a request with ample time and was even given the OK to go forward.

The temple said it went through the required channels and applied for a five-foot-by-five-foot square of the rotunda to put up its display, which depicted the scene from Isaiah 14:12, which reads: "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!"

But days after getting permission to put up the display, the group received an email from the Department of Management Services saying it was no longer eligible to put it up due to the display being "grossly offensive for the holidays," according to the email.

"I wrote an email asking for clarification," Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves told New Times last year. "Hours later, I called and left a voice-mail. We were perplexed."

The Department of Management Services never returned Greaves' phone calls or emails. Soon after, the deadline for putting up a display had passed and the Satanic Temple's attempts at putting up the display in time for the holidays were unsuccessful.

But this year, with the help from religious liberty watchdog Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Satanic Temple submitted another request.

Americans United sent a letter to Florida officials explaining that another rejection of the temple's display would violate the Satanic Temple's freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and right to equal protection under the law.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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