A new Satanic holiday display inside the state capitol building of Illinois has sparked protests from a Catholic group, who argues that such installations should not be allowed in the capitol building or any public space.
The display, which was placed inside the capitol's rotunda on Monday, portrays the deity Baphomet laying in a make-shift crib as an infant, an image similar to the birth of Christ. According to members of the Satanic Temple of Illinois, the piece is "a display of positive values," such as plurality, unity, compassion, and empathy.
"The Capitol welcomes a diverse range of religions every year to display holiday statues during the holiday season, so we wanted to join in on that," Satanic Temple of Illinois Minister Adam said.
The display was loaned from the Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts.
Monday's installation comes after the Springfield Diocese installed a traditional Nativity scene inside the rotunda on Nov. 30.
The Satanic display has incited protests from the Catholic group "American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property." Members of the group have gathered at the capitol holding banners that read, "Satan has no rights" and "Mary crushes the serpent."
Meanwhile, Bishop Thomas Paprocki argued that Satanic displays have no place in the capitol or anywhere.
According to News Channel 20, the Satanic Temple of Illinois invited Paprocki to participate in the statue's installation. He did not show up.
Inside the rotunda lies a sign from the state of Illinois about the placement of displays.
"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. Because the first floor of the Capitol rotunda is a public place, state officials cannot legally censor the content of speech or displays," the sign reads.
"The United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may legally impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions regarding displays and speech, but no regulation can be based on the content of the speech."
Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Edalin
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.