Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Satanic Temple Temporary Display At Michigan Capitol OK'd As Nativity Scene Plans Falter

Under rules of the Michigan State Capitol Commission (full text), temporary displays, which may not remain over night, may be scheduled on the Capitol grounds.  The Detroit Free Press reports that the Commission has approved a request from the Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple for a display from Dec. 21-23. The display will consist of a snake wrapped around the Satanic cross presenting a book as a holiday gift. John Truscott, a member of the State Capitol Commission, said the Commission could not discriminate in approving applications, but added: "Personally, I think this is absolutely repulsive and I'm very frustrated by it. I don't appreciate a group trying to hijack a Christian holiday."

Meanwhile an already-approved request to place a Nativity Scene on the Capitol grounds is not moving ahead because the out-of-stater who requested it has been unable to find someone to remove the display each evening as required by state rules.  All of this takes place as the Michigan legislature is debating a controversial religious freedom bill. HB 5958, the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, has been approved by the House and is now under consideration by the state Senate.