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Satanic Temple holiday display denied, 'grossly offensive'

9:30 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
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The Satanic Temple will not be placing its holiday display in the Florida Capitol.

The group's application was declined by the Department of Management Services due to its "grossly offensive" nature.

In an email Wednesday afternoon, DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt denied Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves the inclusion of a kiosk adorned with an angel falling into a pit of flames and the words "Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple" because "The Department's position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season."

The display also has a bible verse, Luke 10:18, which reads "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."

The group applied Dec. 10 to include their display in the Capitol rotunda, which is now home to six displays from various groups, but was stalled when it failed to submit a required photo of what their exhibit would be. Once the picture was submitted, the display was denied.

Monday, a display from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster joined a Nativity Scene, a Festivus pole, signs from various atheist groups and one from the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

In its initial application, the Satanic Temple described its exhibit as a 5-foot by 5-foot poster "of religious symbols and images that adhere to community standards... to contribute to the plurality of the community by representing the spirit of good will from other faiths."

The saga of inclusion from the multitude of groups was sparked by the placement of the Nativity scene by the Florida Nativity Scene Committee in early December and has started a debate over the separation of church and state and an all-or-nothing spirit of religious expression in public spaces.

Tallahassee Democrat

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