When it comes to the holiday season, it’s not uncommon for First Amendment battles to run rampant, but the so-called War on Christmas is taking yet another turn.
While atheist activists have successfully advocated in recent years that they be given equal space on public property to display secular holiday messages, it seems some satanists are pushing for the same.
The Satanic Temple, a New York-based activist organization that has repeatedly landed itself in the headlines over the past year, is once again vying for space to advertise its own Satan-themed holiday message in Florida’s state capitol.
The organization, which does not believe the devil to be real and instead “advocates for religious tolerance and pluralism,” is once again petitioning the state capitol in Florida to allow its display that features the devil descending into hell, the Christian Post reported.
Accompanying the imagery of Lucifer’s fall is a message that reads, “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.”
This scene — deemed offensive by some — was rejected for inclusion last year in the annual holiday display inside the capitol, who has designated an area as a public forum.
Those familiar with the Bible will recognize that the scene is described in Isaiah 14:12, which reads, “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”
Luke 10:18 also references Lucifer’s fall from heaven: “He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'”
The Satanic Temple was given a boost in its effort to have the display placed in the capitol Wednesday when Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a church-state separatist group, wrote a letter to the Florida Department of Management Services claiming that the government has a responsibility under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to permit the display.
“The Department may not, as it did last year, reject the Satanic Temple’s display — even if the Department finds the display to be ‘offensive,'” the letter reads. “A rejection of the proposed display would violate the Free Speech Clause, Establishment Clause, and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The department had reportedly responded to a December 2013 attempt to place the display near a nativity inside the capitol by noting that The Satanic Temple’s holiday imagery was “grossly offensive.”
“The department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season,” Sherrie K. Routt, administrative assistant at Florida Department of Management Services, wrote at the time, according to the Post.
It’s currently unclear what Florida officials will decide.
As TheBlaze previously reported, The Satanic Temple recently announced that it will be joining a national atheist group in handing out controversial literature to public school students in Orange County, Florida.
The group also cited Hobby Lobby in a recent attempt to exempt female followers from abortion laws that they view as a violation of their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” launching a campaign to advance the pro-choice cause.
(H/T: Christian Post)