Florida denies ‘grossly offensive’ Satanists a spot at the State Capitol building
A Satanic display will not be joining a Festivus pole made from beer cans, an office desk chair representing the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a nativity scene at the Florida State Capitol building.
The Florida Department of Management Services on Wednesday rejected an application to give floor space at the Capitol building to the New York-based Satanic Temple.
“The department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season,” DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt told the group.
“We are at a loss to find what exactly is offensive about our display,” Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple, told Raw Story. “For a display to qualify as ‘grossly offensive’ the offending elements should have the quality of being readily obvious to most disinterested viewers. This is not the case.”
The 5-foot-by-5-foot poster the Satanists hoped to display showed an angel falling into hell along with a message reading, “Happy holidays from the Satanic Temple.”
The Satanic Temple is now considering its legal options as it awaits clarification from Florida officials.
“We would like to get further clarification from the DMS regarding what exactly is offensive, and see if we can’t work with them to come to some type of agreement,” Greaves told Raw Story. “It seems unthinkable that the DMS should be presuming negative value judgements upon our very religion itself, engaging in blatant viewpoint discrimination, so we must assume that there is something tangible about the content of the display that is demonstrably astray from established community standards.”
The Satanic Temple has recently made headlines for seeking to have a monument erected at the Oklahoma Statehouse.
The group has also staged two same-sex marriages at the grave of the mother of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps.
“The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people,” the group on its website. “In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice. As Satanists we all should be guided by our conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by our individual wills. We believe that this is the hope of all mankind and the highest aspiration of humanity.”
[Stock Photo: Low Key Portrait Of Evil. Dark Portrait Of Devil Looking Man With Horns” on Shutterstock]