Satanist in Florida say that they will file a lawsuit this week to force officials to allow a religious display alongside traditional Christmas nativity scenes in the Florida Capitol.
Last year, Florida’s Department of Management Services rejected a request from the Satanic Temple for a display showing an angel falling into a pit of hell, saying that it was “grossly offensive during the holiday season.” The display would have stood alongside the Christian nativity scene.
“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,'” Americans United for Separation of Church and State legal counsel noted in a letter to state officials in October. “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.”
Management Services has allowed nativity scenes, and even a Festivus pole made of beer cans in previous years. The official state rules do not mention that holiday displays must not be “grossly offensive.”
And according to Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling means that officials will have a tough time arguing that Satanists are trying to offend Christians.
“In the recent Hobby Lobby case, the court considered the claims of Christians who said they believed that IUDs cause abortions, even though they emphatically do not,” Stern explained. “The court’s five conservatives refused to even consider the plaintiffs’ sincerity, simply taking it on faith that their protestations were genuine.”
“With Hobby Lobby, the court may have inadvertently stripped itself of the ability to question plaintiffs’ beliefs whatsoever—unless the justices want to flagrantly favor Christian plaintiffs.”
According to WUSF, the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State will argue in its lawsuit later this week that the state is violating the constitutional rights of Satanists.
In total, five groups have applied to erect displays in the Capitol during the holiday season, including two nativity scenes.
Watch the video below from KTNV, broadcast in Dec. 2013.
Video catches woman in Central Park falsely reporting ‘an African-American man threatening my life’
A video circulated on social media on Monday showed a woman in Central Park falsely claiming that an "African-American man" threatened her life.
The incident was said to occur between a man and a white woman over the Memorial Day weekend. Cell phone video shared on Twitter revealed a verbal confrontation as the woman was exercising her dog without a leash.
After the man asked the woman to put her dog on a leash, he took out his phone to film her.
"Please stop," the woman says. "Sir, I'm asking you to stop recording me."
"Please don't come close to me," the man replies.
Trump is ‘losing it’ and ‘devolving down into rabbit holes of conspiracy theories’: Conservative TV host
On Monday, conservative CNN talk show host S. E. Cupp slammed President Donald Trump for his behavior amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think no matter who the president is, there's always going to be someone criticizing the response to a disaster," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "But something that has been true since the beginning of this is that the president really had a real opportunity, handed one, to unify people, to lead, to set a tone, and he's really squandering it, isn't he?"
"I think we should say, Brianna, this has long gone past offensive, and distasteful. I think what we're seeing is the president losing it," said Cupp. "I don't think that the president's behavior is that of a healthy, stable, balanced person. That he can't focus all of his energy and efforts and attention on this global pandemic, on securing the physical and economic safety and health of this country, is very alarming. Instead, devolving down these rabbit holes of conspiracy theories, baseless conspiracy theories as you pointed out, attacking women for their looks and their weight, you know, threatening governors, one in Michigan for mail-in voting, another in North Carolina for not guaranteeing a full house at the RNC."
Trump ally: It’s ‘unrealistic’ to say president shouldn’t golf just because people are dying of COVID-19
On CNN Monday, former Trump adviser and Republican lobbyist David Urban defended President Donald Trump's decision to take a golf outing as coronavirus deaths approached 100,000.
"Every death is horrible," Urban said. However, "people die in America every day, and just to expect the president to sit frozen in his office is unrealistic."
The US approaches 100,000 coronavirus deaths, while this weekend President Trump played golf.
Close Trump confidante @DavidJUrban says “every death is horrible," but "people die in America every day, and just to expect the president to sit frozen in his office is unrealistic.” pic.twitter.com/rYnVaUD0Tc