Satanic Temple display destroyed for mocking Nativity scene
TALLAHASEE, Fla. (Christian Examiner) -- A woman was arrested for damaging a Satanic Temple display in Tallahassee's Capitol Tuesday, according to reports. The diorama, which was rejected in years past for being "grossly offensive," depicts an angel falling into a pit of hellish flames and the words "Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told WCTV that the display had been damaged, but they did not release the name of the woman or the charges filed against her.
The diorama was erected Monday by Satanist John Porgal, who wanted a nativity scene in the Capitol lobby removed. State officials denied him the past two years, but when he contacted Washington, D.C. organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State and threatened to sue, his request was granted.
"We would actually prefer that none of this was here, that we wouldn't have to go through this every year," Porgal told the Orlando Sentinel. "If that nativity scene never came in here in the first place, we would not have done this."
However, Pam Olsen, a prayer leader at her church, said that the Satanists' diorama is hardly a religious display. Unlike the scene of Jesus birth, which is well known and used for thousands of years, the death of an angel is meant to mock Christianity.
"Do they use that display to say happy holidays to all the members of the Satanic Temple all over the place for their holiday celebrations?" she said. "Do they show it at their temple or their services or whatever they do or in their homes? Do they have that display in their homes up on their fireplace? 'Cause I have the nativity in mine, and so do millions of Christians around the world."
She has since changed the nativity scene to a painting of Jesus birth.
Others have used Porgal and the Satanists' tactics. Chaz Stevens, a political activist, erected a 6-foot pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans in celebration of fake Seinfeld holiday Festivus. Other atheists put up a display from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.