Florida Rejects Satanic Temple Holiday Display

Here’s an interesting one: one of the things I and many others have noted is that the Constitution does not restrict religion in Government nor on Government property. The 1st Amendment simply stops government from creating a national religion, along with stopping Los Federales from stopping the free practice of religion. But, we’re heading to Florida

(Tallahassee.com) 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.”

One thing I and others have noted is that if a Christian display is allowed, displays from other religions should be allowed, if they want. To go with a Nativity scene at the Fla. Capital, you have one featuring the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Another for Festivus. And, of course, several from atheist groups. Because they can’t help being jerks at Christmas-time. But, Florida was waiting for a photo from the Satanic group before they would approve or deny the display. Once they saw it, they said “no!”

It even features a Bible verse from Luke: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

So, here’s the tough question: should the display, despite being “grossly offensive”, be included? In the header of my blog I have the quote “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” This would apply to expressing religion. But, here’s an interesting thing from the Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 3

Religious freedom.–There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

First, that clause in bold allows for the Satanic Temple display to be rejected. Second, that is an extremely dangerous phrase when it comes to any religion. What if someone is offended by having to view crosses at public churches, and sues under that phrase? I could think of many ways that phrase could be abused. Fortunately, most people who would abuse it, primarily people on the political Left, never actually read any of the Constitutions/Bills Of Rights for the US and the States.

So, Friday question: should the display be allowed?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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