December 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Satanic Temple display now sits alongside a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene in the Illinois Statehouse as part of what was supposed to be Christmas-themed decorations.
The black-colored statue from the Satanists depicts a hand clutching an apple with a serpent wrapped around the forearm. A red glow lights the figure from below.
The so-called holiday monument is titled “Snaketivity” and was created by The Satanic Temple — Chicago Chapter. A plaque on the base of the statue reads, “Knowledge is the greatest gift.” The sculpture appears to celebrate the fall of mankind, as Adam and Eve succumbed to the serpent’s temptation to eat of the fruit forbidden by God.
“We see Satan as a hero in that story, of course, spreading knowledge,” said Lex Manticore, a spokesman for the group behind the display. Manticore confirmed to The State Journal-Register that the statue does indeed represent the story from Genesis where Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.
Manticore explained that his group––which consists of just 150 people, some of whom do not live in Illinois––doesn’t actually believe in “anything supernatural.”
“Not only do we not worship a literal Satan, but we don’t believe one actually exists,” added Manticore. “Satan for us is a metaphor … Throughout literary history, (it’s) been used as a character that represents rebellion in the face of religious tyranny.”
Whether they believe in him or not, they devote their time and energy promoting the prince of darkness and the father of lies.
A short video provided by The Satanic Temple commemorating their display in the Illinois Capitol offers a very anti-Christmas-like wish: “Satan’s Greetings from the Satanic Temple – Chicago.
According to a recent report on Vice, The Satanic Temple is “not a group of devil worshipers, but liberal political activists who oppose the increasing influence of the religious right in American politics.”
“They harness the power of satanic imagery and symbolism in dramatic public demonstrations to draw attention to their left wing causes,” continued the Vice report.
“We are literally on the front lines in the war against encroaching theocracy,” said cofounder Lucien Greaves.
As such, Christianity is viewed as an enemy, forever in their crosshairs politically.
The Satanic Temple is the same group behind the giant statue of Satan (Baphomet) displayed at the Arkansas state capitol building earlier this year to protest a Ten Commandments monument installed on the Capitol grounds.
The statue, which depicts children gazing adoringly at Baphomet, a half-man, half goat creature representing the devil, had previously been deployed to the Oklahoma Statehouse in a similar protest to the presence of a Ten Commandments monument.
In its online mission statement, The Satanic Temple says it seeks to “reject tyrannical authority” and “be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will.”
“Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple” continues the statement, have “ provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women's reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs along side other religious after school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.”
The Illinois State’s Attorney’s office affirmed that the Satanic group has a right to have its statue displayed alongside Christmas displays.
“Under the Constitution, the First Amendment, people have a right to express their feelings, their thoughts,” said Dave Druker, spokesman for the secretary of state. “This recognizes that.”
“Yes, Illinois, there is a Satan,” chuckled the New York Times. “If you’re looking for him, just check near the Christmas tree and the menorah in the state Capitol.”
“If it is true, as the saying goes, that the Devil is a liar,” continued the Times, “he also has the good fortune to have attracted followers with a keen understanding of both the Constitution and the outrage-driven internet news cycle.”
“In the Satanic Temple's holiday sculpture at the Illinois Capitol, Eve entices visitors with the fruit of knowledge,” tweeted American Atheists. “How do you like them apples?”
In the Satanic Temple's holiday sculpture at the Illinois Capitol, Eve entices visitors with the fruit of knowledge. How do you like them apples? https://t.co/atROLbKkms
— American Atheists (@AmericanAtheist) December 6, 2018
Perhaps Illinois Family Action which declared, “Make no mistake, this is a monument to evil next to a depiction of the most holy of nights,” has had the last word on Twitter:
“Satanic Temple monument was added to the Illinois Capitol rotunda displays. They fail to realize that the little baby in the manger has CRUSHED Satan's head and the gates of hell will NOT prevail.”
Satanic Temple monument was added to the #Illinois Capitol rotunda displays. They fail to realize that the little baby in the manger has CRUSHED Satan's head and the gates of hell will NOT prevail. https://t.co/xYXEKeRPus #ILRight #ccot
— IL Family Action (@ILfamilyaction) December 4, 2018