Satanic Temple Snaketivity Sculpture
Satanic Temple spokesman Lex Manticore says the sculpture represents how Satan was the true "hero" of the Genesis story.

Back by popular First Amendment demand, the great gift of satanic knowledge will be shared for the second year running at the Illinois State Capitol rotunda. 

That’s because a controversial 4 1/2-foot-tall sculpture from the Satanic Temple will return to this year to be displayed at the capitol building. The sculpture features the extended forearm of a young woman wrapped in a coiled snake, holding the same forbidden apple Adam and Eve plucked from tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. An accompanying plaque bears the message:

"Knowledge is the Greatest Gift."

Critics Lash Out

Upon the sculpture’s debut last year, Satanic Temple spokesman Lex Manticore explained it was meant to remind us all that Satan was the true "hero" of the Genesis story.

This rubbed religious lawmakers such as Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf the wrong way. Schimpf was apparently so upset that the so-called “Snaketivity” sculpture had been displayed next to the Nativity scene and other traditional holiday decorations, that he personally wrote the secretary of state demanding it be removed.

"The Satanic display should not have been approved. It does not celebrate or recognize the observance of a religious holiday. Instead, the display seeks to provoke and antagonize members of the Christian and Jewish faiths. As such, you would have been well within your discretion to deny that display request," he said.

That request ultimately did not stand up to First Amendment snuff, and the sculpture was allowed to remain.

Rebranding Satanism

It was a proud moment for the Satanic Temple, a group that has sought to downplay tired stereotypes of Satanists as Jesus-hating devil worshippers, preferring to use Satan as more of a metaphor – a historical character that encapsulates the rebellion against religious tyranny.

Under this rebranding effort, the self-described non-theistic organization has fought to end corporal punishment in public schools, challenge anti-abortion laws, and advocate for equal religious representation on public property to ensure the government doesn't end up playing favorites with certain faiths. Hence, 'Snaketivity.'

This latest strategy is part of a larger movement in the U.S. away from exclusive Christian holiday displays and towards the inclusion of multiple belief systems – even atheism.

Happy Christmas Holidays

In fact, a visit to this year's Iowa State Capitol rotunda will reveal a traditional Christmas tree surrounded by a record seven displays from atheist groups. These include messages including 'Joy to the world, reason has come!' and 'Everything Distinctive of Christmas is Pagan or Secular' spelled out in large text on white poster boards.

“These displays represent a wide swath of Iowa," says Justin Scott, the American Atheists’ State Director. "Atheist and humanist, college-aged to the more experienced in life, queer and straight, transgender and/or nonbinary, Iowans of all backgrounds, races and socio-economic status."

Of course, such displays don’t provide quite the same aesthetic qualities found in a lit Menorah or a decorated Christmas tree (not to mention being decidedly more boring than some of the eye-catching Satanic Temple sculptures). Is that reason enough to ask for their removal? Some lawmakers seem to think so.

But atheists argue that the aesthetics aren’t important – it’s the principle that counts. If other groups are allowed to express their beliefs in public spaces, then so should they. Full stop.

Where do you stand? Are you happy to see minority faith groups finally get their messages displayed on government ground, or does giving the green light to anyone who wishes to publicly dunk on religion risk taking the charm out of the holidays?

49 comments

  1. Gail Dobson's Avatar Gail Dobson

    I agree totally, Lionheart. The only thing we are certain about is that the solstice was set as Dec 25th under the Julain calendar, and so was used as "birth date" for numerous created "gods". The solstices and equinoxes have been occurring for billions of years. It's understandable that ancient people created ancient "gods" or "demons" to explain them. What's not understandable to me is why some people still believe these ancient fables.

    1. Daniel W. Dewar's Avatar Daniel W. Dewar

      If you were to read the Bible you would find 66 books written over 1800 years by 40 different authors from Kings, to sheperds to fishermen to tax collectors and so on that from Genesis to Revelation speak of one being and that of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now when I hear of fables and fairy tales I cannot think of Peter in his Epistle stating..... We did not follow cleverly devised stories, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty. Now think about this for a minute, do we really believe that the Disciple's and Apostles such as Paul and Steven would have allowed themselves to go to HORRIBLE deaths from crucifixion to stonings for a FAIRY TALE!! If you chose not to believe, that is your choice, but I would strongly encourage you to rethink your stance on our Lord Jesus Christ, for He was not a FAIRY TALE, but a documented being on this earth.

      1. EC's Avatar EC

        People kill people for “fairy tales” (belief in supernatural beings) all throughout history even until the present day. Yes, I believe some people would willingly sacrifice themselves for fairy tales. True believers can never be swayed from their beliefs, all reason, logic, and proof aside.

        I’m sure I can find you 666 books over 1666 years by 666 authors that say the earth is flat. A glut of writing about nonsense doesn’t make it any less nonsense.

  1. Burma Dene Dugger's Avatar Burma Dene Dugger

    Personally, I do my best in following the teaching of Jesus. It is my belief that each person must follow his own spiritual compass. You don't accept Jesus, your choice. My job is to share my belief with you and allow you to share yours with me. On government property, our Constitution requires that all be allowed to share. If you want freedom from religion, choose no religion. We are all children of the creator, I believe God created me. I hope my life works are sharing love and good works.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Congratulations, Satanists! Go Satan go, you devil you!!!

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    "Minority faith"? It is actually disturbingly wide-spread. Satanism is not a nice practice. A member of Congress has gone on the record stating that there is a large number of satanists in Congress. These people practice child molestation, sacrifice, and other horrific rituals. Jesus and others - the Sikh Gurus, and various saints of various religions have all stated that the Divine is to be found within; one does not have to engage in parasitic practices to "find God". Now, atheists are not the same as satanists. Atheists are purely nihilistic, meaning they do not believe in Spirituality at all. Therefore, since they believe literally in nothing, morally speaking there is nothing for them to say, and so, for them to allowed to "dunk" (actually, "dump" would be a more appropriate word) on religion really does take the charm and joy out of any of the holidays.

    1. Christine's Avatar Christine

      I admire your courage for speaking up. Most people that are 100% wrong about something are too afraid to comment on it let alone do so with such an air of self-ordained authority. That's bold CB.

    2. Adam John Denman's Avatar Adam John Denman

      It's people like you who caused the "Satanic Panic".... The Satanic Temple are nothing like you say. It's actually quite disgusting that you can label all Satanists as Child Molestors etc... I'm sure you wouldn't have to look far to find a Christian who is a Pedophile, shall we label all Christians as child molestors too? Grow up....

      Our fundamental beliefs are: One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own. Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

      There is more than one Tenet listed above that you could do with embracing.

      Ave Satanas.

      1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        @Adam John Denman -

        I submit that on the balance, Christianity did the most good in the more affluent parts of the Western World during the short period when the Protestant Work Ethic was in force--from roughly the last 19th century to the early 20th. It was becoming more progressive and secular, but the rise of Soviet Communism after WWII seemed to have fertilized the return to the tribal hive-mind of fundamentalist dogma.

        That having been said, I have had a debate with one atheist, in which he stridently claimed that having his daughter say the American "Pledge of Allegiance" was indoctrinating and brainwashing her into religion. Apparently, my suggestion of just having her remain silent when others spoke "Under God" was insufficient, as I found it odd that an atheist would find two small words to have such immense magical power to control his young child's mind.

        To address this concern, I would propose that "The Pledge of Allegiance" be rewritten thus, to make it religiously-neutral:

        I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS ONE NATION RICHLY DIVERSE UNITED IN THE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

        The only real threats to a republic such as the United States of America are ignorance and fear. Fundamentalism promotes a tribal mindset which is divisive. It is contrary to national unity and strength. Theocracy is never the answer, because what happens if you don't happen to worship the state-endorsed deity? Plus, allowing human beings to act as proxies with divine sanction will always lead to horrific abuses of power. Just look at the Islamist regimes in the Middle East today for examples.

        Adam - Keep on doing your good work. May you live a long, healthy and joyful life. ~ ULV Minister Robert Szekely

    3. EC's Avatar EC

      “These people practice child molestation, sacrifice, and other horrific rituals”

      Where did you get your facts CB? Weekly World News?

      1. CB's Avatar CB

        No, from various police officers and sheriff's deputies who have investigated various crimes involving satanic rituals. Additionally, several Federal agencies have investigated these sorts of items. Why are you being so snarky? Are you a satanist yourself, or just a troll and why would you care?

        1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

          I question the veracity of such claims without substantive, well-researched objective evidence. I sense significant bias in place hear. I doubt a very thorough forensic investigation occurred before such attribution was made. Anyone who tries to support rationality in support of truth v. rumor and fact v. dogma and reality v. dogma/prejudice would care and not just arbitrarily lay blame where it seems convenient or preferable. That isn't being a troll nor a satanist. It's striving to be rational, well-reasoned and objective: the very type of people a republic such as the USA needs to sustain itself, shockingly enough. I care about my country not returning to the mindset of a Witchfinder General and attributing legitimacy to same.

    4. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      @CB: I believe that I must take issue with your statement, "Atheists are purely nihilistic, meaning they do not believe in Spirituality at all." First, there is a difference between spirituality and religiosity. One can be irreligious and highly spiritual - take Sam Harris, for instance - author of "The End of Faith". He is an atheist, not nihilist, and he meditates regularly. He clearly describes himself as a spiritual individual. You do not need to be "churched" to recognize the essence of universality that exists within yourself. I recommend you read Carl Jung: particularly about the "animus mundi" (universal soul). Also, depending on where you look, "nihilism" doesn't exactly mean "belief in nothing", but rather that you make your own meaning in life--it's just not laid out there for you by someone else. You may be conflating your definition nihilism with the extreme anarcho-nihilists movement that emerged in the late 1970s alongside the punk rock movement: that was pretty much the existential crisis mentality of Albert Camus manifest socio-politically in music.

      Have you ever seen magician/comedian Penn Jillette? Does he really strike you as a nihilist, i.e., "life is meaningless without God"? ~ ULV Minister Robert Szekely

    5. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      When saying "Satanism is not a nice practice", that's a sweeping generalization.

  1. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

    These Satanists are of the atheist variety. I'm not sure what you mean by "Minority faith" that you consider wide-spread, CB. I wouldn't let them pull you down. The holidays will still continue. I think you're taking it all a little too personal. You do know that's what they want? They like it when Christians get upset.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I’m wondering where you are getting your data from regarding your statement that Satanists are of the atheist variety? The atheists I know don’t believe in any mythical deities, even of the Satanist type. Perhaps you could expand on your statement.

      1. Shawn Allen Hank's Avatar Shawn Allen Hank

        Greetings Lionheart,

        As difficult as this is to type, I actually agree with you Mr. Lionheart. Your post is very succinct. The difficulty is most of your posts hinge on intolerance of Christianity or theism. You condemn theists, but here you are right on the mark. Perhaps, there is hope for you. :) So, I said this was difficult to type. Congratulations! Your view of atheism is on the mark.

        Respectfully,

        Brother Sean

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          My apologies Sean if my comments appear to be intolerant of religion. My view of religionists come from a point of view of having been involved with it at a senior level. That included witnessing the indoctrination of young children’s minds to encourage them what to think, rather than encouraging them how to think. Telling young children they will go to an everlasting burning in a place called Hell if they don’t believe in someone called Jesus, or some unproven deity is, to me, mental abuse. My crusade is to protect the children. They are our future! Thank you for your kind words.

          Lionheart

      2. Ren's Avatar Ren

        He gets the information from "The Church of Satan" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaVeyan_Satanism

      3. Lori Mongillo's Avatar Lori Mongillo

        You can find info about them online. The founders are Lucien Greaves and Malcolm Jarry. Their mission is to encourage benevolence and empathy, rejection of tyrannical authority, they're advocates for common sense and justice and they believe in individual will directed by the human conscience. They are a protest group, a social movement, and activists. They don't believe in a supernatural Satan. Satan is only metaphoric and a really fun image to throw at fundamentalist Christians. They're use of theatrical ritual techniques are meant as a self-trans-formative psychodrama and a protest of hypocritical religions that claim to be the truth. I also have The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey. He's a complicated character. He calls himself an avowed atheist. He doesn't believe in the supernatural entity, Satan. He acknowledges using his own synthesized version of Satanism for ritual purposes.
        There are also Wiccans that call themselves atheists. I don't really get it. It seems to me that an atheist is an atheist. I'm not sure why they feel the need for all the pomp and circumstance but if it makes them happy, so be it.

      4. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        Members of The Satanic Temple (TST-Lucien Greaves) and the Church of Satan (COS-Anton LaVey) are non-deistic Satanists. They view Satan as a mythical exemplar, similar to how Thomas Jefferson viewed Jesus as the paradigm of man, without worshiping him as God. Members of TST emulate the quality of Satan as adversary to irrationality and blind dogma, and espouse humanistic progressivism in doing good works to help people. LaVeyans emulate the rebellious nature of Satan against authority, and are essentially hedonists. There are solo practitioners such as Damien Ba'al who are deistic Satanists, and The Temple of Set (xeper.org) melds elements of deistic satanism with Masonic-like degrees in a mystery religion for initiates. It was established by Michael Aquino, when he broke away from LaVey's atheistic COS. When we toss around terms like "evil" and "sin", we really need to define their context, first. There are evil Catholic priests and there are professed Satanists who could easily be considered holy, judging by their philosophies and their actions.

    2. Adam John Denman's Avatar Adam John Denman

      As a member of the UK Chapter I can assure you we are not "of the Atheist variety"... The Satanic Temple are a Non-Theistic religion. There is a difference.

      1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        Adam - I respect your position, but I will confess to being somewhat confused by the difference between "not of the Atheist variety" and "Non-Theistic religion". Please edify me.

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        A what? A Non-Theistic religion? There is no such thing. A religion means you rever or worship a divine being. So if there is no such being in Satanism, then it cant be a religion. I am sorry but your post makes no sense at all and is factually incorrect.

        1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

          What you have stated is the most common understanding of the term "religion", but it is not an all-inclusive definition. Consider the following:

          "Many definitions are biased towards continental cultural norms - in particular, Western credal theism. William James, one of the most respected surveyors of religion, lectured in 1901-2 that 'the very fact that they are so many and so different from one another is enough to prove that the word religion cannot stand for any single principle or essence, but is rather a collective name'. It has proven problematic to come to a reasonable definition which describes the varieties of religion found across the East and West, both old and new. Many people have given up even trying to define religion coherently. for example William James gives space to the opinion that 'the man who knows religion most completely troubles himself least about a definition'. What is counted as being 'religious' and what counts as 'a religion' changes over time and from place to place." (Retrieved 2019 12 23 from http://www.humanreligions.info/what_is_religion.html)

          Religion is more than merely worship of a supernatural being. It may or may not include that facet.

        2. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

          Daniel Gray, once again, you have been caught in an inaccurate and dishonest statement! I don't know how so much inaccuracy, dishonesty, and pretentiousness can keep coming out of one person!! "A Non-Theistic religion? There is no such thing". Oh, really?! Buddhism is a non-theistic religion. Unitarian Universalism is another religion with many non-theists and atheists in it, who still consider themselves religious and socially and humanistically Chtistian. So much for your belief that religion "always has to be theistic"!!

  1. woodardenterprises's Avatar woodardenterprises

    God always has His plan. If SOME believe, or choose to believe that trump was sent by God, in what context is that actually meant? Satan was in heaven until God kicked him out and made him the demon of hell. Satan is ABOUT evil. And God created "a home" for all people that don't recognize Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and the Son of Man. And who do not confess such. It's for those who don't repent their sins. Who continue to sin without regard to others or their own eternal destiny. Liars. Money grabbers who put money and themselves above all else, to include God. If people who choose to believe trump was sent by God, and trump fits all of the above mentioned, it's possible God DID send trump, so that we can see what real evil is. Trump walks this earth with evil in his heart. God knows our heart. God hardened the Pharisees heart. He also parted the sea to ensure His people were safe from the evil and killing of them by the Pharisee and his Army. And then God drowned them all. So maybe, for GOD'S reason, trump could HAVE been "sent by God". But clearly, not for our sacred and Holy benefit, but for us to see and hear "living" evil, and then we can praise God for trumps destruction.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      “ God created "a home" for all people that don't recognize Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and the Son of Man. And who do not confess such.”

      Unproven indoctrinated statements like this, that has no validity whatsoever, is just one if the reasons that caused me to leave religion and become a secular humanist. As mentioned in another of my comments above, teaching little children this idiocy is pure mental abuse. At sometime in your life someone has done this very thing to you, which has corrupted your ability to think for yourself. You have been taught to fear your God. You have been taught “what” to believe. If you have any children of your own I do hope they have been given the freedom to think for themselves.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        If there is a Heaven, Summerland, Luna, etc. I'll be going to the section of it where Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and others will be playing throughout eternity! I've got reservations for front row seats. Ofcouurse, we can check out anytime we want, but we can never leave. Cerberus will see to that.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          I’m with you there. The others can have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or the Salvation Army Choir for eternity.

      2. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        I must disagree with the implied argument that all non-Christians (or in the case Jehovah's Witnesses, those outside of the 144,000 "Chosen Ones") are all destined for perdition. I know that no one has actually spoken those words here, but it appears to be a constant undercurrent we must address. If we believe in a Heaven and Hell for those who worship the Nazarene as a member of the triune Godhead (or some equivalents), then sure there is room for other afterlives for members of other faith traditions which don't consist solely of eternal torture for simply choosing the wrong dogma.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I must say, I've spoken to some Satanists, and read parts of the Satanic Bible, too, and from what I've gathered many Satanists don't believe in mythical beings or deities, or the fictitious, fairytales about devils, Hell, etc. contained in the Bible. I have a Satanic Bible, and am going to read it thoroughly, before saying anything regarding this subject, so my comments will be informed, instead of spoken out of ignorance. I hope the rest of you will get copies of that book, and do the same. I got mine from Amazon. I very much hope at least some of our good, Sataniic, ULC ministers will comment on this subject. I'm very interested in knowing their opinions.

    3. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Let us please define what we mean when it is said that "Satan is ABOUT evil." What exactly is meant by that statement? We often use the phrase "Devil's Advocate" simply to mean someone who objectively looks for holes in our argument to help strengthen it. It's like tempering steel. It's not a bad thing to have an adversary, if their opposition is not with malicious intent, but simply to make you stronger. Ever have a sparring partner in a boxing ring? That's an adversary meant to improve your boxing technique. If you're a boxer, you want to get better. You don't get there by everyone telling you how good you are at it, though. You have to be challenged. Being challenged requires an adversary. Let's try not to think like Bronze Age primitives here. Instead, let us ask ourselves why we believe what we believe. You are welcome to worship according to your conscience. It is never right to tell your neighbor they're damned because they don't go to the right church, or don't believe in the right God, or don't believe in the right way, or just don't believe at all. Brotherhood is not about the zero-sum game. It's "win-win or no deal". If you profess to be a believer--whatever your creed--and you don't get that--you've missed the big picture. ~ ULV Minister Robert Szekely.

    4. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      @woodardenterprises: For those of us who believe in a Supreme Deity we know as "God" we can only guess as to what "His" intentions are. Maimonides (Moses Ben Maimon) made it clear that is arrogant to claim that man can know the Mind of God. For all we know, the Devil just got bad press. ~ ULV Minister Robert Szekely

  1. Mark Edward Marcarian's Avatar Mark Edward Marcarian

    Where do you stand? Well personally I feel that no matter what God is being worshipped all groups must have the freedom to do so. My only personal opinion is that the groups be doing good things through love to bring us all together.

    After all we are all children of the same universe. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    ULV Minister Mark

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It sounds like you've been reading the Desiderata. I've got a 24×36" of it on my wall. Don't be too good. A little evil can also be good for the soul. Just don't get carried away with it, or cause any harm. Balance is the key, like it talks about in The Kybalion of Hermes Trismegistus.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I just got through listening to Judas Priest's holy recording of Nostradamus, in it's entirety. It's my goal to eventually listen to that heavenly music three times everyday. Talk about a powerful spiritual experience!!! And don't forget to give yourself positive affirmations like "I am awakening the wizard within".

  1. Adam John Denman's Avatar Adam John Denman

    Well he shouldn't do. The Satanic Temple are NOT CoS. https://thesatanictemple.com/

  1. Healing seed expressive arts ministry 's Avatar Healing seed expressive arts ministry

    For me it is all symbolism. I remember reading in comparative religion courses about how Lucifer is the angel of light. There is a small text from some source of that I read but can not relocate which tells the story of how God asked Lucifer to become the councieous of human kind. By doing this he would be seen as the angel who fell from grace. He would become symbolic as Jesus is as the duality in our moral landscape. Has anyone read this ? If so would love to k ow where the original source is from,

  1. Healing seed expressive arts ministry 's Avatar Healing seed expressive arts ministry

    For me it is all symbolism. I remember reading in comparative religion courses about how Lucifer is the angel of light. There is a small text from some source of that I read but can not relocate which tells the story of how God asked Lucifer to become the councieous of human kind. By doing this he would be seen as the angel who fell from grace. He would become symbolic as Jesus is as the duality in our moral landscape. Has anyone read this ? If so would love to know where the original source is from,

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Interesting, Lucifer was literally brought over from Latin. It means "morning star". In Greek it is Eosporos. It referred to the planet Venus in ancient times, we could be seen in the morning, by reflected sunlight. It was wrongly adapted and misconstrued though mistranscription and misinterpretation to where it evolved into legend that God's adversary (literally "Satan") had once been the Archangel of Light, and predecessor to Michael in Heaven, before the purported Biblical "fall" of Satan and those who aligned with him--where those who had once been angels, were cast out to the nether realm of fire and eternal punishment for others who turned against God, and become known as the Devil and his demons.

  1. Albert Douglas DuBois's Avatar Albert Douglas DuBois

    Actually, Genesis makes no mention of the serpent being Satan. The writers of Genesis had no Satan yet, and no afterlife except for that dull place under the ground called Sheol where EVERYONE went after they died, good or bad. The serpent was just another OT serpent. Gods plan was to keep Adam and Eve as immortal pets as long as they did not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He wanted them to remain like naive children and he told them, should they eat it, that they would die that very day. The serpent let Eve know she wouldn't die, and that her eyes would be opened, and she would be like the gods (plural), possessing the knowledge of good and evil. God lied and the serpent told the truth. God kicked them out because now they were like the gods, and they could now proliferate. Perhaps he was afraid that they, having now the knowledge of the gods, would soon outnumber the gods. That would be why he used Cherubims and a flaming sword to make sure they never went near the tree of life again so as not to gain immortality... lest they become gods. Anyway, after eating of the fruit Adam lived another 930 years.

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    If one religion is allowed to express itself in the public square, that opens the door for any and all religions to do so, as well. Constitutionally speaking, the government of the United States is legally prohibited from supporting any religion. That is the only way to ensure that each American can live according to the dictates of their own conscience when comes to participating in a religious faith tradition or not. The well-work argument that the USA is a Christian Nation is a specious one. A nation in which a majority of residents happen to practice the same faith does not make that a state-supported religion. Where that the case, only Christians would be eligible to hold public office. It is necessary for our republic to survive and thrive for us as Americans to continue to rationally discuss and debate our religious beliefs and secular philosophies, in an atmosphere of mutual respect--as is the norm in academia. American cannot be a Christian nation, because if it were, anyone not professing to be of the Christian faith would have no rights. It is of not that prior to the rise of Communism in the 20th century, the rubric which appeared on American currency was "E Pluribus Unum" (From Many, One), not "In God We Trust". The later was fear-driven response to godless Communism. McCarthyism was also a response to communism which tainted our republic. Consider also that it was none other than Thomas Jefferson who said, "it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Jefferson, like Mohandas Gandhi, saw Jesus as a moral exemplar to be emulated by humankind. If we are sincere in our pursuit of truth and wisdom, then we are obligated to recognize that Jesus was a Jewish religious teacher who broke tradition with the Pharisees and Sadducees. It was primarily (but not exclusively) between the Nicean councils of Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine and the Epistles of St Paul, that the religion "of" Jesus (Judaism) ultimately became the religion "about" Jesus (Christianity). This is the phenomenon we refer to as antinomianism. For those who profess to be Christians--be true followers of Christ--and place your focus on emulating his example. This is why God said, "This is my son, in who I am greatly pleased". God adopted Jesus the Nazarene--a truly pious Jew who understood what God expected from his chosen people--and who acted in the manner God had wanted from Man since Adam. Since Jesus was favored and chosen by God, he had become, in the Greek, a "Christos": an anointed one--so ritually exhibiting Divine favor--as had King David before him. It is true that TST have also chosen a moral exemplar, but theirs is humanist, and not one adopted by and subsumed into the Divine, but rather, one who represents the adversary of dogma, ignorance and irrationality. If you defuse the emotional payload which most church indoctrinations of "Satan" are suffuse with, and view what they're presenting objectively (imagine yourself an interstellar traveler ignorant of human religious practices), their logic snaps into clear focus. As Mr. Spock of ST:TOS would say, "You need to stop thinking with your glands."

  1. Amber M. Castleman's Avatar Amber M. Castleman

    I'm against this statue in my home state I will protest any way I can legally.

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      You are well within your rights to protest, as well as find the statue distasteful and even offensive. However, consider that the Constitution guarantees its right to be there, as the law of the land does not permit the government to officially endorse any particular religion, as well as the guarantee of freedom of expression. Even when we don't like what someone else has to say, we have to respect their right to say it. It's why the American Nazi party was permitted to stage a peaceful march decades ago in town full of Jewish Holocaust survivors. The government cannot choose to suppress minority opinions, and the U.S. Constitution guarantees none of the right to be free from offense. If they start to suppress what is unpopular faith or viewpoint today, as public opinion or cultural mores shift in the future, what is in favor now could fall into disfavor tomorrow. Establishing such a precedent would effectively be the beginning of the end of freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the United States. The only way to realistically get TST's monument removed from the public square would be to remove ALL religious monuments from the public square: it's everyone or no one. The government cannot place favorites with one religion over another, no matter how distasteful any of us may find this "other", or what we may think it represents. We are entitled to have our opinion of them, and they are entitled to have their opinion of us, and those opinions to not have to agree. We simply have to respect that we both have the right to disagree. If we don't like what we see, we have the right not to look. They can't put the monument on your private property, but they can put it in the public square. Your home is your sanctuary from those differences of opinion and belief you find distasteful. You don't have the right to silence their voices outside that sanctuary, though. Sorry. That's America for you.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    here is the problem. Atheism/Humanism has been classified as a religion by the US Supreme Court. As such unless the state of Illinois is going to allow a Cross or any other religious display, then this has to go. The ONLY way it can be allowed to stay is if they allow other religions to place a representation of their religion in the capitol rotunda as well as this. Otherwise its against the law as per the US Supreme Court Newdow decisions.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    I find it ironic that the lawmaker complaining is Paul Schimpf. His last name is a form of the German word "schimpfen" which means "to rant".

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Which religion group would like to ban this site. Out of the 7,000 plus non-profit (501) (c) (3) Christian denominations register by the IRS there would be one that does not approve of anything that they did say was OK! This site could also be the work or owndership of the Satan because it is used to debate and have comments on. I was told that the only reason December 25 was chosen it was also a birthday of a Roman Empiror.

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Debate is part of the democratic process. That is not Satanic. That is part of a free society. The USSR did not have public fora for open comments and debate, and they were officially atheistic (even though the Eastern Orthodox Church operated underground and without sanction).

      Lacking differing points of view and conflicting perspectives precludes the existence of individual freedom. That is without regard to whether it is political systems or belief systems which are under discussion.

      It is disingenuous to label everything one does not personally agree with "Satanic". Look at the principles of The Satanic Temple objectively, their Seven Tenets are quite rational, humanistic and ethical. Remove the "Satanic" label and no reasonable person can find fault with them.

      Consider how steel is sharpened. Having others challenge a position forces us to reassess that position, defend it, and think about why we support it, as we forced to explain it to someone who does not share it.

      By doing this, adversaries make us stronger. Is making us stronger evil? If so, how?

      Strength and compassion are not antitheses. They can, and often do, co-exist within both individuals and philosophies: whether those philosophies are secular or theological in nature.

      Close not your mind to reason, lest your forsake its use altogether.

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