Satanic Temple Holiday Display at Illinois State Capitol

The Satanic Temple Installs Holiday Display at Illinois State Capitol

Satanic Temple Holiday Display at Illinois State Capitol
Video screenshot
It was installed by the Chicago TST chapter

The Satanic Temple’s Chicago chapter has installed a sculpture, named “Snaketivity” on the rotunda of the Illinois Capitol.[/tweetit] The structure has a three-foot base, and there is a sign proclaiming "Knowledge is the Greatest Gift." The sculpture depicts a woman's forearm holding an apple. It is seen along with a nativity scene commemorating Christmas and a menorah celebrating the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The Satanic Temple Installs Holiday Display at Illinois State Capitol[/tweetthis]

Only a short distance away is another sign installed by the Illinois state government. It imparts a civics lesson to its reader where the government states it did not have much choice as Illinois is compelled by the United States First Amendment to permit temporary public displays within the state capitol. The sign then adds that as the Capitol Rotunda’s first floor is in the public domain, it will not be possible for state officials to censor within legal means any speech content or any displays. The Supreme Court of the United States has ordered that public officials could legally impose a reasonable amount of time, manner, and place restrictions when it comes to speeches and displays, but the content of the speech cannot be regulated. Dave Druker, the spokesperson of Illinois Secretary of State, told the media The Satanic Temple has equal rights as all religious organizations as per the U.S. Constitution.

The Satanic Temple-Chicago chapter clearly spelled out its mission on their GoFundMe campaign stating “The Satanic Temple-Chicago will no longer allow one religious perspective to dominate the discourse in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda during the holiday season.” The Chicago chapter urged supporters to bring Satan into Springfield. In its statue application, The Satanic Temple terms itself as a non-theistic organization which wants to encourage empathy and benevolence among people. The group proclaimed it rejects any kind of tyrannical authority and also advocates justice and common sense.

The Snaketivity structure is approximately four and a half feet in height. The apple and arm are approximately 18 inches in length. Lex Manticore, the spokesperson and leader of the Chicago chapter, said the arm represents the said limb of Eve as described in the Garden of Eden biblical tale and the story concerns both Adam and Eve eating the apple, a forbidden fruit from the mythical tree of knowledge. According to Manticore, The Satanic Temple has given the age-old tale a new twist: “We see Satan as a hero in that story, of course, spreading knowledge.”


Follow the Conversation on Twitter