The Temple warns it will not change its stance until it either gets the money back or gets its structure installed in the park
A Satanic monument in the shape of a black cube with inscribed inverted pentagrams and an upturned helmet on its top surface was not allowed to be installed in the Veterans’ Memorial Park in the city of Belle Plaine, Minnesota. This happened even after they received the approval and also hired a contractor to construct the monument.
The plan of the Satanists was to install this public piece of art adjacent to a Christian cross with a kneeling soldier. The objective was the same as the Christian structure: honor the contribution of veterans. A public outcry pushed Belle Plaine City Council to eliminate the “free speech zone” located inside the park permanently. The council promised to move the Christian monument away from the park just to avoid the installation of the Satanist structure.
If the Satanists had their way, it would have been the first Satanic monument to be installed on public property. Religious protests forced the city to cancel the installation. Martin Flax, the attorney acting for The Satanic Temple, said the decision taken by Belle Plaine city authorities clearly violated the First Amendment Rights of his client. This cancellation, according to his legal judgment, also constitutes a breach of contract. The Satanic Temple thus seeks a total of $35,000 in damages. The amount of money corresponds to commissioning this specific work of art.
Doug Mesner, the co-founder of The Satanic Temple and spokesperson, told the assembled media that it is extremely hard to find another use for the commissioned piece. Chris Andres, the artist, he pointed out, had made a few particular design accommodations to obtain the approval of the city authorities. The product of all such efforts is now in storage. The Satanic Temple has incurred a huge loss on this particular project.
The city of Belle Plaine responded swiftly. Robert Vose, the city attorney, disputed on all grounds of awarding a cash settlement to the plaintiff. He offered the argument that the permitting process undertaken by the city was not contractual. Even if it so, he said, the acceptance of $100 refund by Satanic Temple for the permit application fee is sufficient to settle the matter. In reply, Mesner said that he nor his organization has cashed the check. He is now searching for an attorney based out of the Twin Cities. Catholic protesters got together for a rosary rally.