Satanic Display Barred From Florida Capitol

Satanic display won't join Nativity, Festivus Pole, Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Florida Capitol has a Nativity scene, beer can Festivus pole and the Flying Spaghetti Monster on display, but a tribute to Satan isn't making the cut.

On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Management Services denied a request by a group of Satanists who wanted to add the display to the Capitol's rotunda, the News Service of Florida reported.

"The department's position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season," DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt emailed a group calling itself the Satanic Temple.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple, said the group was "surprised and dismayed" by the decision.

The 5-foot-by-5-foot display reads "Happy Holidays From the Satanic Temple" and features an angel falling into the fires of hell. A sign on one side of the display referenced Luke 10:18 including the line, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

After the Florida Prayer Network's Christian Nativity scene was set up in the first floor of the Capitol on Dec. 3, DMS has approved requests for space in the rotunda for a 6-foot-tall "Festivus" pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans by South Florida political blogger Chaz Stevens and seasonal signs from the Tallahassee Atheists, The American Atheists Florida Regional Directors and the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Also, on Tuesday, the department approved a display that included an office chair and shredded paper depicting spaghetti for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Last January, the "Satanists" drew about six of the self-professed devil worshippers to the steps of the Old Capitol for what they said was an event to praise Gov. Rick Scott — but that was reported to be part of an effort to make a fake documentary.

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