A Michigan lawmaker has snatched victory from the clutches of Satan, just in time for Christmas.
A nativity scene will grace the Statehouse lawn in Lansing after all, instead of leaving a satanic display as the capitol’s only holiday exhibit. The creche was saved when state Sen. Rick Jones volunteered to ensure that the Christian display would be packed up each night to comply with regulations.
“The unveiling of the Nativity display at the Capitol lawn will be at noon Friday,” Jones announced on his Facebook page. “I have had about 500 offers of help to put up and take down the display. Thank you!”
The Satanic Temple, a loosely organized national group with a chapter in Detroit got permission to put up its serpent-starring display after learning a nativity scene was planned. The Satanic Temple, which agreed to comply with rules requiring exhibits to be taken down at night, had its permit granted.
But an unnamed, out-of-state group that had planned to position a nativity scene on the lawn said it would be unable to with the Michigan Legislative Council Facilities Agency prohibition against leaving such exhibits up between 11 p.m. and 6 p.m.
For several days this week, it appeared that the only display that would appear on the lawn would be that of the Satanic Temple, which doesn't actually worship the Christian devil but seeks to protest religious displays on public grounds. The group is currently campaigning to have an elaborate, permanent Satanic display situated outside Oklahoma’s statehouse, where a monument to the Ten Commandments stands.
"Where there is obstinate refusal to keep religious iconography off of public spaces, the least we can do is ensure that the Government is remaining neutral, respecting a diversity of religious views, with preference for, and exclusion of, none," Jex Blackmore, a member of the Satanic Temple's Detroit chapter, said in a statement.
Jones urged state residents to turn away from the satanic display.
"I recommend you simply ignore it," he said. "They hope for attention. In other states they have won by getting all displays banned. We will not allow them to win in Michigan. They can have their snake and all the darkness it represents."