Southern Illinois legislators try to push out Satanic Temple capitol display

CARBONDALE — The religious right is still upset about the display put up by the Satanic Temple of Chicago at the Illinois State Capitol rotunda a couple weeks ago.

The Southern Illinoisan reported that local legislators have been writing to the Secretary of State and considering legislation to remove the display.

From the newspaper:

Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo wrote a letter to Secretary of State Jesse White — who reviews applications for displays in the rotunda — asking him to remove the statue. Rep. Terri Bryant of Murphysboro sponsored House Resolution 1355, which condemns “in the strongest possible terms” White’s decision to allow the statue — alternately called “Snaketivity” and “Knowledge is the Greatest Gift.” Rep. Dave Severin of Benton is the chief co-sponsor of the resolution, and Rep. Natalie Phelps-Finnie is also a co-sponsor.

Sen. Dale Fowler of Harrisburg added his 2 cents Friday with a statement.

“The inclusion of the satanic display among long-standing religious displays in our state’s Capitol was, in my opinion, a disrespectful charade meant to undermine the tradition of religious expression,” Fowler’s statement reads. “While I fully respect and support the rights to celebrate and observe religious holidays, I cannot and will not support a blatantly antagonistic effort to mock the intent behind declarations of faith.”

Lex Manticore of the Satanic Temple told the Southern Illinoisan that the display was an affirmation of their beliefs and not an attack on others.

“I think misrepresenting us as attacking or this being a stunt is a misrepresentation of our intentions.”

Lux Armiger, chairperson and co-chapter head, told the paper that The Satanic Temple is “a non-theistic religious organization determined to halt the dangerous encroachment of theocracy into American government.”

The political moves come just days after Illinois Family Action, a part of the far right Illinois Family Institute, tried to get a letter writing campaign to remove the display. The Temple wasn’t worried then and hasn’t seemed worried about the latest move.

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