Florida Rejects Satanic Temple Holiday Display

Here’s an interesting one: one of the things I and many others have noted is that the Constitution does not restrict religion in Government nor on Government property. The 1st Amendment simply stops government from creating a national religion, along with stopping Los Federales from stopping the free practice of religion. But, we’re heading to Florida

(Tallahassee.com) The Satanic Temple will not be placing its holiday display in the Florida Capitol.

The group’s application was declined by the Department of Management Services due to its “grossly offensive” nature.

In an email Wednesday afternoon, DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt denied Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves the inclusion of a kiosk adorned with an angel falling into a pit of flames and the words “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple” because “The Department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season.”

One thing I and others have noted is that if a Christian display is allowed, displays from other religions should be allowed, if they want. To go with a Nativity scene at the Fla. Capital, you have one featuring the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Another for Festivus. And, of course, several from atheist groups. Because they can’t help being jerks at Christmas-time. But, Florida was waiting for a photo from the Satanic group before they would approve or deny the display. Once they saw it, they said “no!”

It even features a Bible verse from Luke: “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

So, here’s the tough question: should the display, despite being “grossly offensive”, be included? In the header of my blog I have the quote “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” This would apply to expressing religion. But, here’s an interesting thing from the Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 3

Religious freedom.—There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

First, that clause in bold allows for the Satanic Temple display to be rejected. Second, that is an extremely dangerous phrase when it comes to any religion. What if someone is offended by having to view crosses at public churches, and sues under that phrase? I could think of many ways that phrase could be abused. Fortunately, most people who would abuse it, primarily people on the political Left, never actually read any of the Constitutions/Bills Of Rights for the US and the States.

So, Friday question: should the display be allowed?

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10 Responses to “Florida Rejects Satanic Temple Holiday Display”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    While I agree with your conclusion, I disagree slightly on the reasoning.

    The reason for banning the display is that it was “grossly offensive during the holiday season.” I don’t believe that “offensive” falls within the limits of the Florida Constitution.

    As I remember when I researched the Florida Constitution years ago, the religious part was meant to not allow people to us “religious freedoms” as an excuse to impede or trample on the rights of others. For example, a group could not kidnap someone and sacrifice them on an alter. One case that came up was a group that wanted to sacrifice chickens (or some fowl) and because it was illegal to raise it in their area (zoning restrictions,) they resorted to stealing the birds. They claimed the theft was allowed under “religious freedoms.” A group couldn’t claim that a parade walking down the middle of the street with blaring music at 3 AM was protected under their freedom of religion.

    I think the display is silly, stupid and shows the ignorance of people who hate others so much that they are willing to display and impose their misery on others, but that is just me.

    I think the banning of the display was wrong as it is not covered by the Constitution of Florida.

    Sometimes you just have to let idiots put their display of idiocy up for all to see.

  2. Jeffery says:

    Yes, allow the display in all its silliness. Or, preferably, solve the problem and prohibit all religious displays by government entities.

  3. gitarcarver says:

    Jiffypop,

    The displays were not erected or made by government entities.

    So please, take a moment and go back to read the First Amendment. If you cannot figure out how that applies here, read it again. And again.

    Your idea is just another attempt to silence those with whom you disagree.

  4. Excellent points, GC, especially about letting idiots expose themselves.

    Jeffery, what you propose at the end would violate the Florida constitution.

  5. Linked: Around the Righty Blogosphere…

    Merry Christmas and all the best to you-n-yours

    RR

  6. ts.atomic says:

    We satanists should be allowed to construct an upside-down crucifix of gold-plated human feces from a minority, openly-homosexual, female adolescent and force the State of Florida to display it in a position of prominence in the State Capitol. After all, the prevailing community standards should have no bearing on minority group’s constitutional right to an audience.

    It is patently unfair to expect the satanists to find a more receptive audience and/or a community more representative of their point of view and beliefs. Not only do they have a right to a soap-box, but we *must* protect their government-granted right to a respectful, attentive and thoroughly engaged audience. And since they are a minority group, their “expression” must be given the utmost prominence above all other displays from the majority.

    The satanists should sue the State of Florida for everything they have and they would be justified! Since the majority of Floridians disagree with the satanists, they deserve to be punished for having such a politically incorrect stance and attempting to enforce *clearly* unenlightened community standards. They must be dragged, kicking and screaming if need be, into the glorious light of modern political correctness. Then and only them will there be peace and equality and the opportunity of genuine happiness.

  7. ts.atomic says:

    Hopefully, “sarcasm” tags are not needed for the preceeding comment of mine…

  8. The “construct an upside-down crucifix of gold-plated human feces from a minority, openly-homosexual, female adolescent” kinda gave it away

  9. Jeffery says:

    Pirate,

    Which proposal of mine violates the Florida constitution? And how?

  10. gitarcarver says:

    Jiffypop,

    Section 4 of Article 1 says the following:

    Freedom of speech and press.—Every person may speak, write and publish sentiments on all subjects but shall be responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.

    Therefore, as recognized by the Florida Supreme Court as well as the SCOTUS, people have the right to speak within public areas. Time, place and manner restriction must serve the public good (ie prevent someone elses rights to be violated.)

    The displays are covered by both Florida and the US Constitution.

    Secondly, your proposal would violate the provision in Section 3:

    Religious freedom.—There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof.

    Specifically, your proposal would prohibit a person or group exercising their right to exercise their religion absent of harm to others.

    In other words, your proposal violates both the protection of free speech and the protection of religious exercise and expression.

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