LANSING (WWJ) – With a Satanic holiday display approved for the Capitol lawn in Lansing, a state senator says he’ll drive to Frankenmuth if he has to to buy a nativity scene and erect it himself.
This latest comes after another group dropped a plan to put up the Christmas-themed statuettes when they learned that any display on the Capitol grounds must come down at night.
“I was angered that a satanic group would attempt to hijack the Christian holiday,” Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, told WWJ’s Beth Fisher. “Certainly, Christmas is the most holy of holidays and (it was) very inappropriate.
“They could’ve put it up a different time of the year, but they chose to make it a direct challenge; and we’re gonna step up.”
Jones said he’s had about 300 people volunteer on Facebook to help him with the display, but he and a friend will personally handle it.
“I am gonna volunteer to put up the nativity scene and take it down every day, and I’m gonna make sure that we save Christmas at the Capitol,” Jones said.
Jones said he isn’t arguing the satanic group’s religious freedom, but if they choose to follow darkness instead of light, that’s their choice.
“We’re gonna celebrate Christmas they way we wish, and they can have their ugly display on the other side of the Capitol,” he added.
The Satanic Temple (TST) announced Monday that it had received permission to erect a 3-foot by 3-foot display on the north Capitol lawn in Lansing for three days in December.
“This is religious liberty, and we must never let our Government begin dictating which viewpoints are worthy of representation and which are not,” said Jex Blackmore, of TST’s Executive Ministry.
The group recently won similar approval for a holiday display in the Florida Capitol Rotunda and is perhaps best known for their ongoing campaign to erect a Satanic monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol Building to “complement and contrast” a 10 Commandments monuments erected there in 2012.
The Satanic Temple’s display will be on view in Lansing Dec. 21-23. It wasn’t immediately clear which days the nativity was planned to appear.