LANSING (WWJ/AP) — A state lawmaker has placed a Nativity scene on the east lawn of the state Capitol in Lansing.
Sen. Rick Jones tells MLive.com that he erected the Nativity featuring a baby Jesus, Joseph and the Virgin Mary Friday as a citizen and in response to a planned display by a Satanic group.
The Detroit chapter of The Satanic Temple is expected to place a display featuring a serpent, cross and secular message Dec. 21-23 on the north Capitol lawn.
“I was angered that a satanic group would attempt to hijack the Christian holiday,” Jones told WWJ Newsradio 950’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, a Republican from Grand Ledge, said he was happy to “represent the light and not the darkness.”
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.
Capitol rules require that displays have to be taken down each night.
The Satanic Temple Detroit chapter founder Jex Blackmore has said her group began planning its display after someone outside Michigan inquired earlier about erecting a Nativity outside the Capitol.
Blackmore said her group supports the separation of church and state.
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