LANSING (AP) – Christians and Satanists have put up competing displays on the Michigan Capitol grounds this Christmas week.
The Detroit chapter of the Satanic Temple on Sunday morning set up their “Snaketivity Scene.” It features a snake offering a book called “Revolt of the Angels” as a gift.
The snake is wrapped around the Satanic cross on the 3-feet-by-3-feet display. Capitol rules require that displays have to be taken down each night.
Satanic Temple spokeswoman Jex Blackmore says in a videotaped interview with the Lansing State Journal that her group doesn’t worship Satan but promotes individuality, compassion and views that differ from Christian and conservative beliefs.
Word of the Satanic Temple’s plans led state Sen. Rick Jones to erect a Nativity scene on Friday featuring baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
The Grand Ledge Republican said he was happy to “represent the light and not the darkness.”
“They could have put theirs up in July or April or sometime,” he said. “They didn’t need to put it up in the Christmas season,” Jones said. “That’s OK. We’re going to ignore them. I’m not afraid of the snake people. I’m sure that Jesus Christ is not afraid.”
Blackmore says that the “holiday season is a time of year that is celebrated in many different ways.”
“Having our government endorse one singular viewpoint or method of celebrating the season is problematic when we have a diverse community of people in Michigan,” she said.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.