Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf is so upset that a Satanic group has put up a display next to a Nativity scene in the Capitol building that he’s requested the “Snaketivity” be taken down. Because religious freedom only applies to Christianity, dammit!
In a letter to Secretary of State Jesse White, Schimpf wrote:
Dear Secretary White,
I am writing to express my disappointment in your approval of a Satanic statue in the Illinois Capitol Rotunda.
As an attorney who evaluated the legality of religious displays in the United States Marine Corps, I appreciate the complexities associated with balancing the First Amendment with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. In this situation, I believe you received poor legal advice recommending approval of the Satanic display.
The Satanic display should not have been approved. It does not celebrate or recognize the observance of a religious holiday. Instead, the display seeks to provoke and antagonize members of the Christian and Jewish faiths. As such, you would have been well within your discretion to deny that display request.
I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision and order the removal of the Satanic statue.
Senator, 58th Legislative District
There’s no rule that says a display has to celebrate or recognize a religious holiday. He just made that up.
And the display doesn’t say, “Screw you, Jews and Christians.” It simply says, “Knowledge is the Greatest Gift.” No wonder Schimpf is offended; they’re promoting something he doesn’t have.
If he actually cared about antagonism, then he should also recognize that a Nativity scene promoting Christian myths sends a clear message that people who don’t accept Christ will burn in Hell. How is that any better? It’s not. Schimpf is just trying to score cheap political points with conservatives.
The Satanic Temple was swift to condemn Schimpf’s selective support for faith, saying on Twitter that he only supported religious freedom as “long as he has the liberty to decide for them what their intentions are.”
The irony in all this is that the Freedom From Religion Foundation also has a sign in the Illinois capitol that reads, “There are no gods.” It’s not as flashy or artistic as the Satanic displays, but it’s absolutely more in your face. Yet Schimpf didn’t even mention FFRF’s display because he was too busy blasting Satanists for daring to promote knowledge.
No wonder Illinois Republicans got crushed in the last election. When Schimpf is one of your party’s intellectuals, you don’t have much going for you.
(Thanks to T for the link. Image via Schimpf4Illinois)