- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Visitors to the Illinois Capitol rotunda this month will have a chance to see a “Snaketivity” display near a Nativity scene, a menorah, and other holiday decorations.

Supporters of The Satanic Temple were thrilled this week when The Land of Lincoln installed its “Snaketivity” sculpture, which reads: “Knowledge is the greatest gift.”

A sign in the rotunda informs visitors that denying such a display would violate the law.

“The State of Illinois is required by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to allow temporary, public displays in the state capitol so long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars,” the sign reads, NPR reported Tuesday. “Because the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda is a public place, state officials cannot legally censor the content of speech or displays. The United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may legally impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions regarding displays and speeches, but no regulation can be based on the content of the speech.”

“Beautiful! I want one for my house,” one person replied on the group’s Facebook page.

The sculpture depicts a snake wrapped around the arm of someone holding an apple.

“Where can I purchase a lawn snaketivity?” asked another reader.

“The Satanic Temple—Chicago will no longer allow one religious perspective to dominate the discourse in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda during the holiday season,” the group’s GoFundMe page states.

A 2015 video titled “Arbitrary Night — a Satanic Christmas carol” was also used to promote the fundraiser.

The group raised $1,500 for its display.


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