Remember when Florida allowed six feet of taped-together beer cans to go on display at its Capitol building last Christmas? Now the Sunshine State is back with weird holiday decorations. This year's out-of-the-ordinary exhibit comes from the Satanic Temple and shows an angel falling from the sky into a fire pit between two Bible verses. Above it, a black banner reads "Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple."
The Florida Department of Management Services, which last winter said the same presentation was "grossly offensive," approved the Satanic Temple's application Wednesday. The group had threatened to sue if the diorama was rejected again, according to a press release from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"Free speech is for everyone and all groups," the organization's executive director, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, said in the release. "State officials simply can't get into the business of deciding that some unpopular messages are 'offensive' and must be banned."
— Internet Person (@TimHerrera) December 4, 2014
The Satanic Temple's presentation is scheduled to go up Dec. 22 in Tallahassee. Florida changed its rule this year to limit holiday displays' appearance in the Capitol to seven days, WLRN reported. Also planning exhibits are the Florida Prayer Network and the International House of Prayer Tallahassee, which will construct a Nativity scene; the American Atheists; and the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will put up its noodle god next to a paper mache dinosaur.
Is this at your Capitol???? It's called the Flying Spaghetti Monster. pic.twitter.com/av9Vntbkx9
— Chelsi Henry, Esq (@chelsiphenry) December 17, 2013
The Pabst Blue Ribbon pole, a reference to a 1997 "Seinfeld" episode, will return as well. "Festivus was such a good deal last year," its creator, blogger Chaz Stevens, told the Tallahassee Democrat. "Given that great tradition, how can we not put the pole back this year?"
Festivus tree in Florida's Capitol building. Made of empty PBR cans! pic.twitter.com/qgaOtLHNZU
— Deb Everly (@DebEverly) December 12, 2013