MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Atheists, Christians, Jews, and even followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are all welcome to put up displays in the Florida Capitol rotunda, but the state’s Department of Management Services drew the line with a group of Satanists Wednesday.
“The department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season,” DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt emailed a group calling itself the Satanic Temple, according to the News Service of Florida.
A spokesman for the temple told the NSF that it was seeking clarification on the latest decision because the original display had been approved. The group asked to put up a 5-foot-by-5-foot poster that had religious symbols and images on it.
The Satanic Temple said the poster was to “contribute to the plurality of the community by representing the spirit of good will from other faiths.” In a photo later sent the DMS, the display said “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple” on top of a diorama of an angel falling into hell, according to the NSF.
A sign on one side of the display referenced the Bible with Luke 10:18 including the line, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The dueling displays started when a Christian group put up a Nativity scene in the rotunda. That was followed by a 6-foot-tall Festivus pole made of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans. A menorah has also been displayed at times in the capitol rotunda.
Tuesday, the DMS did approve a new display that included an office chair and shredded paper depicting spaghetti for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.