Satanic Display At Florida Capitol Damaged

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – The Satanic Temple’s holiday display, a day after its debut in Tallahassee, has been damaged.

A woman is in custody facing charges for damaging the diorama, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Samantha Andrews.

The falling-angel diorama, which a year ago was barred from the Capitol because it was deemed “grossly offensive” by the Department of Management Services, is the latest in a series of irreverent holiday displays from groups motivated by the state’s acceptance of Christian nativity scenes the past two years.

John Porgal, a Tallahassee resident and member of the Satanic Temple, said the group threatened legal action this year if it again was blocked. It also offered not to put up its display if the Florida Prayer Network and International House of Prayer Tallahassee wouldn’t put up their nativity scenes.

“If the nativity scene never came in here in the first place we would never had done this,” said Porgal, who is also a member of the American Atheists of Tallahassee. “We don’t want to be insulting. We just want our rights, the separation of church and states or equal rights.”

The group’s name, the Satanic Temple, is simply to draw attention to its efforts.

“The Satanic Temple does not worship the devil in any way, shape or form,” Porgal acknowledged when asked.

READ: Satanic Temple’s Holiday Greeting Arrives At Capitol

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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