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HALLANDALE (CBSMiami) – An upside cross that lights up in red as a symbol for “Satanology” sits outside Hallandale Beach City Hall, put there by a South Florida man protesting religious symbols on government property.
Chaz Stevens applied for the cross permit and invented Satanology after a manger and menorah were put up during the holidays.
Stevens put up his Satanology cross on Tuesday, which reads “In Chaz We Trust. All Others Pay Cash.”
By Wednesday, Deacon Hubert Jackson of Higher Vision Ministries erected another six-foot tall cross right next to Stevens, countering his message.
That cross had yellow placards all over with short bible passages written on them.
Stevens describes himself as an atheist, an activist and a media personality.
His point erecting the cross: keep church and state separate.
That means no religious symbols of any kind on government property.
“We are just trying to use the script as we understand it, equal access tactics,” Stevens told CBS4. “Fair is fair.”
Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper was also pushing for a banner reading “In God We Trust” to hang behind the dais in commission chambers.
Meanwhile, the city put up cardboard signs next to Stevens’ satanic cross that clarified it is a privately installed display that does not represent city administration.
“I do understand his point about keeping church and state separated,” Deacon Jackson told Reporter Donna Rapado. “I also I would agree with him to this point that if one religion can have their symbols than another one should also. But what I do not disagree with is the satanic worship.”
But Stevens explained worshipping Satan is not the point.
“It’s not like I practice evil,” he told Rapado. “We do not believe in Satan. We are atheists. However, we’ll believe in Satan, in Jesus, we’ll believe in whatever if it furthers our cause of Satanology which is promotion of our civic activism to further a discussion of our civil rights, of separation of church and state. And how we’re doing that is we’re using the hobgoblins of Christianity against themselves.”
The crosses are permitted to stay up a few days until Friday.
Stevens planned to take this fight to other cities, including Doral, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.
Meanwhile, Mayor Cooper told Rapado, by phone from Washington D.C., that plans to put the request for the “In God We Trust Banner” on next Wednesday’s commission meeting agenda.