The Satanic Temple holiday display went up Monday at the state Capitol Rotunda. The diorama of an angel dropping from the sky into a pit of flames stands on the opposite side of the Great Seal of Florida from a Menorah and a Festivus pole. A handful of atheists accompanied John Porgal when he setup the Temple’s holiday greeting to demonstrate their profound belief in silliness.
“If they are going to be silly, said Robert Mulcahey of the faith community who have erected a nativity scene and other traditional Christmas icons. “Then everyone else is going to be silly too. It is just fair. None of this should be here,” he said gesturing towards the Menorah and a pole constructed of empty beer cans.
The Satanic Temple’s display will be up through Dec. 29. A Christmas tree angel ornament is suspended with fishing line over paper flames.
“The angel descending into flames indicates the general satanic metaphor of bold revolt against tyranny and the unbowed pursuit of truth and knowledge – standing up for what is just even in the face of unconquerable odds and at great personal expense,” said Lucien Greaves, a Temple spokesman.
The falling angel is bookended with two Biblical quotes, Isaiah 14:12 and Luke 10:18, about falling.
Tallahassee resident Troy Spencer looked over the display gave it some thought and said he thought it was an apt display given that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a religion.
“When Satan was cast out of heaven that was the birth of their Lord,” said Spencer.
The Temple doesn’t worship Satan; Porgal said they are atheists who don’t believe in gods or God. If they believe in anything it is the scientific method and rational inquiry.
“The important fact here is that the display is here. We get our display,” said Porgal. “What’s important is not what we believe in. What’s important is that we to display what we believe in.”