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The Illinois State Capitol heralds a satanic statue during the holidays



During this holiday season, the Satanic Temple of Chicago was granted permission to place its statue in the lobby of the State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, a US State Department spokesman told CNN.

The statue is about four and a half feet tall and about 18 inches long, said spokesman Dave Druker, and she represents a snake wrapped around an arm holding an apple labeled "Knowledge is the greatest gift".

The statue has been on display since Monday and will be preserved by the end of the month, according to official figures.

"We believe this is a First Amendment problem, we have other displays there – a Hanukkah Menorah and a crib," Drucker said. "If you have representations of one type, you need to be consistent and allow everyone except hate speech and other unacceptable things."

The Satanic Temple says its members are atheists who are often interested in community activism. According to the website of the group.

"We do not promote faith in a personal Satan," says the website. "To embrace the name of Satan is to accept a rational inquiry that is remote from supernatural and archaic traditional superstition."

The group says it embraces the "fight for justice" and believes that people "want to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures," according to its website.

Local reaction has impacted the scale from supportive to indignant.

"I do not see any problem with that," said Illinois-based Wayne Rovey of CNN affiliate WMBF. "It seems like it's part of the freedom of speech and does not project a bad message."

Shellie Berg told the station that she considered the display inappropriate.

"I think it's inappropriate because it's not that," Berg told WMBF. "That would offend myself."

Druker says the statue has many conversations, but he's not sure many people actually saw it for themselves.


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