Satanists are among those now seeking to share “holiday” space in the first floor of the Florida Capitol with a Christian nativity scene.
The state Department of Management Services has received three more applications to put up displays after approving a banner for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an aluminum pole — made of empty beer cans– – to mark the parody festival Festivus.
Ben Wolf, a spokesman for the department, said the three latest applications remain under review. The Tallahassee Atheists have requested a 4-foot-by-5-foot sign that says “Happy Holidays” and “There are many reasons for the season, celebrate the one that you choose.” The American Atheists Florida Regional Directors want to put up a similar-sized poster that says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas!” Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple has requested space for a 5-foot-by-5-foot poster. However, it remains unclear what the group intends to display.
The applications are a reaction to the nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus Christ that was put up last week by the Florida Prayer Network. South Florida political blogger Chaz Stevens, who wants to make a point about the need for a separation between church and state, applied for the Festivus pole, which is expected to be installed Wednesday morning. Festivus, celebrated Dec. 23, is a “holiday” created for the TV sitcom “Seinfeld” as a non-commercial festival “for the rest of us” in the Christmas and year-end holiday season.
The Satanic Temple’s application says “religious symbols and images that adhere to community standards.” The temple is also asking Oklahoma lawmakers to allow it to build a monument at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. A monument to the Ten Commandments already sits outside the government building. Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple effort in Oklahoma, filed the application for the floor space in Tallahassee.
–News Service of Florida