A satanic statue is part of the decoration of the Illinois Capitol – CNN


(CNN) – The Capitol of Illinois in the United States covers its corridors with mistletoe, a menorah and a satanic statue.

During this holiday season, the Chicago Satanic Temple has been granted permission to place a statue in the Capitol state hall in Springfield, the capital of Illinois, said a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office at CNN .

The statue is about 1.3 meters high and 45 centimeters long, said spokesman Dave Druker. The figure represents a snake rolled into an arm that holds an apple with the legend: "knowledge is the best gift".

The statue is on display from Monday and will remain in place until the end of the month, officials said.

"We think it's a problem of the First Amendment, we have other exhibits here: a menorah Chanukah and a Christmas Nativity," said Drucker. "If you have performances of a kind you have to be consistent and allow everyone to do it, without saying incitement to hate and other unacceptable things".

The Satanic temple states that its members are atheists who are often interested in community activism, according to the group's website.

"We do not promote belief in a personal satan," says the website. "Embracing the name of satan means embracing rational research away from the supernatural and superstitions based on archaic traditions".

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

Local reactions range from support to outrage.

"I see no problem", Wayne Rovey, a resident of Illinois, has declared to the CNN WMBF affiliate. "It seems to be part of freedom of expression and does not project a wrong message".

Shellie Berg told the station that the exhibition was not adequate.

"I think it's inappropriate because it's not something that should be exposed because many people might feel offended," Berg told WMBF. "I would be offended."

Druker said the statue is causing many conversations, but it is not certain that many people actually saw it.

Sheena Jones from CNN contributed to this report



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