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A small Minnesota town is about to get the nation’s first public Satanic Temple monument (sorta)


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#1 CatsAndBats

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:28 PM

A small Minnesota town is about to get the nation’s first public Satanic Temple monument
 
 
By Sandhya Somashekhar May 6 at 7:00 AM
satanictemplemonumentcropped.jpg?uuid=qM
An artist's rendering of a monument that the Satanic Temple plans to erect at a park in Minnesota. (Courtesy of the Satanic Temple)

 

Veterans Memorial Park in tiny Belle Plaine, Minn., is packed with remembrances for the town’s men and women in uniform. Soon, it will get one more: A solemn black cube holding an upturned helmet, its sides adorned with upside-down pentagrams.

 

The Satanic Temple announced Friday that it had received approval to install the monument, which is in production. Within a couple of months, it is expected to take its place alongside a flag-lined walkway, a marble plaque and a retired UH-1H Iroquois “Huey” helicopter positioned as if it is hovering above the ground.

 

The approval of the monument brings a new twist to a long-running battle that began last summer, when someone put up a metal silhouette of an infantryman kneeling before a cross. A resident objected, calling it a religious symbol that violates the principle of the separation of church and state.

 

After months of acrimony, the city decided to make part of the park a “public forum,” open to virtually any group that wants to honor the town’s veterans. The Satanic Temple took them up on it.

 

It is not the first such effort from the Satanic Temple, a provocative organization that often pushes the boundaries on free speech and religious liberties to prove a point about religion in public spaces; last year, it started its “After School Satan” clubs as a way of challenging Christian evangelical groups that sponsor after-school religious programming.

 

But this is the first time that the group has succeeded in having a monument placed on public land, said Lucien Greaves, spokesman for the organization, which is based in Salem, Mass.

[An After School Satan Club could be coming to your kid’s elementary school]

Belle Plaine officials “didn’t offer any resistance, to their credit,” said Greaves, who also goes by the name Doug Mesner. “We genuinely want something that will honor the veterans. It’s not about being shocking or upsetting the locals, though it’s an inevitable byproduct.”

Satanic Temple promotes its After School Satan Clubs
Play Video2:24
In this promotional video, the Satanic Temple says it is planning to bring their new After School Satan Club to public schools across the country. (The Satanic Temple)
 

City officials considered that the new policy could invite provocateurs, but approved it anyway.

“It was discussed during our city council meeting when we authored the policy that groups that were unpopular or otherwise would put monuments in the park,” said Michael Votca, the city administrator.

 

The flare-up in this town about 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis comes as the country is mired in a heated battle over religious freedom and the rights of people of faith, particularly conservative Christians, to opt out of activities that support same-sex marriage, abortion or birth control.

 

On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at expanding religious protections that, among other things, soften enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which bars tax-exempt houses of worship from engaging in political speech.

 

But as the Satanic Temple has tried to demonstrate, expanding religious liberties can have unintended consequences. Because the Constitution bars the establishment of a national religion, it requires that the same protections be extended to people of all faiths, including ones with disturbing connotations such as satanism and those who profess no faith.

 

Greaves said that his organization is now considering applying for the same tax-exempt status that churches and synagogues enjoy. It previously avoided doing so to freely engage in politics. But with Trump’s executive order, he said, “there’s absolutely no advantage to not be tax-exempt. A lot more organizations should apply and put it to the test.”

 

He said that his organization does not worship the devil. Rather, he said, it is a “nontheistic religious organization” devoted to art, free speech and individuality, whose values “are no less deeply held” than those professing a belief in God.

 

In its application to the city, the organization described the monument as a “black steel cube with embossed inverted pentagrams with inlaid gold on four sides. An inverted helmet rests on the top of the cube. A plaque on one side of the cube reads: ‘In honor of Belle Plaine veterans who fought to defend the United States and its Constitution’.”

1MOORE021517.JPG?uuid=0qub7jHIEeejNfoK4Z
Fearing a lawsuit, the city of Belle Plaine ordered the removal of the cross from the statue affectionately dubbed “Joe,” above, at Veterans Memorial Park. City officials allowed its return as part of a “limited public forum” allowing all groups to display a statue honoring vets, opening the way for the Satanic Temple’s proposal. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune)
 

Belle Plaine has been grappling with its park policy since last summer, when the two-foot statue of the kneeling soldier appeared. Katie Novotny, a Belle Plaine resident and veterans advocate, said it was created by a local vet who died shortly after it was put up. It is affectionately dubbed “Joe.”

 

Novotny contends that it is not a religious display. Joe, she said, is simply kneeling at a headstone fashioned into the shape of a cross, which is a common way for gravestones to be depicted.

 

“I don’t think 90 percent of people see it as a religious symbol when it’s in that context,” she said.

Nevertheless, fearing a lawsuit, the city ordered the cross removed in January. Someone from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars group was tasked with sawing it off the statue, she said. The person given that job “said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do,” she said.

 

The decision immediately prompted protests. People fashioned their own crosses and defiantly installed them next to the statue. Around the town, Novotny said, citizens who supported the original display put replicas in their windows — including the cross.

 

The city eventually hit upon a compromise. It established a “limited public forum” within the park in which groups could erect, with city permission, a monument honoring the town’s veterans. The permits last for a year, and no more than 10 monuments may be displayed at a time.

 

The cross was welded back onto the statue. Joe and his cross returned to the park last month.

Novotny said she does not object to the Satanic Temple’s plans. “If they want to come here from Massachusetts and put something up to honor our veterans in Belle Plaine, go for it,” she said. “They deserve to be honored.”

Some other places have opted to ban all religious displays when faced with this type of conflict. In 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a monument of the Ten Commandments had to be removed from its grounds for violating a state prohibition against use of public property to promote one religion.

 

Another group planning to apply for a spot at the Belle Plaine park is the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which objected to the cross display. It is planning to commission a stone tribute to “atheists in foxholes” — a take on an old saying suggesting that everyone finds God when faced with death.

 

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, predicted that city officials will come to regret opening the park to all displays.

“They’re going to run out of space,” she said. “It will just be littered. . . . One day, they will look at everything and decide, was it really worth it?”

AfterSchoolSatan_021469542506.jpg?uuid=W
This is the first time that the Satanic Temple has succeeded in having a monument placed on public land, said spokesman Lucien Greaves, above, with a statue of Baphomet in 2016 at the group’s meeting house in Salem, Mass. (Josh Reynolds/For The Washington Post)
 
 

Edited by CatsAndBats, 06 May 2017 - 12:29 PM.

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#2 jkdeth

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:44 PM

They should all get together, share a bowl(s) and a cup of tea. Then art up some monuments together.
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#3 Arathu

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:18 PM

My bigotry is better than, you're, bigotry you bigoted bigots..................(yes that misuse of your-you're is meaningful)

 

When I told the lovely specialist at my induction processing who was making my dog tags that I was PAGAN......they gasped...........

 

Yes even at the end of my teenage years I already knew..............they literally told me to "Shut the fuck up"

 

And my dog tags say, Roman Catholic, I used to get in trouble for not wearing them and asking about Freedom of Religion..........

 

......................sigh........... you can have your freedom as long as I agree with it...............double sigh...........

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 06 May 2017 - 05:20 PM.

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#4 Heirloom

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:34 PM

Similar experience, I said no religion and they would not allow it, I was coerced into going to church in basic training , it was that or they would find me some work to spend the sunday doing. I bet if I told them I was Jewish they would of still made me do training on Friday night and Saturday. There is no freedom of religion unless they approve of your beliefs.
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#5 Myc

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:04 PM

You all have "freedom of religion".

So long as your ideologies are in line with the status quo. 

 

Tax exempt clubs and agencies are little more than extensions of the State.

 

I met the Creator once - and It didn't tell me to tell you anything. 

The proposed monument is apropos. We are sacrificing human beings (soldiers and innocents). Why wouldn't the lord of the flies stand up and say "thanks". I think these "christians" need to have that awareness placed within their view.

After all .............. who waves a cross? The instrument of execution of an innocent man. The symbol of "justice" gone sideways. Anyone who feels that strongly about a cross - should be hanged from one as a symbol of their undying commitment to the idea. Eh.........what's that ?............Not feeling so strongly anymore?


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#6 Arathu

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:28 PM

I absolutely have freedom and liberty and I tolerate some things but I will not tolerate many other things.

 

I will stand my ground and defend it....period..................I earned it but then again everyone has it by birthright anyway...........

 

I'm a natural being, a spirit inhabiting this meat puppet for a while, and I walk on the face my Goddess...........and things happen that I don't understand...........

 

I met Her and now I consciously live with Her and by Her every second of every day..............it's not faith it is KNOWING...........

 

From the dirt and back to it....literally.........the monsters better pray that I don't get promoted after this body dies....................... :bat:  

 

Hopefully that petty ego and animal emotion die with the body.......giving me lightning bolts now would be a bad idea................

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 06 May 2017 - 05:28 PM.

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#7 Alder Logs

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 09:05 PM

I already hadn't gone to mass for years when I joined up at 17.  They made me choose one of the big three at the time.  They put a C on my dog tags and then I was forced to church, where we were lectured on the evils of masturbation.   I wonder, is fucking altar boys under the color of divine authority in some way better than jacking off?  That said, my sprinkling baptism is my earliest memory by far, and I was maybe a year old.   As a baby, I think I remember it just because everyone made a deal about it when I just thought it was really strange.   I didn't see anything like God there.   

 

I still use the word, "God," at times, but prefer this from some Native Americans: "Great Mystery."   So, I don't fucking know.  What I embrace is not knowable in any terms that could ever be taught.   It's not a knowledge to get.   It's something discovered when nothing is known.   Knowing anything leaves no room to discover what that thing that thinks it knows anything hasn't the chops for.   How can all that is be grokked by some fragment, as that fragment?  That would likely turn out like the sorcerer's apprentice in Fantasia.  Some kind of Mickey Mouse shit.   Better accept it's a mystery, and see what can be seen in the mystery?  

 

So, let the Satanists be on a par with all the other tax-free gangs.   I don't believe any of them. 


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#8 Heirloom

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 09:45 PM

I got over the masturbation is wrong thing, I mean no one wants to be caught but everyone does it except newt gingrich.

I laughed my ass off at the Sienfeld episode titled the contest , a contest to see who could go the longest with out. I liked the openness they portrayed about the subject. Teaching that it is wrong only does psychological damage to young minds.

I wish I could of told the Army I was a Rastafarian.

Its about an experience that cannot be described to another person, every ones religious/ spiritual experience is personal and is often described in different ways and words

Edited by Heirloom Spores, 06 May 2017 - 09:48 PM.


#9 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 11:58 PM

I happen to like my "meat puppet" and hope to meet some rather curvey and naughty meat puppets for a time of...ah..."puppetry" ;-)

...and meeat-ing...

Meat, meat, meat, meat,
Meaty, meaty, meaty, meat...
Mmmmmm...meat!

Edited by SteampunkScientist, 07 May 2017 - 12:01 AM.

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#10 Alder Logs

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:00 AM

On jackin' it:

 

What I learned out in the fleet is there are only two kinds of liars.  The ones who say they never have, and the ones who say they quit.


Edited by Alder Logs, 07 May 2017 - 12:01 AM.

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#11 Heirloom

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 01:09 AM

This is so funny LOL I get a good laugh here
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#12 Spooner

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 01:34 AM

My country is better than yours, and so is my superstition. :tongue:  :mad:  :bat:  :victorious:


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#13 CatsAndBats

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 07:57 AM

607102858_d87c6cddd9_z.jpg?zz=1


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#14 Arathu

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:45 PM

Dogs don't seem to like me much at all and I'm not sure why......they bark and growl a lot..............(yes they bite me but I'm not afraid of them...in fact I bite back)

 

Cat's and believe it or not bats, however, do..........wild animals of all kinds also come very close......

 

I'm thinking of getting another Black cat...............my last one was named Lucifer.............. :hug:

 

(So CatsAndBats antics here really freak me out sometimes to be honest.............) 

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 08 May 2017 - 02:47 PM.

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#15 Alder Logs

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:55 PM

If I weren't so old, I'd like to have a raven.  But you have to get them young and they live a long time, so it wouldn't be fair to bond with one unless you were young, and content to be geographically stable, and have the intention for such a commitment. 


Edited by Alder Logs, 08 May 2017 - 10:56 PM.

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#16 Spooner

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:15 PM

Dogs don't seem to like me...(yes they bite me but I'm not afraid of them...in fact I bite back)

 

Perhaps the dogs don't like you because you BITE them.  Just a wild ass guess... :tinfoil:


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#17 Arathu

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:40 AM

 

Dogs don't seem to like me...(yes they bite me but I'm not afraid of them...in fact I bite back)

 

Perhaps the dogs don't like you because you BITE them.  Just a wild ass guess... :tinfoil:

 

I said I bite BACK....................I'm cool until then................. :cool: I think it's my chain wallet and keys...............

 

I don't know......I'm cool until others are not then it's on.................

 

A


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#18 Spooner

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:39 AM

No offence friend, it is just a funny image.  The mild mannered Greenman calmly caring on a civil conversation with a tree, when some passing dog finds it odd and takes a bite, only to have the Greenman suspend his conversation with the tree long enough to turn and bite back at the dog.  In this movie, I see the dog, tail between his legs, yelp and run away in bewilderment, while Greenman turns back and the tree says, "Thank You, that dog has been pissing on me for years."


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#19 CatsAndBats

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:56 AM

No offence friend, it is just a funny image.  The mild mannered Greenman calmly caring on a civil conversation with a tree, when some passing dog finds it odd and takes a bite, only to have the Greenman suspend his conversation with the tree long enough to turn and bite back at the dog.  In this movie, I see the dog, tail between his legs, yelp and run away in bewilderment, while Greenman turns back and the tree says, "Thank You, that dog has been pissing on me for years."

 

 

You should write that as a short story.



#20 Arathu

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 08:09 AM

Hahahahahahaha...no offense taken................hold on a minute.............CHOMP..........yipe yipe yipe yipe..............now where were we?

 

Indeed............ :hug:






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