Christian, Satanist groups erecting holiday displays on state capitol lawn | Michigan Radio
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Christian, Satanist groups erecting holiday displays on state capitol lawn

Dec 17, 2018

State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) set up a Christian nativity scene on the grounds of the Michigan state capitol building. Later this week, a Satanist group plans to erect its own holiday display a short distance away
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Once again, Christians and Satanists are mounting dueling holiday displays at the state capitol.

This morning, State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) erected a small nativity scene on the lawn of the capitol building.  He’s been doing this since 2014, when a Satanist group announced plans to erect their own “Snaketivity” on the capitol grounds.

This year, a group called West Michigan Friends of the Satanic Temple plan to put up a small statue of Baphomet.   The haloed goat head statue will take its place on the capitol lawn on Friday. 

“Under the law they can put it up,” says Jones. “However they are going to represent the darkness.  We hope the nativity is going to represent the light.”

The nativity scene will remain up through next Sunday. The Baphomet statue is scheduled to be up through Dec. 27th.

Capitol rules require the displays be erected in the morning and taken down in the evening. 

This will be the last year Sen. Jones will be setting up the navitity scene.  He's term-limited and he'll leave office at the end of the month.   But Jones says another state lawmaker has committed to continue setting up the display in the future.