Schimpf wants Satanic Temple's sculpture out of Capitol Rotunda
Arguing that it does not “celebrate or recognize the observance of a religious holiday,” State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) is adamant that the Satanic Temple statue now on display in the Illinois Capitol Rotunda never should have been allowed.
In a letter to Secretary of State Jesse White that Schimpf, an attorney by trade, posted on Facebook, he opined, “The Satanic display should not have been approved ... The display seeks to provoke and antagonize members of the Christian and Jewish faiths. As such, you would have been well within your discretion to deny that display request.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago chapter of The Satanic Temple was allowed to stand the “Knowledge Is the Greatest Gift” statute near other holiday displays such as a Nativity scene. The group calls itself a nontheistic organization that “encourages benevolence and empathy among all people.”
While Dave Druker, a spokesperson for White, said under the guidelines of the Constitution and First Amendment the group has the same rights as every other religious organization vying for a spot in the rotunda, Schimpf strongly begged to differ.
“As an attorney who evaluated the legality of religious displays in the United States Marine Corps, I appreciate the complexities associated with balancing the First Amendment with the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution,” he added. “In this situation, I believe you received poor legal advice recommending approval of the Satanic display.”
Schimpf wraps his letter by urging White to reconsider his decision to allow the sculpture to stand.