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Satanic Temple Sues Franklin County

I got this via e-mail last night.  I think it’s ironic seeing how lawmakers are moving forward with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  And why do I get the strange feeling there’s more where this is coming from.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a joint lawsuit on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and The Satanic Temple (TST) against Franklin County following the county’s rejection of applications from both organizations requesting permission to erect public displays on the county courthouse lawn.

The FFRF is a nationwide non-profit organization “devoted to protecting the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state,” and The Satanic Temple is an “international religious organization,” the filing states. The grounds on which the displays were requested for display are described by a local ordinance (No. 2015-02) as “a forum to promote understanding of issues of public concern and to foster respect for the rights of all.” The ordinance also explains, “Public use of the courthouse grounds includes, but is not limited to, activities sponsored by county departments; celebrations; community events; cultural, educational, and historical activities, displays, demonstrations, exhibits, marches, rallies, press conferences, speeches, and vigils related to government or public issues; memorial services, performances, wedding ceremonies, and other expressive activities.”

In February of 2015, TST applied to erect a display from Nov. 29 through January 06, 2015. While the exact details of the display are not specified, TST revealed that it would be a lit display measuring up to 19 ½ feet in height. FFRF applied to place a display highlighting the importance of the Bill of Rights within the same period of time. Both were rejected on the grounds that neither TST nor FFRF are residents of Franklin County. The ACLU contends that the requirement for local applications is a violation of the First Amendment and represents both organizations in a joint filing. According to the suit, “The requirement of the Ordinance that persons wishing to use the Courthouse lawn be residents of the County is not narrowly tailored to advance an important government interest, nor is it reasonably related to a legitimate government interest.”

The Satanic Temple generated controversy during the past holiday season when it erected displays in public forums in both Michigan and Florida. The organization is best known for its current efforts to erect a Satanic monument next to a 10 Commandments monument currently standing on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol building.

About The Satanic Temple
The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Civic-minded, The Satanic Temple has been involved in a number of good works including taking a stand against the controversial and extremist Westboro Baptist Church. For more information about The Satanic Temple, please visit http://www.thesatanictemple.com/.