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Satanic statue installed as a holiday decoration at the Illinois statehouse

A statue from The Satanic Temple-Chicago was added to the holiday decorations at the Illinois statehouse.

The statue, which is four-and-a-half feet tall, is titled "Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift." It depicts a snake coiled around an outstretched arm holding an apple."We see Satan as a hero in that story, of course, spreading knowledge," a spokesman from the temple said. The Satanic Temple calls itself a "non-theistic organization.” The group has installed similar displays in other states in recent years. Despite its name, many of the Satanic Temple's activities demonstrate a particular concern for fighting , or at least revealing , the influence of religion in public life.

Satanist-statue
The Satanic statue

Dave Druker, spokesman for the Illinois secretary of state, said that the group was legally permitted to place the display in the Capitol, which is a public space. It is about the liberty of expressing feelings and thoughts according the Constitution, First Amendment. The state can’t censor a display that isn’t funded by taxpayer dollars because the Capitol rotunda in Springfield is a public space, Druker said. Some people griped that the  “Knowledge Is the Greatest Gift” statue is offensive. "If you're going to have one religious monument up then it should be open to others, and if you don't agree with that then let's just not have any at all," Satanic Arkansas co-founder Ivy Forrester said.

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