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Christians and Satanists will mark the holiday at the state Capitol this weekend

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

This holiday season, two very different religious beliefs will be on displayat the state Capitol in Lansing.

A small crowd sang Christmas carols outside the state Capitol today. They were there to see a small nativity scene erected. The figures of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph will stand in stark contrast to a display featuring a snake that Michigan Satanists plan to put up on Sunday. 

Plans for the nativity were initially up in the air because organizers had trouble finding people willing to set up and break down the small display every day. But after the Satanist Temple of Detroit confirmed its display would be up from Dec. 21 through 23, volunteers were found for the Christian display.

Father Steve Mattson is “disturbed” by the Satanists’ holiday display, but he says it is their right as Americans.

Credit Satanic Temple
Satanic Temple

“The right that we have as Americans to demonstrate our faith, in various capacities, whether it be a crèche or some other way, is a great gift to us,” says Mattson. 

The Satanic Temple contends its display is intended to serve as a message about religious freedom and inclusiveness

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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