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Christian, Satanist groups erecting holiday displays on state capitol lawn

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 Templeplan 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. 

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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