press release issued by The Satanic Temple December 17, 2021:
The Satanic Temple (TST) has announced the arrival of new artwork at the Illinois Capitol Rotunda in celebration of the Satanic holiday — Sol Invictus, which takes place on the 25th of December. The new display, created by artist Chris P. Andres (@chrispandres), depicts the Satanic deity Baphomet as a swaddling babe. This year’s exhibition, once again coordinated by TST’s Illinois congregation, will be installed on December 20th at 1 pm. The installation continues the Satanic Temple’s three-year tradition of displaying religious art in the Illinois Capitol building — except for 2020, when the Capitol building was closed for all displays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prior week, Springfield Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced that not all religions should have access to the state capitol. Paprocki called out The Satanic Temple as an entity that seeks to divide rather than unite. He insisted the organization should not be permitted to participate with other religious groups in hosting displays at “this Capitol or any other place.”
“This year’s tradition marks a greater urgency in the Baphomet’s message of harmony and reconciliation,” noted The Satanic Temple’s Director of Campaign Operations Erin Helian. “This years’ display celebrates unity. In keeping with that spirit, we have invited Bishop Paprocki to hold hands with members of The Satanic Temple while we come together and stand before all of the religious displays at the rotunda. I am sure people of all faiths in the Springfield community will be very disappointed if Bishop Paprocki turns down this opportunity and opts to divide people – especially during the holidays.”
The Satanic Temple has over half a million registered members and has placed holiday displays in Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and elsewhere.
“It is my Sol Invictus wish that Bishop Paprocki will accept our invitation so we can share with him our message of compassion and empathy so we can come together and spread the harmonious holiday spirit of the Baphomet to the entire Springfield community,” Helian added.
About The Satanic Temple
The Satanic Temple, subject of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Hail Satan?, and the academic analysis of modern Satanism, Speak of the Devil, confronts religious discrimination to secure the separation of church and state and defend the Constitutional rights of its members. In response to Oklahoma and Arkansas placing a Ten Commandments statue on Capitol grounds, TST offered its bronze Baphomet statue to stand alongside the Christian monuments. TST hosts the “After School Satan” club to counter the Evangelical “Good News Clubs” in public schools across the country to promote a plurality of religious viewpoints. The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense, oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits for the individual will. For more information about The Satanic Temple, visit https://thesatanictemple.com/.