Baby Baphomet Takes its Place Alongside a Christmas Tree, Nativity, and Menorah in Capitol Rotunda
SPRINGFIELD – The baby Baphomet – a goatlike creature worshipped by Satanists – has taken its place alongside a Christmas tree, Nativity, and menorah in the Capitol Rotunda.
Men from a Catholic group sang and prayed before, during, and after the Satanic Temple of Illinois’ ceremony installing the statue in the Rotunda – which, a large sign points out, is obligated to welcome displays of all faiths — and of the faithless.
John Ritchie of Pennsylvania, said Jesus “would whip the Satanists out of the Capitol building.”
“We represent benevolence, empathy, rejection of tyrannical authority, compassion, unity, and religious pluralism,” said the leader of the Satanic ceremony, identifying himself only as “Minister Adam.”
“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 in a press release.
The group’s displays have courted controversy, particularly from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and its head, Bishop Thomas Paprocki. He recently oversaw the installation of a nativity scene in the Capitol rotunda. At the event, Paprocki said satanic displays “should have no place in this Capitol or any other place.”
“Mocking the millions of Christians in the state of Illinois and billions around the world by depicting the baby Jesus this Christmas with the ‘satanic deity’ Baphomet is the very definition of evil and causing division, but that is to be expected from an organization that is in existence to troll people of faith,” said Andrew Hansen, a spokesperson for the diocese.
✱The Satanic Temple invited the Bishop to attend their event, which he flatly declined.
✱“Bishop Paprocki declines the invitation to associate with evil and urges all people of true religious faith to shun the devil,” Hansen said.
✱The Baphomet statue is on loan from the Satanic Temple in Salem, Mass.
✱A sign from the State of Illinois sits in the rotunda in front of all holiday displays and says:
“The State of Illinois is required by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution to allow temporary, public display in the state capitol so long as these displays are not paid for by taxpayer dollars. Because the first floor of the Capitol rotunda is a public place, state officials cannot legally censor the content of speech or displays. The United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may legally impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions regarding displays and speech, but no regulation can be based on the content of the speech.”