Satanic Temple to display 'baby Baphomet' at Illinois Capitol rotunda for Sol Invictus
The Illinois State Capitol rotunda plans on featuring a debatable art display for the year-ending holidays. This is all thanks to The Satanic Temple, who will have their holiday display alongside other religious spectacles.
The 2021 installment will be the third for this organization where they feature the satanic figure Baphomet. Baphomet is depicted as a baby to celebrate the satanic holiday 'Sol Invictus'.
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This controversial artistic display from The Satanic Temple was created by Albuquerque horror artist Chris P. Andres. In its esseence, The Satanic Temple is not really a religious group. In the truest sense, it is more of an orginization for social activists that mainly deals with social justic issues. Some of the issues resolved by this organization in the past include women's reproductive rights, separation of the church and state among others.
This exhibition via The Satanic Temple was installed at 1 pm on the 20th December 2021. As seen on The Satanic Temple's website, "Sol Invictus is a celebration of being unconquered by superstition and consistent in the pursuit of sharing knowledge,” and has its origins in the cult of Sol in pre-Christian Rome." In a press release about the installation, Erin Helian, Director of Campaign Operations of The Satanic Temple said, "This year’s tradition marks a greater urgency in the Baphomet’s message of harmony and reconciliation."
A diocese (person who is entrusted with the care taking of the church) named Andrew Hansen told The State Journal-Register, "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." He further added to this opinion by saying,"should have no place in this Capitol or any other place." "Bishop Paprocki declines the invitation to associate with evil and urges all people of true religious faith to shun the devil" said the Diocese Hansen.
Lucien Greaves is a co-founder of The Satanic Temple. He is of the opinion that Bishop's attitude lacks a sense of "unity". He went ahead and said to The State Jounal Register that, "Our real message is to reestablish pluralism. It doesn’t mean that people with opposing viewpoints have to be in conflict."
In addition to the display of controversial art pieces, The Satanic Temple also has 'rules' relating to religious freedom that demand exemption from restrictions on abortions and other social causes. They do this to offer an alternative to Christian initiatives. The Satanic Temple hosts these talks as after-school programs.
The Satanic Temple has been installing displays at the state Capitol since 2018. Their installation titled "Knowledge is the Greatest Gift," showcased Adam and Eve with an apple and a snake in 2019.