The Satanic Temple of Illinois has the right to build a holiday display in Springfield. Members say it’s about religious freedom.

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Minister Adam of the Satanic Temple of Illinois looked ready for the holidays.

He was dressed in a black suit accented with a pair of Satanic symbol lapel pins, his flowing blond locks recalling Robert Plant, circa 1971. He smiled benignly, taking in the Satanic Temple’s latest seasonal display, installed in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol, alongside a two-story Christmas tree, a large menorah and a traditional Nativity scene. He launched into an invocation for his assembled flock, recalling foundational beliefs: “Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines born of fearful minds. … Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms. … Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens personal sovereignty …”

Then, once finished, he added: “Hail Satan.”

“Hail Satan” came the reply, loud in the silent marble halls.

A moment later, with perverse timing, two tourists wandered over. They asked if this was the group they were meeting. A Capitol staffer leaned in close and whispered something.

“Oh,” a tourist said, then, his eyes widening into understanding, “Oh!

‘Tis the season for understanding.

And who could use it more this holiday than the Satanists of Illinois?

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