A small town in Minnesota is getting a lot of unwanted attention for a new monument set to go up in their veterans’ park.
In Belle Plane, they will soon be erecting a Satanic Temple – an upturned helmet atop a black cube. It will be the first time a Satanic monument is erected on government property.
The “temple” is being built by a group of Satanists out of Massachusetts. The city is reluctantly permitting the monument after a religious freedom group threatened to sue over another statue – featuring a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross, CBS Minneapolis reports.
At first, the city council removed the praying soldier statue, but then they created a “free speech” zone to permit the Christian statue to be erected. It was then that they declared they would put up their “Satanic temple.”
“They said they were putting it up and I did not like it,” resident Donna Karnitz, told the local CBS affiliate.
City Councilmember Cary Coop says he voted against the designated free speech area.
“I don’t think there’s too many Satanists around here, but it’s free speech,” Coop said.
He says they anticipated other groups coming in.
“We were warned against creating this free speech zone, and it will be probably be just as well that we didn’t have one, that people could use private property to say whatever they want,” Coop said.
Karnitz said her husband is a Vietnam War veteran and finds the new Satanic display offensive.
“It was approved a while back already, and it has not come here,” she said. “I am hoping and praying that it doesn’t come into the park here!”
A ceremony to erect the monument is scheduled for Saturday, along with protests against it. There is also a popular BBQ Days festival the same day at the park.