On Friday, May 5, The Satanic Temple announced that it received clearance to install a monument in Veterans Memorial Park in Belle Plaine Minnesota. Belle Plaines is now the first American town to allow the Satanic Temple to install a monument on public land.
As you can imagine, the fight for the monument was a long time coming. It began after the town erected a statue showing an infantryman kneeling in front of a cross. While one could argue that the statue wasn’t overtly religious, a local resident said that the statue violated “separation of church and state.” The town quietly removed the statue overnight.
People were furious. They protested the decision by putting replicas of the statue (which they affectionately named “Joe”) in their windows. Many also sent strongly worded letters to the local government. After several months of fighting, the city made the area a “public forum” that’s open to anyone who wants to honor veterans. The Satanic Temple jumped at the opportunity.
Unsurprisingly people were upset, which is kind of the point. The Satanic Temple has been known to intentionally irritate people to spark conversation about religion in public spaces. The above video shows one example of their many inflammatory exploits.