A Florida member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation says that he plans to erect a large pentagram in a city park this December in an effort to counter Christian and Jewish displays regarding the birth of Christ.
Since 1990, a city law in Boca Raton has allowed “unattended, expressive installations, displays, exhibits and similar objects” to be displayed during the holiday season in the city’s Sanborn Park. According to a report from CBS12, a local atheist named Preston Smith plans to put up a blood-red pentagram that stands six feet tall, weighs 300 pounds and bears several captions, including “In Satan We Trust,” “I Kneel Before No Gods” and “May the Children Hail Satan.”
Smith, who was raised as a Catholic but now describes himself as an atheistic Satanist, says he likes the pentagram because it represents “the polar opposite of everything that the Church stands for.” He views Satan as a metaphor for rebellion rather than an actual being.
“Satan serves as the symbol to go against—to rebel against—Yahweh, Jesus, and Muhammad,” he said in an interview published on YouTube. “The devil, in atheistic Satanists’ point of view, promotes great things: the separation of church and state, critical thinking, equal rights, science literacy, and sexual freedom—everything organized religion opposes.”
Smith describes his pentagram as a protest against nativity scenes and other religious holiday displays.
“The reason for the pentagram is that we have to have a break on the monopoly of the nativity scenes in public spheres,” he said. “A nativity scene, which is the myth that somehow a 14-year-old girl was magically impregnated—and, you know, it’s the stuff of legends, it’s folklore. We have to break the spell of menorahs being so widespread and acceptable in the public sphere, which is just a fairy tale of one night’s worth of oil burning for, what, eight nights. So I think that’s the direction I was going in.”
According to reports, Smith put up a similar Satanic pentagram in Boca Raton last year, but it was repeatedly vandalized and knocked down. The earliest Smith will be allowed to erect his display in the city park this year is December 1.