MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A small Minnesota town is getting a lot of attention for a Satanic monument coming to their veterans park.
The monument going up for The Satanic Temple — which features an upturned helmet atop a black cube — will soon be at the site of the Veterans Memorial Park in Belle Plaine.
It is being built by a group of Satanists out of Massachusetts, and it will be the first Satanic monument on public property in United States history.
The city is allowing the monument to be built after a religious freedom group threatened to sue over another statue, which features a soldier praying over a grave marked with a cross.
City officials say the memorial, which is not inside the park yet, is finished, but they are still working out a date for when it will go in.
It has to be put in a small area called “The Free Speech Zone.” It is an area designated to 10 or fewer memorials, as long as they honor veterans.
“They said they were putting it up and I did not like it,” said resident Donna Karnitz.
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, whose husband is a veteran of the Vietnam War, says she finds the new Satanic monument 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 [laughs]!”
Karnitz is not alone. There is a protest planned at the park on Saturday during the city’s popular BBQ Days festival.
Despite its name, the Satanic Temple says it does not promote a belief in a personal Satan and that that “religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition.”