US evangelist Franklin Graham has shared his thoughts on the display of a goat-like satanic figure installed inside a government building in the US state of Illinois.
“The Devil has been trying to destroy Christmas for 2,000 years,” Graham told Fox News. “King Herod sent his troops to Bethlehem to hunt for the baby Jesus to kill Him, and so the devil has been trying to destroy Christmas ever since.”
For the third consecutive year, the Satanic Temple of Illinois have set up a holiday display in the Illinois Capitol building depicting the deity of Baphomet as a baby next to a nativity scene.
Members of the Satanic Temple said the display aims to represent plurality, unity, compassion and positive values.
Minister Adam from the Satanic Temple told ABC News Channel: “The Capitol welcomes a diverse range of religions every year to display holiday statues during the holiday season, so we wanted to join in on that”.
But for Graham, the installation is “just another very sad attempt” by the Devil to destroy Christmas.
“Christmas is about God’s love. It’s not about the Satanic Temple. It’s about God so loving this world that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to this Earth to take our sins. Jesus died for our sins. He was buried, He rose again and He’s alive.”
A sign from the State of Illinois sits in front of all holiday displays saying that “the first floor of the Capitol rotunda is a public place” and “state officials cannot legally censor the content of speech or displays.”
It continues: “The United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may legally impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions regarding displays and speech, but no regulation can be based on the content of the speech."