Satanic Statue Installed In Illinois Statehouse Among Holiday Displays

If for any reason you decide to visit the Illinois statehouse in Springfield, this holiday season, you might be surprised to see the sculpture that's currently nestled between a Christmas tree and menorah. 

The statue, which was designed and funded by the Chicago chapter of the Satanic Temple, stands about 4 1/2 feet tall, and depicts an outstretched hand holding an apple, with a snake coiled around it. The sculpture stands on a base that reads "Knowledge is the greatest gift." 

In a post on Instagram last month announcing the design dubbed "Snaketivity," the group wrote the statue was "bringing a message to the Illinois state capital that religious freedom means freedom of representation for ALL religions... not just the ones that don't offend Christians." 

A GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $1,500 was quickly funded after it was launched by the group to help them recoup the costs associated with creating the sculpture and transporting it to the statehouse. 

Allowing the "Snaketivity" to be put on display isn't a popular decision, but Dave Drucker, a spokesperson for the Illinois secretary of state said the Constitution protects people to express their feelings. 

"Under the Constitution, the First Amendment, people have a right to express their feelings, their thoughts," Druker told the State Journal-Register. "This recognizes that."

According to the group's website, the Satanic Temple has chapters located across the country. The group says their goal is to "encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will."

Groups in the past have submitted other decorations to be put on display in the state capital - including a "Festivus" pole, a fictional holiday made popular by an episode of the sitcom "Seinfeld." 

The "Snaketivity" will be on display in the Illinois statehouse through Dec. 29th.