BOCA RATON, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholics celebrate after a satanic display fails to go up near a public nativity scene in Florida.
In November, nearly 50,000 people signed a petition started by Return to Order — an organization associated with the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) — asking the city of Boca Raton to shut down a satanic display in Sanborn Square.
The satanic display, consisting of an upside-down pentagram with the words "In Satan we trust" and "May the children hail Satan," has been erected for the last two years by Preston Smith, a middle-school language arts teacher.
This year, however, it seems Smith didn't take out his permit in time and the display didn't make it into Sanborn Square with the Nativity scenes and Menorahs.
On December 1, more than 200 Catholics associated with TFP, America Needs Fatima and Return to Reason assembled in the square to pray the Rosary to stop the satanic display.
A press release by Return to Order noted the gathering turned from a protest to a "victory and thanksgiving rally" when attendees discovered Smith didn't secure a permit.
Originally, the city authorities were asked to disallow Smith's permit, calling it an "offense against God." Jeremy Rodgers, deputy mayor of Boca Raton, commented that the images are, indeed, offensive but added, "We can't say no to this" because lawyers advise it would be an expensive lawsuit.
Smith claimed his display is "an artistic expression of defiance," specifically calling the Nativity scenes in the square "an annual re-enactment of predatory indoctrination in a public park, targeting young children before they have critical thinking skills."
He adds, "Satan and God are clearly both fictional characters devoid of any verifiable peer-reviewed scientific evidence."