BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Rosary of reparation is planned to protest the first public monument to Satan in the United States.
Church Militant spoke with Robert Ritchie of America Needs Fatima (ANF), the group organizing a public Rosary of Reparation scheduled for July 15. Ritchie wanted to underscore the historic nature of the event, saying it is the first time a monument to Satan will be installed in a public space. He says it is the latest attempt by the Satanic Temple to mainstream satanism and that it's ushering in a "new threshold of evil."
Ritchie says ANF became involved in the Belle Plaine fight because they wanted to provide organizational support to the local community that might not otherwise have leadership. According to him, it's hard to estimate the expected crowd size, but he expects between 50 and 100 to show up, which would be significant for a town with a population of approximately 7,000. He explained that there is usually no opposition to the Rosary rallies and maybe "two or three people would show up" to heckle the group, but they "wouldn’t be much of a problem."
The whole ordeal stemmed from a small display installed by the Belle Plaine veteran's group in the city's Veterans Memorial Park. From February city records, Belle Plaine was advised by Freedom From Religion (FRF) that the Cross display on the monument was unconstitutional. Fearing a lawsuit, the original monument was initially removed.
Alliance Defending Freedom, represented by Doug Wardlow, offered legal support should the city face litigation; and the public forum was created to allow the cross to return to the park.
Church Militant spoke with Dawn Meyer, interim city administrator, about the monument. Meyer explained that the previous city administrator recently resigned, and she has no knowledge of the number of complaints leading to the removal of the original cross.
Rebecca Markert, managing staff attorney for FRF, told Church Militant they were contacted by just one person initially, though others joined in after the news became public. Meyer also explained that the original monument was installed without city approval. She mentioned that any organization wanting to honor veterans would only need to submit an application.
Although the monument has been constructed, no date has been given for the installation of the "Baphometic Bowl of Wisdom." The monument is a two-foot, black, steel cube emblazoned with an inverted pentagram and an upside-down helmet mounted on top. The helmet is designed to hold "remembrances" and "messages" to fallen soldiers.
Markert also explained that FRF is in the process of constructing its own monument in the park, which is dedicated to atheists in foxholes, thus mocking the expression "There are no atheists in foxholes."
Ritchie told Church Militant that the July 15 date is significant because it's the date the Crusaders took back Jerusalem from Islamic forces in 1099. He says the rally is dedicated to the patronage of the Crusaders and is adamant that there will be a showing of opposition to the monument "in the presence of God."