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27 Nov, 2023 17:07

‘Satanic’ Christmas tree draws lawmaker’s ire

A ‘Gender Diversity Tree’ calling on festival attendees to ‘protect trans kids’ was also the subject of considerable blowback
‘Satanic’ Christmas tree draws lawmaker’s ire

A museum in the US state of Wisconsin has been accused of promoting “cultural propaganda” after it featured some non-traditional entries in its annual Christmas tree festival this year, including one adorned with red ornamental pentagrams paying festive homage to Beelzebub.

Among the 66 uniquely decorated exhibits displayed in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon at the National Railroad Museum’s ‘Festival of Trees,’ perhaps none have generated quite as much intrigue – or in some cases dismay – as the one supplied by Wisconsin’s Satanic Temple.

The majority of trees at the event, which runs until the end of December, are your typical Christmas fare, depicting traditional imagery related to Jesus, or angels, or any other manner of festive decorations. A notable exception, though, is the Satanic Temple’s offering, which in addition to its dark red baubles also has an ornament reading ‘Hail Santa’.

The decorations are a gross distortion of basic traditions, according to state Representative Mike Gallagher. “Conservatives are often accused of launching a culture war or focusing or fixating on cultural issues,” Gallagher, a Republican, told Fox News on Sunday. “But here is a perfect example of how that’s not happening."

Gallagher added that objections to non-traditional Christmas trees are meant to “defend basic traditions, or defend our children in the midst of these basic traditions, from the encroachment of woke ideology or offensive upside-down cultural propaganda.”

Another tree that appeared to inflame Gallagher’s ire was the so-called ‘Gender Diversity Tree’, which displays pink and blue colored flags and has ornaments that bear phrases like ‘Protect Trans Kids’.

However, in response to the blowback, the museum’s CEO, Jacqueline Frank, told the Green Bay Gazette that if it is to be an “inclusive organization” it must make steps to ensure everyone who visits feels comfortable. “Who am I to say … this thing that is your belief system and outside the mainstream is bad?”

Gallagher remains unconvinced, describing the comment as “insufficient” and said that he would not be bringing his children to the museum. “I don’t want them to be surrounded by Satanic trees,” he said, according to the news website BPR.

The Satanic Temple, which claims to have more than 700,000 members across the globe according to NBC News, does not deify Satan, its co-founder Malcolm Jarry said earlier this year. Nor does it even believe in Satan’s very existence, but more a “literary representation of Satan,” Jarry added, whom he said could be viewed as a “heroic figure who fights against tyrannical authority.”

In June, the group announced a plan whereby its ‘priests’ would offer to testify on behalf of members who may wish to undergo gender affirmation procedures in the face of “infringement of their bodily autonomy by government authorities.” The temple says that maintaining full control over one’s body is one of the tenets that define its beliefs.

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