Florida Woman Arrested for Trashing Satanic Exhibit

AP photo of Satanic Temple display attacked in Tallahassee
Tallahassee, FL

A Florida woman could be facing charges in the New Year after allegedly trashing a Satanic holiday exhibition in the state capitol.

Susan Hemeryck of Tallahassee allegedly attacked the setup Tuesday after telling two officers that it was “not right,” she “could not take it anymore,” and that she “had to take down the Satanic display.”

The presentation featured a diorama of an angel plunging into a pit of fire. It had been banned in previous years as being “grossly offensive.” But this year the Satanic Temple enlisted the help of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which had vowed to sue if the display was banned.

That group issued a statement decrying the destruction of the display. “This act of mindless vandalism should be condemned by all decent people and all those who support true freedom of religion. It’s important to remember that free speech in an open forum is for all groups, even those whose message some deem controversial or unpopular.”

There’s no meaning to the display, a Temple member explains. “There’s no significance to it; it’s just a display that we put up to counteract the Nativity scene,” Satanic Temple member John Porgal told reporters on Monday.

Hemeryck was released on her own recognizance. She faces a charge of criminal mischief.