This is the article that appeared in the January/February 2024 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.
During the Christmas season, the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin hosted a Festival of Trees representing 66 organizations. Only six of the trees were sponsored by Christian groups; the others were sponsored by various businesses. Two of the trees ignited a backlash: one by a Satanic group, and the other by an LGBT group.
The Satanic Temple of Wisconsin featured a tree with an ornament that says, “Hail Satan.” There was also a depiction of Satan, as well as upside-down crosses.
The parent group of the Green Bay affiliate, The Satanic Temple (TST), is proud to be known as a champion of abortion-on-demand: it justifies abortion at any time of pregnancy and for any reason, seeing it as a source of liberation. It also raises money to further the cause.
When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, returning the issue to the states, TST said “the abortion ban is inspired by a religious dogma that asserts that life begins at conception, which contravenes TST’s belief that non-viable fetal tissue is part of the pregnant person and is free to be voluntarily removed.”
What it calls “non-viable fetal tissue” is actually nascent human life. As such, the baby is independent of the life of the mother. To say it is anti-science would be an understatement.
The Trans Christmas tree was less offensive, but it did have ornaments with the inscriptions “Drag Queen” and “Be Weird.” Atop the tree was an angel holding a rainbow flag. The Green Bay group that sponsored the tree said it stands for “non-binary, cross-dressing, transgender persons.” Its affinity with the National Railroad Museum was made clear when one of its most active members, Justin Tenpenny, was hired by the Museum to be its Marketing and Communications officer.
Perhaps the most disingenuous person involved in this anti-Christmas scam is Jacqueline Frank, the CEO of the National Railroad Museum.
When asked why she allowed the Satanists, she invoked the tired refrain of inclusion. According to a local Green Bay news source, she said she “would not reject an organization simply because it goes against certain values or ways of life, traditional or not.” Really? So if the Klan wanted to be included in an event honoring Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Frank would welcome them?
“I think there’s a lot to be said of being able to include everybody, to respect everyone and to promote dignity for everybody,” Frank said. How the dignity of Christians is being respected by allowing Satanists to defile Christmas needs to be explained.
It does not help Frank’s decision for her to say, “We’re not discriminating against anyone.” The issue is not discrimination—it is hostility to religion. And that is unconstitutional.
In the 1971 Lemon v. Kurtzman ruling, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote that the Constitution “affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any (our italics).”
There is no other way to interpret the TST anti-Christmas display at the Museum than to say that it is demonstrating hostility to Christianity.