Satanic Temple display still up at Capitol


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A group of atheists put their Satanic Temple holiday display up in the Florida Capitol as a satire of a nativity scene. At least one woman wasn't laughing.

"There was the display, and it made me angry," said Susan Hemeryck.

Hemeryck was arrested Tuesday for vandalizing the display, but she said she didn't plan on doing anything at first. She just wanted to see it.

"Two days before Christmas that Jesus should be taken away and Satan put in his place? That's just not right," Hemeryck said.

Video shows Hemeryck walking into the Capitol and heading for the arrangement. She appears to try and take it before being stopped by Capitol police, but she still managed to do some damage. She said she couldn't stand idly by.

"When Satan comes into the halls of my town I can't let that go without a fight," Hemeryck said. "I hope nobody can let that go without a fight."

The group that put the display together wasn't shocked.

"Well, I'm really not surprised," said John Porgal, regional director of the American Atheists. "I was really surprised it took this long. Kind of expecting it to be damaged."

Hemeryck said she's not happy she broke a law and has one other regret.

"I went back to pick up my stuff after I was released from jail, and I went back and there was Satan back up again," Hemeryck said. "I guess I'm sorry I just didn't monkey stomp him to smithereens when I had the chance."

Hemeryck was charged with criminal mischief and is awaiting a court date at the end of January.