A town in Minnesota is to allow a satanist monument to be erected in a veterans park – the first such monument to appear on public property in US history.
The structure, which features a helmet on top of a black cube, will be placed at the Veterans Memorial Park in Belle Plaine.
The town allowed the monument to go ahead after a group which advocates freedom of religion and separation between state and church threatened to sue it over a statue featuring a soldier praying 0ver a grave with a cross, CBS Minnesota reported.
Officials have now created a “Free Speech Zone” in the park. The area currently has space for at least 10 monuments but they must honor veterans.
The decision to allow the satanists to erect their monument has brought mixed reactions, with some groups preparing a protest on Saturday against it.
“They said they were putting it up and I did not like it,” said Belle Plaine resident Donna Karnitz, whose husband is a Vietnam War veteran.
“It was approved a while back already, and it has not come here,” she added. “I am hoping and praying that it doesn’t come into the park here!”
Cary Coop, a town council member, claims he opposed the idea of creating a free speech area in the veterans park.
“I don’t think there’s too many Satanists around here, but it’s free speech,” he said.
“We were warned against creating this free speech zone, and it will be probably be just as well that we didn’t have one, that people could use private property to say whatever they want.”