Belle Plaine, Minnesota Believes in Religious Freedom–But Maybe Not for Satanists

By Samantha Grant

A veteran’s park in Belle Plaine, Minnesota has opened a Free Speech Zone, allowing any and all religious memorials to be placed there.

However, this apparent openness towards different religions has sparked a discussion about the separation of church and state–and a discussion about how open minded Americans really are to all beliefs.

Back in January, a Christian memorial erected in the park for violating the Establishment Clause, which prohibits the government from endorsing any religion.  The citizens of Belle Plaine claimed that the removal of the memorial was in fact the state inhibiting religious freedom.

In response, the Christian memorial was put back.

“This is what we support, this is what the community supports,” said one protester. “And it doesn’t matter if you are Jewish, Muslim…we are all Americans fighting this war together.”

A few months after that, the Satanic Temple in Salem, MA decided they wanted to put up their own memorial in this Minnesota park.

The memorial was to be a black cube with a helmet on top.  The point of this memorial was to honor those veterans who may not have been Christian or any other more common religion often represented by memorials.

However, shortly after this news broke, the townspeople seemed to change their tune, claiming there should still be certain restrictions on religious expression.

“There is a freedom of speech, but freedom comes at a price, as well,” said one protester.  “They are free to believe whatever they want to, but they need to do it on their own grounds, not on public property.”

There has been no settlement in this case, as the fight for all religious freedom goes on.




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