Christians express concerns over proposed Satanic memorial in Belle Plaine

| June 6, 2017 | 126 Comments

Father Brian Lynch presented serious issues with the proposed Satanic memorial for Belle Plaine’s Veterans Memorial Park at the community’s city council meeting June 5.

The pastor of Our Lady of the Prairie in Belle Plaine, Father Lynch highlighted the dangers of children being exposed to the memorial, which will include Satanic symbols. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts-based nonprofit Reason Alliance Ltd., associated with the Satanic Temple in Salem, proposed the memorial to the Belle Plaine city council. The council later approved it.

The pictured Satanic memorial has been approved by the city of Belle Plains to be on display at Veterans Memorial Park in the southern Minnesota town. Courtesy Satanic Temple

“The inverted pentagrams on the Satanic monument proposed by the Satanic Temple will prompt young people to consider Satanism for themselves and to reject the good moral behavior required for an ordered and peaceful society,” said Father Lynch in his five-minute address to the city council.

He was the only person to testify at the hearing.

Joined by more than 40 people opposing the memorial, Father Lynch explained how the memorial will violate multiple sections in a chapter of Belle Plaine’s City Code. The chapter “addresses nuisances, offenses and restrictions,” he said.

Father Lynch noted that the code states that “it shall be a petty misdemeanor for any person, in any parks or other public lands” to “commit any nuisance or any offense against decency or public morals.”

Belle Plaine became a target of the Satanic group after the city allowed a squabble with the Vets Club over another monument in Veterans Memorial Park. A soldier statue known as “Joe” knelt in front of a small cross. After being taken down by the city earlier this year, the council allowed it to return after complaints from the Vets Club. The city made a section of Veterans Memorial Park “a limited public forum” for privately-owned memorials.

Veterans Memorial Park is centrally located in the town with access to a long trail. Father Lynch said in the council meeting that “children spend unsupervised time in or near Veterans Memorial Park as they travel by way of the Highway 169 pedestrian underpass and the nearby park on their way to school and other local destinations.”

“The monument may also attract pre-existing Satanists to our community as a place for theistic Satanic ritual activities that victimize our children,” he said.

It could lead to a “form of grooming similar to that used by pedophiles,” Father Lynch said, which “Satanists use … to erode a child’s trust in caring authority figures including their parents, teachers and police officers.”

“This grooming is intended to not only make children afraid to report the abuse they suffer at the hands of Satanists, but also, to feel personally responsible for the evil they have suffered as youthful victims,” Father Lynch added. “Most disturbing is the fact that theistic Satanic ritual activities are known to include deviant sexual acts with and among children.”

Following the public forum during the city council meeting, Father Lynch and some of the visitors returned to Our Lady of the Prairie for eucharistic adoration, which ran from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by Mass. Thirty-one people attended to pray against the Satanic proposition. Participants in the prayers and city council visit included members of the Catholic Watchmen movement from other communities in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

“He had great legal arguments,” Paul Rennerfeldt, 38, said of Father Lynch’s presentation. Rennerfeldt is a parishioner of All Saints in Lakeville.

Joseph Turner, 28, who attends All Saints in Minneapolis, described the whole experience as “like a strange dream” that a small town “has to deal with the problem of putting up a Satanic statue.”

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