A Florida pastor has warned that a Satanic monument that will be on display during the Christmas season in Boca Raton is essentially a "welcome mat for Satan" and vowed to take it down with a sledgehammer.
According to CBS 12, the 6-foot-tall pentagram, painted blood red, with a wooden image of the holy symbol of Satan in the middle of it will be placed in Boca Raton's Sanborn Square just in time for the holidays.
The metal pentagram, submitted by a local teacher, will reportedly weight 300 pounds and include phrases such as: "In Satan We Trust," "One Nation under Antichrist" and "May the Children Hail Satan."
"In essence they're putting out a welcome mat for Satan," Pastor Mark Boykin of Church of All Nations in Boca Raton, told the outlet.
"It's evil, it's the essence of evil. I will take the responsibility for taking the sledgehammer and knocking it down," he said, adding that it's "reprehensible" and an "insult to the city."
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie admitted that she, too, finds the satanic structure "extremely offensive," but said the city council has "chosen to honor free speech."
"We can't say no to this, as offensive as it is. Our lawyers said whatever you do, don't do that. Because it will be an expensive lawsuit," said Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers.
Scott Singer, a Boca Raton city council member, added: "This is not consistent with my particular values, but free speech means people have an opportunity to express themselves, whether government likes it or not or whether individuals like it or not."
The structure is expected to stay up at Sanborn Square on Federal Highway from Dec. 1 through Jan. 6, 2018.
A similar incident occurred last Christmas, when an LGBT advocate and self-proclaimed "militant atheist" placed an upside down cross, the symbol of satanism and idolatry, next to nativity and menorah in front of a Florida city hall.
"Government has no right to be in the business of religion," the atheist, Chaz Stevens, told the Sun-Sentinel, explaining he simply wanted to "make a statement" with the cross, which lights up red after dark.
"Keep church out of state," he later told CBS Miami. "It's not like I practice evil. We do not believe in Satan. We are atheists. However, we'll believe in Satan, in Jesus, we'll believe in whatever if it furthers our cause of Satanology which is the promotion of our civic activism to further a discussion of our civil rights, of separation of church and state. And how we're doing that is we're using the hobgoblins of Christianity against themselves."