A heated debate has ignited in Iowa over a Satanic display featured in the state’s Capitol building, prompting fervent calls for its immediate removal and legislative action to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
The uproar stems from a mirrored, caped statue of Baphomet, adorned with a black and red “holiday wreath” featuring a prominent pentagram. The controversial display was installed by the Iowa chapter of the Satanic Temple, sparking outrage and condemnation from various quarters, notably from Iowa lawmaker Brad Sherman.
Sherman vehemently demanded the removal of the Satanic display from the Capitol, decrying it as “disgusting” and asserting that such expressions contradict the state’s foundational principles. He referenced the preamble of Iowa’s constitution, highlighting the state’s gratitude to the “Supreme Being” and the dependence on this entity for blessings, suggesting that allowing Satan worship in a government institution defies the constitution’s spirit.
Expressing concern that permitting Satanic expressions equates them with the reverence accorded to a higher power, Sherman articulated his belief that such actions not only undermine the state’s constitutional values but also offend the deity upon whom the state relies for blessings.
Calling upon Governor Kim Reynolds to take immediate action, Sherman urged for the removal of the display, citing its purported unconstitutionality and offense to the religious foundations of the state. Additionally, he advocated for legislative measures to prohibit Satanic displays in state-owned properties while advocating for the display of the Ten Commandments in public institutions.
SHOCK REPORT: Gov. Kim Reynolds allows SATANIC ALTAR to be displayed at the Iowa State Capitol..
WHAT’S NEXT? pic.twitter.com/fyPkscU9NV
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) December 12, 2023
Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple defended its installation as part of holiday festivities, asserting their pride in participating and reinforcing their commitment to their core beliefs. The national group, known for advocating for abortion rights as a religious tenet and promoting After School Satan Clubs, asserts its rights under free speech laws, demanding equal respect for their beliefs akin to traditional religions.
The Satanic Temple’s Baphomet statue remains permitted in the Capitol for a two-week duration, prompting further debate and reflection on the boundaries of free speech, religious expression, and the role of such displays in government spaces.