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Video: Satanic display featured at Iowa Statehouse

A judge's gavel rests on a book of law. (Dreamstime/TNS)
December 13, 2023

Republican lawmakers have described a Satanic Temple display currently featured in the rotunda of the Iowa Statehouse as “absolutely objectionable” after the Satanist group set up the display over the weekend.

Citizen Free Press shared a video Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter, that showed the Satanic display in the Iowa Statehouse. The post explained that a Satanic display of a “demonic ram in a red cloak” had been set up in the rotunda of the Iowa Statehouse as “an expression of religious freedom.”

According to KETV NewsWatch 7, the Satanic Temple argued that their display was consistent with “legal parameters” and that all beliefs should be allowed to be celebrated if Christmas trees and Nativity scenes could be displayed in the state capitol.

WHO 13 Des Moines reported that a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services claimed the Satanic Temple applied for the display to be featured in the rotunda and met all of the requirements for permission to be granted on behalf of the organization’s display.  

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“People might not agree with our viewpoints, but they are certainly within legal parameters,” Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, said. “And my feeling is if people don’t like our display in public forums, they don’t have to engage with them. They don’t have to view them.”

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds expressed her disapproval of the Satanic display at the Iowa Statehouse on Tuesday. Reynolds released a statement Tuesday, saying, “Like many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple’s display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable. In a free society, the best response to objectionable speech is more speech, and I encourage all those of faith to join me today in praying over the Capitol and recognizing the nativity scene that will be on display ― the true reason for the season.”

Reynolds also shared photos on social media of Christians gathering at the Iowa Statehouse on Tuesday to “pray for peace.” The Republican governor explained that while free speech is “a right afforded to all” under the Constitution, the way free speech is used is also important to consider.

“Today’s event is proof that in the battle between good and evil, good will always prevail,” she wrote.