Satan, not the ‘Supreme Being’ in Iowa’s constitution, gets altar in statehouse at Christmas

Special to, December 14, 2023

A member of Iowa’s state legislature has called on Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds to order the removal the Satanic Temple’s Christmas display from the Iowa Capitol building in Des Moines.

State Rep. Brad Sherman said the mirrored, caped statue of Baphomet, complete with a black and red “holiday wreath” with a pentagram in the center is “disgusting.”

“The outrage and disgust for this satanic display is widespread, but few people think there is much that can be legally done about it because of free speech and freedom of religion. However, I disagree,” Sherman said.

To justify his call for removal of the Satanic Temple’s display, Sherman cited the preamble of the state’s constitution, which reads: “WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa…”

Sherman said this means that Iowa recognized “There is One Supreme God” and that all blessings over the state of Iowa “come from the One Supreme God.”

The Supreme Court had long ago created a loophole in the First Amendment to allow religious displays, arguing that as long as every group gets to have one, it doesn’t violate the “no establishment of religion” clause.

Is the Satanic Temple a religion?

The Satanic Temple of Iowa states on its Facebook page: “We are a congregation and religious organization with a goal to facilitate the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for true religious freedom. We are a nontheistic religion and do not believe in a literal Satan; rather to us he is a potent symbol of rebellion against religious tyranny.”

Human Events editor Jack Posobiec wrote on social media: “The Satanic Temple is, by its own admission, an anti-Christian group. It is not a religion. It exists to mock and ridicule Christians, and is mostly made of Reddit atheists. Would Kim Reynolds allow an anti-Jewish group to put up a display in the state capitol? Anti-Islamic? Of course not. But Anti-Christian groups are allowed on public grounds. Disgraceful.”

Sherman stated that “to allow satanic expression in the State Capitol and other public property is to surrender to Satan’s demands for equality with God which was his original sin.”

Sherman added: “I am calling for our governor to have this blasphemous display removed immediately based on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and offends God upon whom the State of Iowa depends for blessings. I am calling for clarifying legislation to be adopted in accordance with our State Constitution that prohibits satanic displays in our Capitol building and on all state owned property. I am calling for legislation to be adopted that makes it legal to display the Ten Commandments in our Capitol, in all buildings owned by the state, and in our public schools.”

Posobiec added: “Satanic clubs in schools awarded hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in PA. Satanic altars receiving public display in the Iowa capitol. Satanic abortion rituals argued for religious exemption from heartbeat bills in Texas. It’s all right in the open.”

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