"Like many Iowans," Reynolds said in a press release, "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 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."
"Today, faithful Iowans gathered in the Capitol rotunda to display the Nativity and pray for peace. Free speech is a right afforded to all. But how we use it matters. Today’s event is proof that in the battle between good and evil, good will always prevail," Reynolds said.
The altar features a mirrored head of Baphomet, presumably so that those who view the statue will see themselves reflected back. The individual is at the center of The Satanic Temple's "tenets." The individual is also at the center of The Satanic Temple's recommended abortion ritual where a woman is meant to focus on herself and not on the life she is terminating.
The Satanic Temple's Baphomet statue is permitted in the capitol for two weeks. Any group can apply for permission to install a display. "Happy Holidays!" The Satanic Temple posted on its Facebook page after launching the Satanic altar. The Satanic Temple said they are "proud to participate in the festivities" this holiday season.
The group holds After School Satan Clubs in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, and now Tennessee. It claims to be a "non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure who represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and championing the human mind and spirit." It claims it does "not attempt to convert children to any religious ideology" but "supports children to think for themselves." The Temple does this while using satanic imagery such as pentagrams and representations of Satan.
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