Locals have been left reeling in horror after the Satanic Temple erected a public display in Iowa’s state Capitol building.
The satanic altar, described by one Iowan as a “very dark, evil force,” was placed near the Christmas tree in the taxpayer-funded building.
The public display was installed by The Satanic Temple, the official organization of satanism.
It depicts a ram’s head with mirrors covering it and is propped by a mannequin in red clothing, according to KCCI Des Moines.
Co-founder of The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, told the news outlet that the display represents the group’s right to “religious freedom.”
“We’re going to really relish the opportunity to be represented in a public forum,” Greaves said.
“We don’t have a church on every street corner.
“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,” Greaves added.
Iowa resident Shellie Flockhart said she was shocked to see the display.
“It’s a very dark, evil force,” Flockhart said.
“I truly hope people know how to battle that.”
In response, Flockhart held a prayer group on Wednesday at the Christmas tree located inside the Iowa Capitol building.
“I hope that people realize spiritual warfare is real.
“That there are evil satanic forces that are trying to infiltrate our state,” Flockhart said.
According to Greaves, the display will remain for 14 days.
Republican State Rep. John Dunwell said he is demanding answers about the satanic installation.
Dunwell said in a post on Twitter/X that, “as a follower of Christ, I certainly find a display from the Satanic Temple objectionable.
“It stands in direct opposition to my faith and would be classified as evil.”
“Oppose the message of the display,” the lawmaker urged.
“It is not just another way to worship the same God.
“There are DIFFERENCES that need to be pointed out.
“The display glorifies the evil influence we oppose.”
However, Dunwell argued that “many other religions or non-religious people have the same perspective about Christianity.”
He also suggested that the satanic display may constitute free speech protected by the “First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
As many of you have become aware, last week a display was erected at the Iowa Capitol by the Satanic Temple of Iowa. As I have responded to concerns from Iowans about the display, I wanted to share with you how the display came to be and my response.
How did it happen?
• The… pic.twitter.com/8ODJXCxu9Y
— Rep. Jon Dunwell (@jdunwell) December 8, 2023