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Iowa Republican Introduces Bill To Prevent State Recognition of Satanism As a Religion

via Youtube

Republican Iowa state Senator Sandy Salmon introduced a bill to ban Satanic displays and practices on state property, following a controversial holiday display by the Satanic Temple at the state Capitol.

The bill prohibits recognition of organizations or individuals who worship Satan and bans Satanic worship on public property and in public schools.

“The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not recognize organizations or individuals who refer to Satan as a deity, worship Satan, or who reference Satan or Satanism as part of the organization’s or individual’s religious practice as an establishment of religion,” the bill reads.

“Displays, symbols, or the practice of Satanic worship shall not be allowed on public property, in public schools, on property owned by public schools, or on any property owned by the state or its political subdivisions,” it added, noting that, “any act of Satanic practice or worship that involves the ending of a life or the shedding of blood, whether the sacrifice be an animal or human, is prohibited.”

Salmon argues that the bill aims to protect residents from evil, but critics argue that it violates citizens’ freedom of religion.

“Evil is personified in the creature known as Satan,” and “it is the duty of the government to play an appropriate role in protecting the inhabitant residents of Iowa from evil while encouraging and facilitating good,” Salmon said.

“It is legally and constitutionally inconsistent,” she said, “to afford Satan, who is universally understood to be an enemy of God, religious expression on public property by a state government that depends upon God for continued blessings. Such a legal view violates our state constitution and offends the God upon whom we depend and undermines our well-being.”

“While you might not like public displays of one type, there is a whole unraveling that takes place when you start allowing the government to pick and choose which forms of expression they agree with, narrow their definition of what they think an appropriate religion is, and also try to give nonbelief in general a lower tier in citizenship,” Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves said.

If passed, violating the rules would be a criminal offense.

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