DeSantis pins partial blame on Trump administration for satanic temple display in Iowa state capitol

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis invoked the name of former President Donald Trump when asked in a CNN town hall on Tuesday about a controversial satanic display in the Iowa state capitol building.

“So it’s interesting,” DeSantis told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I heard this and then I was like, well, how did it get there? Is that even a religion? And lo and behold, the Trump administration gave them approval to be under the IRS as a religion. So that gave them the legal ability to potentially do it.”

DeSantis continued, “So I don’t know what the legislature, how they analyzed it, but it very well may be because of that ruling under Donald Trump that they may have had a legal leg to stand on. My view would be that that’s not a religion that the founding fathers were trying to create. But I do think that IRS ruling, I was really surprised to see that they did that.”

THE SATANIC TEMPLE DEDICATING ‘LARGEST SATANIC GATHERING IN HISTORY’ TO BOSTON MAYOR, WILL REQUIRE MASKS

Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump (AP)

DeSantis was referring to a situation that developed this week where The Satanic Temple of Iowa erected a public display depicting “Baphomet,” made of a ram’s head of with mirrors covering it, propped by a mannequin in red clothing.

Co-founder of The Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, told the news outlet that the display represents the group’s right to religious freedom.

The display sparked intense controversy and condemnation from conservatives in Iowa from those who felt the state legislature or the state’s Republican governor should have stopped it from being put up.

SATANISTS CONDEMN LEADER, DEMAND HE REAFFIRM TRANS RIGHTS AFTER TAKING PHOTO WITH ANTI-WOKE ATHEIST

Statue Satanic Temple

The Baphomet statue is seen in the conversion room at the Satanic Temple where a “Hell House” is being held in Salem, Massachusetts on October 8, 2019. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services said the satanic group met all the requirements legally needed to erect the display, KWWL-TV reported.

“Like many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple’s display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable,” Gov. Kim Reynolds, who endorsed DeSantis, said in a statement. 

“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 added. 

Lawmakers who oppose the display have acknowledged that it is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

During the Trump presidency, the IRS in 2019 granted the “non-theistic” Salem-Mass.-based Satanic organization tax exempt status. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds leaves door open to potential presidential endorsement ahead of the Iowa caucuses

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is interviewed by Fox News Digital at the Iowa State Fair, on August 11, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa  (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

“That doesn’t necessarily mean the government supports it, but they did grant it,” Tapper told DeSantis Tuesday.

“Yeah, exactly,” DeSantis responded. “But they recognized it as a religion, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t think that was the right decision… that’s wrong.”

When asked if the display should be taken down, DeSantis said, “Yeah, I mean look, I think if they’re going to get sued on it, I think you fight that fight.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Fox News Digital’s Adam Sabes contributed to this report

SOURCE

Leave a Comment