What Is the Governor of Iowa Hiding About a Satanic Temple Statue at the Capitol?

Kim Reynolds redacts 27 pages of public documents about the government's response to a Baphomet display at the Iowa Capitol.
What Is the Governor of Iowa Hiding About a Satanic Temple Statue at the Capitol?
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Internal documents about the government’s handling of a Satanic holiday display in Iowa, which the public has the right to view, are stuck in administrative hell. Governor Kim Reynolds’ office has cited an “executive privilege” that possibly doesn’t exist as one of the reasons for fully redacting 27 pages about the display. Another state agency has said that it will give me documents about the display, which featured a statue of the pagan, goat-headed Baphomet idol, if I pay them $810 to provide basic records.


Freedom of information experts say that the tactics being deployed by Reynolds’ government are dubious, and are emblematic of the hurdles and obfuscation that journalists and the public regularly face in Iowa when trying to hold their government to account. 

For the last few months, Iowa politicians have been dealing with the consequences of their own actions after the state created rules that ignore the separation between church and state established by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The state allows religious displays at the Iowa Capitol during the holiday season, which led the Satanic Temple of Iowa to apply for and receive permission to build a Baphomet display before Christmas. Politicians and some of their constituents did not like this display of religious freedom, which led to a months long, ongoing national news cycle about their current efforts to curtail the Satanic Temple’s freedom of religion while simultaneously allowing Christianity to remain intermingled with state and local government.

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