Governor DeSantis voices opposition to recognition of Satanic Temple as a religion
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken a firm stance against the Satanic Temple’s display in the Iowa state capitol, expressing his disapproval on social media. The governor’s tweet followed the arrest of Mississippi state House candidate Michael Cassidy, who admitted to tearing down the controversial display. Cassidy now faces charges of criminal mischief.
In his tweet, Governor DeSantis asserted that “Satan has no place in our society and should not be recognized as a ‘religion’ by the federal government.” He further offered his support by stating, “I’ll chip in to contribute to this veteran’s legal defense fund.”
During a recent CNN town hall event, Governor DeSantis addressed the issue, highlighting how the Satanic Temple gained recognition as a religion under the Trump administration’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He questioned the legitimacy of the organization’s classification as a religion and expressed surprise at the IRS ruling.
While acknowledging that the granting of tax-exempt status does not imply government support for satanism, DeSantis emphasized his disagreement with the decision. He argued that the Satanic Temple does not align with the principles envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
In response to DeSantis’s remarks, Lucien Greaves, one of the Satanic Temple’s founders, accused the governor of cowardice and false heroism. Greaves argued that DeSantis was succumbing to public pressure rather than upholding constitutional law and religious liberty. He challenged the governor to a debate on these matters.
The Satanic Temple, founded in 2013, identifies as an atheistic organization and does not worship Satan or any higher power. Instead, it follows “seven tenets” that promote science, reason, and political goals such as abortion access and addressing “religious privilege.”
Cassidy, the individual responsible for tearing down the Satanic Temple’s display, described it as “extremely anti-Christian.” While he did not provide further explanation for his actions, he posted a Bible verse on social media after being charged.
Governor DeSantis’s condemnation of the Satanic Temple’s display reflects the ongoing debate surrounding the organization’s classification as a religion. The controversy raises questions about the boundaries of religious freedom and the limits of expression in public spaces.