Home Christian News ‘I’m Greatly Concerned’—Rep. Jon Dunwell Talks to ChurchLeaders About The Satanic Temple...

‘I’m Greatly Concerned’—Rep. Jon Dunwell Talks to ChurchLeaders About The Satanic Temple Controversy

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Screenshot from X / @jdunwell

Rep. Jon Dunwell of the Iowa House of Representatives joined ChurchLeaders Friday, Dec. 15, to discuss the criticism he has received for defending the religious freedoms of The Satanic Temple (TST), which recently erected a holiday display in the Iowa State Capitol. Dunwell, who is also a pastor, angered Christians this past week, opposition that culminated in Mississippi resident Michael Cassidy allegedly vandalizing the TST display Thursday.

RELATED: Pastor and Iowa State Rep. Jon Dunwell Fields Accusations He Is a ‘Heretic’ for Defending Religious Rights of The Satanic Temple

On Dec. 2, The Satanic Temple Iowa announced that the group had a holiday display featuring a depiction of Baphomet at the Iowa State Capitol building. While many Christians viewed the display as demonic and argued that Dunwell should fight to remove it, he instead defended the right of The Satanic Temple, a religious organization, to have the display. TST is a non-theistic organization but is recognized by the IRS as a religion and has tax-exempt status. 

Numerous people responded by criticizing Dunwell, and quite a few accused the pastor of opposing God and needing to repent. ChurchLeaders spoke to Dunwell about his experience as a pastor and politician, as well as his thoughts about the TST display and the backlash he received. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.