The Republican presidential campaign has unexpectedly brought Satanism and its promotion into the limelight, with Ron DeSantis accusing the Internal Revenue Service of the Trump administration of aiding the Satanic Temple.
The Iowa Department of Administrative Services approved the Satanic Temple’s current exhibit in the Iowa State Capitol despite opposition from Republicans, including Governor Kim Reynolds.
DeSantis, during a CNN town hall on Tuesday, attributed the Baphomet altercation to the former Republican president.
“So it’s interesting, 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 said.
He added: “it very well may be because of that ruling under Donald Trump that they may have had a legal leg to stand up.”
“My view would be that’s not a religion that the Founding Fathers were trying to create,” DeSantis added. “But I do think that IRS ruling, I was really surprised to see that they did that.” he continued.
The IRS conferred tax-exempt status to the Satanic Temple in 2019. Before that, an executive order signed by then-President Trump that provided “robust protections for religious freedom” served as the foundation for that tax status change.