(Corning, Iowa) After months of public pressure from conservative Satanic organizations, the Adams County Courthouse has agreed to display a framed scroll of the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth, County Commissioner Arthur Hexom told reporters yesterday.
Hexom, who was against the move, finally agreed to put the matter to a vote by the county board, after several outspoken local Satanists pressed the matter at public meetings. The motion passed, 7-4.
“This is a victory for good, moral Satanic citizens all over America,” declared Aaron Seversen, a priest at The Flame of His Holy Darkness Satanic Church on Newkirk Avenue. “We are a nation of laws, as put forth by the Founding Fathers. But we draw these laws from our religious convictions. It is important that judges be reminded of this when they come to work and make important decisions.”
Hexom disagreed with that sentiment but conceded that “the people have spoken, and this is the will of the people.” He added that in accordance with the law, the Satanic Rules will be displayed next to other historical texts, so as not to give preference to one religion.
Others were not so conciliatory. Rachel Conrad, president of the local American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the decision as a violation of the separation of church and state. “Displaying these rules crosses a Constitutional line,” Conrad said. “We are guaranteed religious freedom, but not religious privilege. In no way should the Church of Satan be informing our local judges when it comes to interpreting the law.” Conrad also said the ACLU would formally file a suit within a month.
Brother Seversen dismissed Conrad’s comments as “typical elitist hogwash. The people of Corning and Adams County, are good, hard-working, Satan-fearing people. They’re the salt of the earth, and they respect and appreciate the simple things in life. The Eleven Rules are a part of their every day lives, so who is the ACLU to decide to take that away? They’re not going to do any harm hanging in a courthouse.
“Besides, I think she’s forgetting the Eighth Rule, ‘Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.'”
This is only the most recent flap involving the Satanic Church encroaching on public life in Iowa. In 2010, Satanic parents in Cedar Rapids demanded that science textbooks place a disclaimer on the inside cover declaring that Intelligent Design is “just one of many theories.”