On Thursday, Wiccan high priestess Deborah Maynard led the Iowa legislature in prayer. Invited by representative Liz Bennett (make your Pride and Prejudice jokes, please), Maynard was the first Wiccan to deliver the morning blessing.

The blessing pretty inoffensive and bland, as these things usually are; Maynard called on the “elements,” “the Universe,” and said some stuff about the Goddess. But this is politics and so, of course, people were offended by the pagan in their presence.

Via the Washington Post:

“...more than half of representatives skipped the Wiccan prayer, according to the Des Moines Register.

Rep. Rob Taylor (R) attended, but turned his back during the blessing. This, he believes, is what Jesus would have done. “Jesus would be in the chamber, from my perspective. He would passively protest,” he told reporters.

Pastor Mike Demastus from the Fort Des Moines Church of Christ was in the audience balcony leading his own prayer for Maynard’s soul. “I was praying for her salvation. I was praying that she would come to know the one true God,” he told Radio Iowa.

“We feel that this is completely out of sync with the traditions of our state and our nation to seek guidance from the occult,” he said to the Register.

Michelle Gute came to pray so as to counteract Maynard’s Wiccan prayer. “I don’t want any demonic influences on the people who are making decisions on our behalf,” she said to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

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There’s likely some joke to be made here about people under “demonic influences,” Iowa and the Republican primaries, but it’s just not coming.

Image via Getty.