# Religion



Iowa legislature may be more diverse after 2022 election

Iowans may elect more people from under-represented populations to the state legislature in 2022, Bleeding Heartland’s analysis of the primary and general election candidate filings indicates.

One barrier will certainly be broken: as the only candidate to file in House district 78, Democrat Sami Scheetz will become the first Arab American to serve in our state legislature.

The lawmakers who convene at the statehouse next January may also include Iowa’s first Jewish legislator in nearly three decades as well as more people of color, more LGBTQ people, and the first Paralympian.

A forthcoming post will discuss prospects for electing more women to the Iowa House and Senate.

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Racism isn't the problem

Sondra Feldstein is a farmer and business owner in Polk County.

It’s easy to call the Republican Party racist and homophobic when all the books they want to ban happen to deal with people of color, members of a minority religion, or LGBTQ issues; when a predominantly Black demonstration is a “riot” and a predominantly white one “legitimate political protest;” when legislation to curb non-existent voter fraud targets voting methods more often used by people of color. 

But white nationalist ideology in its current iteration in the United States is not simply racist. The definition of racism as “belief that another race is inherently inferior” does not begin to explain 21st century white nationalism. It is much more complicated than that.

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My effort to allow religious use of marijuana extracts in Iowa

Carl Olsen is the founder of Iowans for Medical Marijuana.

In October, I asked the Polk County District Court to declare religious use as a qualifying condition for participation in the state’s marijuana extract program, Iowa Code Chapter 124E.

On November 23, 2021, the state filed a Motion to Dismiss my Petition for Declaratory Judgment. The state said it had sovereign immunity and cannot be sued.

On November 24, 2021, I filed an application with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for access to the program.

The state made three other arguments in its motion to dismiss:

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