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 December 17, 2023

Man charged for destroying satanic display in Iowa's capitol building

A man has been arrested for destroying a satanic display that was in Iowa's capitol building. 

The suspect, according to Fox News, has been identified as 35-year-old Michael Cassidy of Lauderdale, Mississippi. Cassidy is a former Navy pilot and a former congressional candidate. In 2022, he unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS).

The display was put up by Iowa's Satanic Temple.

Forbes reports, "The display features a mannequin resembling the pagan idol Baphomet with a ram’s head coated in mirrors, electric candles, and what the Satanic Temple says are its 'seven fundamental tenets,' including its belief in 'the freedom to offend,' and the group has a long history of pushing for freedom of religion and speech in public places."

Suffice it to say that the display has been controversial. But, for those who disapprove of the display, the question has been what to do about it.

While many called for it to be taken down, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said, "In a free society, the best response to objectionable speech is more speech, and I encourage all those of faith to join me today in praying over the Capitol and recognizing the Nativity scene that will be on display ― the true reason for the season."

Someone, however, had a different plan. In a recent Facebook post, The Satanic Temple of Iowa indicated that its display had been ruined "beyond repair." The statute was even reportedly beheaded.

The group wrote, "We ask that for safety, visitors travel together and use the 7 Tenets as a reminder for empathy, in the knowledge that justice is being pursued the correct way, through legal means. Happy Holidays! Hail Satan!"

It was Cassidy who was arrested for tearing down the display, and he has been charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Cassidy has released several statements on the matter. In one, he wrote, "1 Peter 5:8 KJV Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

In another, Cassidy said, "The world may tell Christians to submissively accept the legitimization of Satan, but none of the founders would have considered government sanction of Satanic altars inside Capitol buildings as protected by the First Amendment."

Cassidy's lawyer has also said that his client was "motivated by his faith to peacefully protest a display that is a direct affront to God.”

Cassidy is now facing up to a year in prison and a $2,560 fine for destroying the display.

Many are calling upon Gov. Reynolds to pardon him. It remains unclear whether she will.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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