A retired U.S. Navy officer and former Congressional candidate Michael Cassidy peacefully turned himself over to police at the Iowa Capitol Thursday after he ripped down and tore the head off of a Satanic display of the demonic idol Baphomet.
The shrine to Satan was placed surrounded by candles and holding a pentagram near the Captiol’s Christmas nativity scene.
According to The Sentinel, Members of the Satanic Temple of Iowa legally acquired permission to mount the display in the Capitol atrium. However, in comments given to The Sentinel Cassidy openly discussed his motivations to destroy the blasphemous display, which he first pulled down and then decapitated, depositing the head in a nearby trash can.
Cassidy told The Sentinel that he chose to take down the Satanic display in order to “awaken Christians to the anti-Christian acts promoted by our government.”
“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 told The Sentinel. “Anti-Christian values have steadily been mainstreamed more and more in recent decades, and Christians have largely acted like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot of water.”
“I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged,” he told the outlet,
“My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”
BREAKING: @RepubSentinel can reveal that Michael Cassidy, a Christian and former military officer, tore down and beheaded the Satan altar in the Iowa Capitol:https://t.co/rIYIdZOzee pic.twitter.com/tZDsmKM5Pm
— The Sentinel (@RepubSentinel) December 14, 2023
According to the report, Cassidy has been charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Capitol Police confirmed that the Satanic Temple is pressing charges.
Cassidy ran for Congress in the State of Mississippi describing himself on his campaign website as a “Christian conservative who loves our nation and is committed to preserving the blessings of liberty.” As noted by the news outlet he cited the Biblical verse of 1 John 3:8 as a motivation for his actions saying “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” He noted that “Scripture exhorts us to think and act like Jesus Christ.”
On Tuesday, Cassidy re-posted EndWokeness and Auron Macintyre on X who wrote respectively, “We have reached the point where our Capitols are removing Jefferson while monuments to Satan are erected. Realize where we are,” and “Periodic reminder that the religious right were correct about everything,” along with images of the then-newly installed Satanic display and the New York City statue of President Thomas Jefferson being torn down.
Periodic reminder that the religious right were correct about everything https://t.co/dgCPkLKmcb
— Auron MacIntyre (@AuronMacintyre) December 12, 2023
Of the hundreds of replies to the story broken by The Sentinel, the consistent sentiment toward Cassidy as of this writing was overwhelmingly positive and supportive of his actions. Many commenters referred to him as “heroic,” a “brave Patriot,” a “Chad,” and an “absolute king” and even compared him to St. Boniface who legendarily destroyed a pagan shrine to build a church where it stood.
An absolute king. 👏🏼
— itskellydiane (@itskellydiane) December 14, 2023
Commentator Evan Kilgore shared his campaign X account writing, “The man who tore it down was Michael Cassidy, a Christian and former military officer. Give this brave Patriot a follow: @VoteCassidy”
The man who tore it down was Michael Cassidy, a Christian and former military officer.
— Evan Kilgore 🇺🇸 (@EvanAKilgore) December 14, 2023
In a statement posted to Facebook, The Satanic Temple in Iowa indicated that the display was “destroyed beyond repair.”
They wrote, “This morning, we were informed by authorities that the Baphomet statue in our holiday display was destroyed beyond repair. We are proud to continue our holiday display for the next few days that we have been allotted. 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.”
Cassidy will be represented by retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and JAG attorney Davis Younts. “My client was motivated by his faith to peacefully protest a display that is a direct affront to God,” Younts told the outlet.
“When others, including elected leaders, were unwilling to act, he peacefully removed the display. It is my hope that the citation will be dismissed when my client’s actions are understood and that he will not face prosecution because of his faith.”