A former military officer and Christian named Michael Cassidy took it upon himself to tear down the Satanist altar erected in the Iowa Capitol, beheading and toppling the statue that ignited an internet firestorm and led to controversy around the country.
As background, the Satanist altar was erected in the Iowa Capitol after members of the local Satanic Temple of Iowa received permission to raise the statue depicting Baphomet holding a pentacle. Candles surrounded the statue. Christians were upset by the statue itself and the fact that it was located near Christmas Nativity scenes.
So, Mr. Cassidy, as a Christian who was furious about and horrified by the Satanist altar, decided to take action and topple the statue. He beheaded it, toppled it, and tossed the head in the trash. Speaking to the Republic Sentinel about the incident, he 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.”
Continuing, Cassidy went on to tell the Republic Sentinel that he thinks anti-Christian views have slowly been building in the popular culture, boiling the metaphorical frog. “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,” he said.
Then, explaining why he saw his Christian beliefs as compelling him to take action and dismantle the display when the government would not, Cassidy said, “I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged. My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”
But while many on X and the conservative media space reacted with glee to the news, Cassidy is now facing a criminal charge over his action. According to a criminal complaint that The Republic Sentinel obtained, Cassidy was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.
A GiveSendGo campaign was then started to help fund Mr. Cassidy’s legal defense, but it raised the full amount required in just hours. The fundraiser page now says, “We have raised the initial $20,000 needed for Michael Cassidy and his legal defense in less than three hours. Thank you for your generosity! Defense costs may increase, in which case this campaign will be reopened.”
Davis Younts, an attorney and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served in the JAG Corps, will be representing Mr. Cassidy. Speaking to the Republic Sentinel on the matter, he said, “My client was motivated by his faith to peacefully protest a display that is a direct affront to God. 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.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had simply called Iowans to pray about the issue with her, saying, “Like many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple’s display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable. 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.”
Featured image: State Representative Jon Dunwell.
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