Recently, a U.S. Navy veteran toppled a satanic display at the Iowa State Capitol. Michael Cassidy knocked over a depiction of a baphomet, a figure in satanic iconography, displayed near a Christmas nativity scene. Cassidy also threw the silver goat head in the trash before turning himself in to authorities.
The 35-year-old veteran has stated that those criticizing his behavior on constitutional grounds are “overcomplicating” the matter and defending evil. However, Cassidy’s defense fund has raised over $80,000, well exceeding its original goal of $20,000.
“I don’t want to have the conversation with Jesus someday and have Him say, ‘Hey, there was this statue, and you knew it was wrong for it to be up there, but you were afraid of worldly things and worldly consequences, and you were ashamed of me and my opposition to the devil,'” he said, explaining his actions. “The world tells us to be ashamed of God, and He tells us not to be. So that’s when I made the decision, which was pretty much right before I took it down.”
Iowa Rep. Jon Dunwell, who is also a pastor, took to social media, slamming the satanic temple as “objectionable.” However, he maintains that the state should not play a role in discriminating on a religious basis. “For me, I would rather have an evil, blasphemous display or no display at all than have the state dictate what they think is appropriate,” Dunwell said.
In response to Dunwell, Cassidy claimed the state representative misinterpreted the Constitution and its intentions for the nation. “The people who wrote our Constitution would be shocked to think of defending Satan as consistent with their beliefs when they wrote the laws that govern our nation,” he said.
“People start overcomplicating the truth, which is that God is great and should be honored, and the devil is evil and should not be honored,” he said. “I think people are tying themselves in knots trying to justify it, and it’s really a lot simpler than that.” He continued, “The devil is evil, and we should not pretend or act as if he is equal to a Nativity scene.”
Cassidy also quoted scripture describing how Jesus teaches Christians not to be ashamed of Him or sharing the gospel. The veteran calls for a Christian revival in society to combat the growing negative sentiment surrounding the faith.
“I want Christians to reinvigorate their faith,” he said. “I want them to not be ashamed of standing up for God and to joyfully spread the Gospel. Whether it’s talking to their friends or their family members who maybe haven’t gone to church in a while or have fallen away from the faith, I want them to start having these conversations and to get churches full again. That’s what I want.”
“It’s just a daily reminder that the devil is real, even if not all of them believe it. Some of them really do believe in Satan, a lot of them don’t. A lot of them are atheists and just think that this is all a joke, and they’re so wrong,” Cassidy said. “I hope that that they see the error of their ways and that they can they can learn about Jesus one day. That’s my hope.”
Featured image: State Representative Jon Dunwell.
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