Man Charged For Beheading Satanic Display In Iowa State Capitol

He has been charged with 4th-degree criminal mischief.
The Baphomet statue is seen in the conversion room at the Satanic Temple where a "Hell House" is being held in Salem, Massachusett on October 8, 2019. - The Hell House was a parody on a Christian Conversion centre meant to scare atheist and other Satanic Church members. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The man who destroyed a Satanic holiday display in the Iowa State Capitol on Thursday has been arrested and charged, police said.

Michael Cassidy, 35, was arrested after allegedly beheading a Baphomet statue put up last week by the Satanic Temple of Iowa, the Iowa State Police confirmed to Fox News.

He has been charged with 4th-degree criminal mischief.

Cassidy, a former Navy pilot who now works as a flight instructor and was previously a Mississippi congressional candidate, explained to The Republic Sentinel why he decided to destroy the Satanic display.

“I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged,” Cassidy told the outlet. “My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”

“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 added. “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.”

After being charged, Cassidy posted a Bible verse to social media on Thursday evening.

“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,” Cassidy posted on X.


The Satanic Temple of Iowa said in a Facebook post that the statue was “destroyed beyond repair” but that they will continue their holiday display for the next few days.

“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,” the group wrote. “Happy Holidays! Hail Satan!”

The Satanic Temple of Iowa said it obtained permission from the state for the display, which was reportedly set up near displays of the Nativity on the first floor of the Iowa Capitol. The display showed the idol Baphomet holding a pentacle surrounded by candles.

Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA) encouraged residents to counter the “objectionable” display with more speech.

“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,” Reynolds said Tuesday in a statement.

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