Satanic display inside Iowa capitol vandalized by Mississippi politician

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A former Mississippi candidate is being accused of vandalizing the Satanic Temple’s Baphomet display in the Iowa Statehouse on Thursday.

Michael Cassidy, 35, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief after allegedly tearing down the display, which included a ram’s head made of mirrors on top of a mannequin dressed in red clothing.

According to the Satanic Temple of Iowa, the display represented the congregation’s 7 Tenets while expressing religious freedom and equal opportunity to all religions celebrating the holidays.

“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,” the group posted on social media.

Photo courtesy of Michael Cassidy/website

“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. Solve et Coagula! Happy Holidays! Hail Satan!”

The statue was scheduled to be at the capital for a total of two weeks, with the display set to be taken down on Friday, December 15.

In 2022, Cassidy — a former Naval Reserve pilot with no prior political experience — ran an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Rep. Michael Guest losing during the Republican primary runoff for Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District. Cassidy then attempted to run for District 45 representative in Mississippi before losing to Democrat Keith Jackson during the 2023 general election.

Since then, the Lauderdale native has become an outspoken critic of the Satanic Temple of Iowa’s display over social media, posting a Bible verse on X after receiving his charges on Thursday night.

“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 wrote.

At this time, Cassidy has raised $20,000 in legal defense funds from social media users who support his actions at the Iowa State Capitol.

“Truly humbled by y’all’s support. We raised the $20k we were looking for in just a couple of hours,” Cassidy added hours later. “I directed the campaign to be paused. We have enough for now.”

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