Michael Cassidy, identified as a Christian and a former military officer.

Who is Michael Cassidy?

Cassidy recently dismantled and beheaded a Satanic altar erected in the Iowa Capitol, a move that has stirred nationwide controversy. The Satanic Temple of Iowa had obtained permission to display the shrine, featuring a statue of Baphomet holding a pentacle, surrounded by candles, on the first floor of the Iowa Capitol near Nativity displays. Cassidy toppled and decapitated the statue, discarding the head in a trash can.

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In exclusive comments provided to The Sentinel, Cassidy stated that he destroyed the shrine to “awaken Christians to the anti-Christian acts promoted by our government.” He expressed concern about the mainstreaming of anti-Christian values and the need for Christians to speak out against such displays.

Cassidy voluntarily turned himself in to police officers present at the Iowa Capitol. The Satanic Temple of Iowa intends to press charges, and Cassidy faces a fourth-degree criminal mischief charge. Despite potential legal consequences, Cassidy asserted, “My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”

A Navy pilot and flight instructor, Cassidy had previously run for Congress in Mississippi, describing himself on his campaign website as a “Christian conservative committed to preserving the blessings of liberty.”

The approval of the Satanic shrine prompted a nationwide backlash from Christians, with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds calling the display “absolutely objectionable.” She emphasized that free speech is a right for all and encouraged more speech in response. However, others questioned whether the shrine aligns with the Constitution or the founding fathers’ original intent.

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Cassidy will be represented by attorney Davis Younts, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who contends that Cassidy’s actions were motivated by his faith and aims for the citation to be dismissed based on a peaceful protest against a display that he sees as a direct affront to God.