by WorldTribune Staff, February 1, 2024
A Christian who beheaded an inanimate statue of Satan that was on display during the Christmas holiday at the Iowa state capitol building has been charged with a hate crime.
Polk County prosecutors charged Michael Cassidy with felony third-degree criminal mischief, saying that he acted "in violation of individual rights" under Iowa's hate crime statue, the Des Moines Register reported.
Human Events editor Jack Posobiec noted: "A Christian veteran was just charged with a hate crime for knocking over a statue of Satan, the personification of evil. This happened in Iowa, America’s heartland. This is what our country has become."
Cassidy was initially charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal mischief but had been informed that he may be liable for further charges.
Cassidy, a former Navy pilot, pushed over and decapitated the statue of Baphomet, which had been put up by members of the Satanic Temple of Iowa. The Satanic Temple had been given permission for the display. Cassidy discarded the head of Baphomet in the trash.
He will be arraigned on Feb. 15.
Lynn Hicks, a spokesman for the Polk County Attorney's Office, said that "evidence shows the defendant made statements to law enforcement and the public indicating he destroyed the property because of the victim’s religion." This is what resulted in the hate crime charge.
Hicks further elaborated on how much it would cost to replace the statue of Baphomet constructed by the Satanic Temple, which would be between $750 and $1,500. The Satanic Temple had filed their own damage estimate, saying that it would be $3,000 to replace the statue.
"My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted," Cassidy said. He has raised $84,000 for his legal defense on his GiveSendGo and Turning Point USA pledged $10,000 to help.
Cassidy spoke at Turning Point USA's America Fest in Phoenix in December, saying the statue "was an abomination."
He said that people need to wake up to what is happening in the world: "They may think it's a joke that they triggered us but the devil is real and we have to be ready."
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