Man arrested after tearing down controversial Satanic display due to religious reasons

December 15, 2023 by No Comments

The Satanic Temple of Iowa’s controversial display at the Iowa Capitol was vandalized, with the Baphomet statue rendered beyond repair. The organization remains steadfast in its commitment to showcasing its religious freedom, despite the incident.

The statue, which resembled a ram’s head covered with mirrors, had drawn criticism from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who labeled it objectionable. Nonetheless, the Satanic Temple stands by its right to express its beliefs in such a manner.

Police apprehended a suspect, Michael Cassidy, 35, of Lauderdale, Mississippi, on charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was later released and told police he destroyed the statue because of his Christian beliefs. As seen below, the Baphomet shrine is no longer present due to the actions of Cassidy.


The Satanic Temple of Iowa expressed resilience in its Facebook post, stating, “We are proud to continue our holiday display for the next few days that we have been allotted.” The group also reminded visitors to stay safe and emphasized the importance of empathy amidst the incident.

Since being erected, the Baphomet statue has caused its fair share of controversy and divide within Des Moines and Iowa as a whole. Here, some have argued that it is harmless, while others have expressed outrage and shock due to its dark connotations.

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