A Satanic temple display became the subject of nationwide interest and outrage last December when it was prominently placed inside the Iowa State Capitol building, just in time for the Christmas holiday.

For days, Christians and conservatives condemned the demonic exhibit until finally, a former state legislative candidate from Mississippi decided to take matters into his own hands. 

Michael Cassidy said he “felt moved” to buy a plane ticket to fly to Iowa after realizing the statue wouldn’t go away even after some local protests.

“I’ve been a Christian my whole life. Hadn’t really seen any Satanic statues before,” he said. “…Seeing that in Iowa, that big statue — it was six or seven feet tall or something like that — it was grossly offensive.”

He recently joined 1819 News CEO Bryan Dawson on a recent episode of “1819 News: The Podcast” to tell his story.

“I walked over to the Capitol Thursday morning and didn’t know exactly what to expect, to be perfectly frank,” Cassidy said. “I didn’t know whether it would be gone at that point. Hopefully, it would have been gone; they would have just taken it down themselves. Didn’t know if there were going to be a bunch of Satanists there. Didn’t know if there were going to be a bunch of cops there. Protestors, politicians — really didn’t know what to expect once I got there. I just knew that I needed to go there.”

Cassidy said when he saw the demonic statue still standing, it became “apparent how evil it was to be in a state capitol.”   

“There’s families walking around, and it’s the center of the government at the state of Iowa,” he said. “I thought about it, prayed about it, and then I took it down.”

Cassidy joked that he didn’t bring a sword to do the deed but took the statue apart with his bare hands. 

After it was done, he went to the security checkpoint and turned himself in. He said the police were then called, and after talking with them for roughly 30 minutes and giving them his contact information, he was cited for misdemeanor criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

“At first, they were saying, ‘Hey, can you just put it back together and like we’ll pretend like abracadabra, nothing happened.’ And I said, ‘There ain’t no way I’m putting that thing back up, boss.’” 

Aside from some hate mail and social media posts, Cassidy said the response he’s gotten for destroying the statue has been “overwhelmingly positive.” He encouraged others not to be afraid to stand up for America’s founding, Judeo-Chrisitan values.

“It’s like the frog in the pot of boiling water. We’ve accepted so many things that just come in a little at a time that are anti-Christian,” he said. “And then eventually we kind of realize, ‘Wait a second, we shouldn’t be accepting this.’ We should not accept Satanic statues in state capitols. We should not accept the blatant display and spread of evil in our country. As Christians, we need to be more fearful of the Lord than fearful of what the world is going to say to us or do to us.”

Since his appearance on the podcast, Cassidy’s charges have been upgraded to felony third-degree criminal mischief under the state’s hate crime statute, AP reported. He is scheduled to be arraigned on February 15.

Cassidy set up a GiveSendGo campaign to raise $20,000 to cover his court costs as he faces up to five years in prison. So far, he has received $123,288 from nearly 2,800 backers.

To connect with the story's author or comment, email [email protected] or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.