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Ron DeSantis Faces Backlash Over Support for

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is in the midst of a controversy following his offer to provide legal aid to a man charged with vandalizing a Satanic Temple display at the Iowa State Capitol. The accused, Michael Cassidy, had allegedly beheaded the statue of the occult icon Baphomet, leading to his arrest on charges of 4th-degree criminal mischief.

DeSantis’ Controversial Offer

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Governor Ron DeSantis, a contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, took to social media to voice his condemnation of the Satanic Temple’s display and offer support to Cassidy’s legal defense fund. He argued that “Satan has no place in our society” and pledged to contribute to the veteran’s defense.

Cassidy’s Campaign Already Funded

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However, DeSantis’ offer came after Cassidy’s funding campaign had already reached its $20,000 goal within hours, leading to questions about the timing and intent behind DeSantis’ gesture.

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Criticism from Trump Supporters

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DeSantis faced criticism from supporters of former President Donald Trump, who accused him of not taking action earlier and blamed him for the display’s presence at the Iowa Capitol.

Support for DeSantis

Despite the backlash, some individuals expressed support for DeSantis’s stance, praising him for condemning the Satanic Temple.

DeSantis’ Remarks on Trump Administration

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During a recent town hall event, DeSantis partially attributed the legal recognition of the Satanic Temple as a religion to the Trump administration’s approval. He noted that this recognition might have provided the temple with a legal basis for the display.

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Satanic Temple’s Response

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Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, responded to DeSantis’ remarks, asserting that their tax-exempt application had never come across Trump’s desk and accusing DeSantis of being a “pathetic little coward.”

Iowa Republicans’ Reactions

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The display stirred controversy among Iowa Republicans, with some calling for its removal and others defending its First Amendment protection.

Governor Kim Reynolds’ Stance

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who has endorsed DeSantis for president, deemed the display “absolutely objectionable” but advocated for countering it with “more speech” rather than its removal.

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Satanic Temple’s Beliefs

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The Satanic Temple clarified that it does not believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural and instead promotes religious freedom and rational thought devoid of supernaturalism.

Seven Fundamental Tenets

Scary horror occult sectarians in black hood and metal masks on black background with red glow.

The display featured text endorsing the Satanic Temple’s “seven fundamental tenets,” which are described as “a set of seven core beliefs that members see as their guideposts for our deeply held beliefs,” in addition to the statue of Baphomet.

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