Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol

A 6-foot-tall privately funded Ten Commandments monument is seen on the Arkansas Capitol grounds in Little Rock on Tuesday Arkansas Installs Long-Disputed Ten Commandments Monument At Its Capitol
Francis Olson | 28 June, 2017, 19:26

The Commandments were erected Tuesday morning, and the ACLU of Arkansas says it will sue for the monument's removal.

KUAR did not receive any notice of the installation but a reporter with Arkansas Online was on hand with a smartphone and Twitter acceess.

Supporters of the monument, like Republican state Senator Jason Rapert, say the display honors the roll the Ten Commandments have played in the history of the nation's law.

KTHV is reporting that Michael Reed has been arrested for destroying the monument.

The bill, the Arkansas Ten Commandments Monument Act 1231, was passed in April, 2015, despite opposition that has continued until this year.

The monument suggests that the Commandments are the basis for American and Arkansas law, she says, even though "several of the commandments are wholly religious in nature, like 'having no other gods before me, ' or keeping the Sabbath".

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"Whatever they may say, the defenders of the Ten Commandments monument, the fact is the text of the Ten Commandments can not be separated from its religious significance as the text calls individuals to adhere to moral precepts and uniquely religious obligations", Rita Sklar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, said.

The arrest report for Reed listed "unemployed/disabled" under occupation. Authorities believe Reed drove into the monument, causing it to topple and shatter.

"Reed, who was lodged in the jail shortly after 7:30 a.m., faces charges of defacing objects of public respect, trespassing on Capitol grounds and first-degree criminal mischief, according to the report". It is not yet clear if he is the same person who attacked the Arkansas monument. He had posted on his Facebook page last night: 'Our constitutional rights have been violated and since no one will do anything about it, I will'. Rapert says he is on the foundation's board and that he makes no money from it.

The privately funded monument was 6 feet tall (1.8 meters) and weighed 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms).

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that promotes the separation of church and state, released a statement Tuesday asserting that Arkansas would "regret" its decision to install the monument.

On Oct. 24, 2014, a then-29-year-old Michael Tate Reed was accused of ramming his truck into a Ten Commandments statue of a similar design at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City, the Tulsa World reported.

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