Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument at Capitol destroyed

Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument at Capitol destroyed

Since Arkansas' Ten Commandments monument act was proposed about two years ago, satanists and other groups have also sought state permission to place markers on Capitol grounds, but their requests were rejected.

Pulaski County jail records show that Reed was booked into the jail shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief, with Capitol Police listed as the arrest agency.

A man drove his auto into a granite Ten Commandments monument Wednesday morning, destroying the memorial less than 24 hours after it was installed on Arkansas Capitol grounds.

Republican Sen. Jason Rapert on Wednesday condemned the destruction of the monument less than 24 hours after it was installed at the Capitol. He says he believes there won't be a problem raising the funds needed for it. It was opened for public view without any prior notice, almost two years after the lawmakers voted to allow it.

"Now that we've seen the monument go up, it is still appalling", said Lee Wood Thomas with the Arkansas Society of Free Thinkers. We knew it was a bad idea from the get go. Critics call the practice a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which makes it illegal for USA governments to endorse any religion or establish that any faith in pre-eminent over others in the eyes of the state. A similar monument was removed from a town hall in New Mexico in 2014 when a judge ruled it violated the First Amendment.

"This isn't a War on Christianity". The post contained just one word "Freedom". Rapert, an evangelist, sponsored the legislation to permit the monument, according to Reuters.

"I think there are more people than Christians that are happy", he explained, "because frankly, it is the mosaic code, which obviously was Hebrew, Jewish".

Rita Sklar, with the ACLU of Arkansas, said that's not true. This monument is a replica of Texas' display.

Nonetheless, the Arkansas law anticipates legal challenges: "In the event that the legality or constitutionality of the monument.is challenged in a court of law", it says, the Attorney General may either "prepare and present a legal defense of the monument" or hire Liberty Institute to do so. You don't belong here. "And it makes people who fall into those categories - no religion or other religion - feel like second-class citizens in the state of Arkansas, which they are not".