Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol

Man destroys new Ten Commandments statue at Arkansas Capitol

It measured 6 feet tall and stood near a walkway between the capitol building and the state's Supreme court, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Authorities believe the 32-year-old Reed drove his vehicle into Arkansas' Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, smashing it to pieces.

Rapert signed the law, Act S1231, that required the stone be built somewhere on the state capitol.

"I'm a firm believer that part of salvation is that we not only have faith in Jesus Christ but we obey the commands of God, and that we confess Jesus as Lord", he said in the video.

The state Supreme Court of Oklahoma ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma in 2015 on the grounds that it violated a provision in the state constitution prohibiting use of state property to further religions.

But Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, has said the group is preparing to file a lawsuit over the placement of the monument, which she called a visible symbol of government endorsement of one particular religious belief.

Powell told Arkansas Online that the state expected such pushback regarding the monument, but the immediate destruction of the statue still came as a surprise. Critics call the practice a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which makes it illegal for US governments to endorse any religion or establish that any faith in pre-eminent over others in the eyes of the state.

He calls the expected lawsuit by the ACLU "foolhardy". This is America, and if they want to spend their money on this, they can do that.

"If it's good enough for the U.S. Capitol, it's good enough for the state of Arkansas", said Rapert, an evangelist who sponsored the legislation permitting the new monument. "The Court sees a huge difference between the two, and so do we".

"It's always good to see things fulfilled, and I think it's a great day for the people of Arkansas", he said in an interview Tuesday. "It cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars when we challenged their abortion ban".

According to police records, officers witnessed Reed's vehicle "start from a stopped position and ram the Ten Commandments monument", knocking it over and breaking it into pieces.

"It does what it sets out to do, which is to get people from other religions to feel unwanted and unequal".

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