Freethought Today · August 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Commandments monument up less than a day gets destroyed

An Arkansas man was arrested after he livestreamed himself driving his car into a Ten Commandments monument less than a day after it was placed on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.

Michael Reed, 32, who identifies as Christian, has been charged with defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

An 18-second video of the incident on Reed's Facebook page begins with music playing in a car before the driver shouts "Oh my goodness" and then "Freedom" before smashing into the monument. Reed said he was doing it because it was a violation of the separation of church and state.

When Reed left the scene, he walked to the Capitol building and began making threats to officials.

Agents with the Secret Service say Reed walked into the building and started making strange threats against the president and the federal government.

Reed allegedly told agents with the Secret Service that Satan made him crash his car into the statue. He also told agents that the devil told him to urinate on the monument.

Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert unveiled the statue the day before, ending his two-year fight to have the tablet erected on the Capitol grounds. Rapert sponsored a bill to have the monument built, arguing, in part, that the commandments would help citizens to understand "the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of the law."
This wasn't the first time Reed has pulled such a stunt. In October 2014, Reed rammed his car into the Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas Capitol. It was destroyed in the crash. It was later ordered removed by a court in a case brought by the ACLU, which also plans to sue over the Arkasas display.

FFRF released a statement decrying the act of vandalism while also condemning the placement of the monument on public grounds. "FFRF does not condone violating the Constitution by erecting a Ten Commandments monument on the Arkansas Capitol grounds. Nor do we condone breaking the law to remove such a display. There is no need to resort to criminal behavior to uphold the Constitution. . . . Whatever his motivation: We are a nation governed by the rule of law. That not only means vandalism will not be tolerated, but it also means that we take our disputes to court."

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