Satanists Watch as 10 Commandments Return to Capitol Grounds May 21, 2018 12:29:10 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on May 21, 2018 12:29:10 GMT -5
Satanists Watch as Ten Commandments Monument Returns to Capitol Grounds
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Ten Commandments returned to the grounds of the state capitol Thursday, April 26, less than one year after 32-year-old Michael Tate Reed deliberately drove into the original monument. Four concrete barriers surround the replacement to protect it from other drivers intent upon destruction. In October 2017, the court determined Reed was unfit to stand trial and he was committed to the Arkansas State Hospital. His next court date is December 13, 2018.
However, groups are already mobilizing to bring it down through the courts. Lawsuit threats from the Satanic Temple poured in before crews reinstalled the monument, followed by the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU and Arkansas Society of Freethinkers.
State Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway) revealed the controversial tablet during a dedication ceremony Thursday morning, alongside several of his colleagues in the legislature, Family Council staff and other proponents of the Ten Commandments. Among their cheers, a big thumbs down from an opponent stood out.
“I don’t need a book to tell me how to live my life or people,” said Chris Russell, a Satanist.
“Or a tablet?” reporter Jessi Turnure asked.
“Or a tablet, monument,” Russell replied.
Russell drove in from Russellville to support the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, who goes by the name Lucien Greaves. As crews installed the replacement, Greaves hovered close by and kept almost the same amount of distance during the ceremony.
The Satanic Temple argues replacing the Ten Commandments monument but refusing to install its Satanic statue next to it is illegal viewpoint discrimination. “Satanism represents free thought, individualism,” Russell declared. “Basically, you are your own god. I’ve never subscribed to the Christian religion. It’s never resonated with me.”
In contrast, a Christian couple who drove in from Hot Springs for the monument’s dedication could not see it Russell’s way. “I’ll pray for them,” said Lanelle Tippit. She and her husband, Doug, believe the Ten Commandments are the law of the land, especially the first one. “Thou shalt have no other gods before you,” Lanelle announced.
“That’s right,” her husband interjected. “That’s it.”
“If you do that, then everything else will fall in place,” Lanelle explained.
More than 800 people from Arkansas and across the country agreed with the couple. Sen. Rapert told the crowd their private donations made the replacement possible. “This is what our country was founded on ... God,” Doug proclaimed.
Nevertheless, there are others who believe in separation of church and state. Russell and his fellow Satanists demand their statue stand next to the Ten Commandments or in the alternative, the legal system prohibit both. He realizes the latter is more likely. “Come down because these guys, I know they’re opposed to the Baphomet statue,” he said. “They don’t get it. They don’t understand what it is, what it represents.”
Sources: Jonathan Freeman, MyArkLaMiss.com, April 27, 2018, and KARK.