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Ten Commandments monument installed on Arkansas Capitol grounds

A statue of the Ten Commandments is seen after it was installed June 27, 2017, on the grounds of the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Photo by Steve Barnes/Reuters

(USA Today) After years of heated debate, a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments has been installed on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and other opponents have vowed to sue over the controversial display, which was erected Tuesday morning (June 27). They believe the privately funded monument is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

“If they put it up, they’re going to signal to people who don’t subscribe to that particular version of the commandments and nonbelievers they are second-class citizens and we will file suit,” Holly Dickson, the ACLU’s legal director, told U.S. News and World Report when the monument was approved in May.

Supporters of the monument, such as Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, say the display honors the role the Ten Commandments have played in the history of the nation’s law.

“We’re very happy today to see Act S1231 of 2015 fulfilled with the installation of the Ten Commandments monument today, and we’re very grateful to all of those who donated to the American Heritage and History Foundation,” Rapert said.

Act S1231 is a law, sponsored by Rapert, which required the monument be built somewhere on Capitol grounds.

The American Heritage and History Foundation raised more than $26,000 to build the 6-foot, 6,000-pound tablet through a GoFundMe page created by Rapert.

Rapert defended the bill against those who seek to “belittle or create controversy” over the monument, citing Van Orden v. Perry, the Supreme Court decision that ruled Texas could display a Ten Commandments monument at its state Capitol. This monument is a replica of Texas’ display.

He noted that the Ten Commandments are also displayed in the United States Supreme Court building, saying, “If it’s good enough for the United States Capitol, it’s good enough for the state of Arkansas.”

Adding to the debate, the Temple of Satan had tried to install its own statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed, angel-winged creature accompanied by two children smiling at it. The statue, once destined for the state Capitol of Oklahoma, was blocked yet again by a law requiring legislative approval before monuments can be considered.

State Supreme Courts have historically been less lenient with religious monuments on public property.

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. A similar monument was removed from a town hall in New Mexico in 2014 when a judge ruled it violated the First Amendment.

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N'dea Yancey-Bragg

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  • This commandments were given after the people said what ever you command we will accomplish.

  • What a crock! Of the ten rules only three have survived as laws: murder, theft and false witness. These are not unique laws and have been in most cultures predating Judaism. The first two commandments and the one about the Sabbath violate the First Ammendment of the Constitution and are against what America stands for – freedom to worship any god(s) we choose in any (legal) manner we choose. Thus far these antics have been struck down by our courts. Just because the Supreme Court displays them doesn’t make it constitutional. These are artifacts of a Christian majority having their way until someone bothers to make a legal challenge.

  • The tablet was destroyed today by a man using a vehicle. Govenor to ascend into Ozark Mountains to get another copy to display. National Guard called to prevent golden calf worship.

    Seriously this is disturbing that some moron felt so strongly that he had to destroy it. A court would have likely required it removed. This vandalism was an assault on free speech.

  • Actually, I’d say that the Supreme Court’s disinclination to remove its own Ten Commandments DOES mean that they think that display, at least, is constitutional. Personally, I think these verses from Micah should be engraved on the wall above every judge in the US:

    He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

  • I hope the man arrested is charged the full cost of any landscaping repairs as well as the full cost of replacing the monument he destroyed. Plus a hefty fine.

  • Yes but only if some group wants to challenge it in court. If Trump gets to seat another SCOTUS justice we might see a swing.

  • It’s all about interpretation. Earlier Supreme Courts upheld things (slavery, interracial marriages, etc.) that later courts and most Americans view as unconstitutional and wrong.

  • True, though I have no idea what the laws governing vandalism are in Arkansas. I wonder if they can charge him with a hate crime?

  • It isn’t ALL about interpretation, unless you want to argue that the courts make it up as they go so they are never wrong. But it has been interesting watching the Court try to come up with a reason to ban Ten Commandments monuments while upholding their right to have their own.

  • I was joking. It’s not supposed to be a religious symbol and it’s on state property so I don’t see that happening.

  • I was joking myself, about the tendency these days by some to want to label everything they find offensive as a hate crime.

  • Well, closer look at the subject monument, there are many signs and symbols over the ten commandments. Does it mean somethings? Are there hidden messages saying the symbols are Moses the servant holding two stones? Are those symbols posit located over ten commandments saying something? May be those symbols He not respect?

  • well it is a lie, there were 611+2 commands given to the multitudes of all known nations. anything less than the 611, means your a Noachide. anything less than the seven+1 Noachide laws, makes you a subtle talking beast of the fields (a daemon). and the diversity of this world, reveals the extend of your worship of other g-ds. and altering THE NAME ELOHEEM, ELSHADDAEE, or YEHOO VHEE to anything else is profaning THE NAME. ELOHEEM, wants you to be specific about who you are worshiping.

    ELOHEEM spoke all these statements, saying:

    I-AM ELOHEEM, your ELOHEEM, WHO has taken you out of the land of egypt,from the house of slavery.

    you shall not recognize the g-ds* of others in MY Presence. you shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of that which is in heavens above the earth or below or in the water beneath the earth. you shall not prostrate yourself to them nor worship them, for I-AM ELOHEEM, your ELOHEEM – a jealous ELOHEEM, Who visits the sins of fathers upon children to the third and fourth generation, for my enemies; but Who knows kindness for thousands [of generations] to those who love ME and observe MY commandments.

    you shall not take TheName of ELOHEEM in vain, for ELOHEEM will not absolve anyone who takes HIS Name in vain.

  • well the founding fathers, and the early supreme court understood that no slavery can take place without it being commanded by G-D (ELOHEEM). even if they, failed to understand the reason why it had been commanded to whomever.
    typically it means, you screwed up worshiping other g-ds or ELOHEEM and THEIR Son falsely. just like all other pestilence, plague, and famine in this world today means your are all screwing up worshiping false things, things falsely and other g-ds. even the two world war plagues, means you were screwing up.
    even the diversity of this world, reveals the worship of other things and g-ds falsely. all arguments mean, the worship of things or other g-ds falsely. and i am certain that ELOHEEM had good reason, to command that you marry within your own designated tribe.
    Americans Then, had more respect for G-D (ELOHEEM) than alleged as americans today.

  • it also means separation of occult homosexual and other occult church and state. but separation of church and state, in no way implied separation of G-D And THEIR Son and state. as stated in all, fifty state constitutions and the declaration of independence.

  • The Law of ELOHEEM states, all costs involved in replacement plus two fifths additional cost. so you, would be paying back, 20cents for every dollar in replacement for damaged or stolen items. failure to agree(repent) involves, involuntary servitude for 49 years.

  • i am commanded to love what ELOHEEM Loves, and hate whatever ELOHEEM hates. and think, say, and do as commanded, to THEIR Male Child. even in this world, that makes demonic sense to themselves opposed to ELOHEEM and THEIR Male Child.

    just in case the deluded do not know, this story. This Story With ELOHEEM commanding the death of THEIR He/She Son. and always returned as mr and mrs HaMosheeach to represent THE OUR HE/SHE Image and Likeness of ELOHEEM.

    and this world’s failure to get it right, shall only result in doing it all over again. so the world is never, going to get out of being here in This Physical Story doing it forever wrong your own somebody else’s corrupt ways.

  • It’s just an expensive hunk of rock with words engraved on it. If we challenge it, we give it power. It has no inherent power or intrinsic value. It’s your choice.

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