Christian Man Decimates Ten Commandments Statue Less Than 24 Hours After Installation

Michael Tate Reed holds up a Ten Commandments plaque.
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A Christian man decimated the Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas less than 24 hours after its installation at the state capitol.

Police arrested Michael Tate Reed for smashing his car into the monument early Wednesday morning.

“Oh my goodness,” Reed says in a video posted to Facebook as he smashed into the statue. “Freedom!”

Reed professes to be a Christian on his social media profile.

“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 says in a video posted to Facebook the same day as the incident.

“But one thing I do not support is the violation of our Constitutional right to have the freedom that’s guaranteed to us, that guarantees the separation of church and state, ’cause no one religion should the government represent.”

He asks his friends and followers to use the hashtag “checkmate” if they support his decision.

Reed is not the only one who challenged the installation—though his protest may be the first.

According to Reuters:

Civil liberties group pledged a court challenge, saying it showed an unconstitutional government preference for a certain religion.

Legislators approved the act for the monument in 2015, and whether it was appropriate for the public grounds has been debated since. Similar monuments erected in Oklahoma and Alabama were ordered removed by courts.

At the installation ceremony for the some 3,000-pound (1,360 kg) granite slab in Little Rock, state Senator Jason Rapert noted that the Ten Commandments were chiseled into the portals of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“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.

Reed even set up a GoFundMe to replace his car. At the time of reporting, he raised $80 of his $20,000 goal. {eoa}

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