A vandal drove his car up the steps to the Oklahoma Capitol Building in Oklahoma City and hit a controversial Ten Commandments monument, smashing it into several pieces, The Huffington Post is reporting.
The controversial monument was erected in 2012 with little to no resistance from Oklahoma’s socially conservative state legislature. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been fighting to have it removed, calling it an endorsement of religion and saying that it violates the First Amendment. Last month, a judge ruled that the Ten Commandments Monument does not violate state’s constitution; the ACLU has appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Republican legislator Mike Ritze, who personally spent nearly $10,000 on the Ten Commandments Monument, called the vandalism an “act of violence.”
“We consider this an act of violence against the state of Oklahoma. We are obviously shocked and dismayed, but we’re not discouraged.”
The ACLU, even though they are fighting to have the Ten Commandments monument removed, also decried the act of vandalism, according to KOCO.
The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism. While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients’ deeply held religious beliefs. To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith.”
This morning, according to KOCO, a man showed up at the Oklahoma Capitol Building making rambling threats against Barack Obama, threatening to kill him and spitting on a photo of him. He confessed to the Ten Commandments monument vandalism, telling federal authorities that Satan told him to do it. He also allegedly admitted to urinating on the monument.
The controversial monument has been the center of criticism since before it was even erected. Since its erection, several other religious groups have asked Oklahoma to allow them to install monuments at the Oklahoma Capitol, including a seven-foot-tall statue of the Pagan god Baphomet, funded by a Satanist organization, according to this Inquisitr report, as well as a Hindu monument, an animal rights monument, and a monument from the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, according to Atheists.org.
As of this post, the suspect accused of vandalizing the Oklahoma City Ten Commandments monument has not been charged with any crimes.
[Image courtesy of: ABC News]