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Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument at Capitol destroyed

Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument at Capitol destroyed

The controversial 10 Commandments monument had been placed at the Arkansas State Capitol on Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours before it was destroyed.

The erection of the privately funded monument has been contentious.

The monument was installed two years after state officials passed the "Ten Commandments Monument Display Act", CNN reports. A 2015 law required the state to allow the display near the Capitol, and a state panel last month gave final approval to its design and location. However, the move had provoked a backlash from groups who say the monument contradicts the constitution implying state endorsement of a particular religion.

The American Heritage and History Foundation, an organization founded by Rapert, raised the money to pay for the monument. Rapert, an evangelist, sponsored the legislation to permit the monument, according to Reuters.

"At a time when we do not need any more religious conflict and divisiveness in the world and in this country, it violates the First Amendment promise of religious liberty to all", Rita Sklar, the group's executive director, told NPR.

There's "no one religion" that the government should represent, the man said. "You're not as equal as the people who adhere to this religious faith, '" Sklar said.

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Powell told Arkansas Online that the state expected such pushback regarding the monument, but the immediate destruction of the statue still came as a surprise. "Those have no goal in USA or Arkansas law".

The ACLU plans to take the issue to federal court. "Just because of the Separation of Church and State".

Chris Powell, a spokesman with the Secretary of State's Office, said he was called early Wednesday and told a man drove a vehicle through the monument. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments display from that state's Capitol in 2015, and the state's voters past year rejected an initiative aimed at allowing the monument to return.

Rapert and other supporters have argued that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a similar display on the Texas Capitol grounds in 2005. "The Court sees a huge difference between the two, and so do we". "It cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars when we challenged their abortion ban".

Rapert is vowing to have the monument replaced and installed again at the Capitol.

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