A religious monument has been erected in Arkansas and many on the left are furious.
In Bill Clinton’s home state, lawmakers have erected a large monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds outside the Arkansas State Capitol Building. It’s big, it’s bold, and it has many liberals both in and out of the state upset. (via UALR Public Radio)
The monument, a tablet standing six-feet-tall, is meant to be a recreation of the Ten Commandments Moses carried carried down from Mount Sinai. Each of the commandments are easily readable, and there is a small plaque at the bottom saying, “Presented to the people of Arkansas by the American History and Heritage Foundation”.
The American History and Heritage Foundation is a non-profit organizataion founded in 2015. Their mission is “To educate the public on American history and heritage.” They acted as private sponsors for the creation of the monument, helping to raise over 17-thousand dollars for the project.
The creation of the monument started in 2015 with state Senator Jason Rapert (R-Conway), who sponsored the bill. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed it in April of 2015, allowing the monument to be erected.
The bill was carefully crafted to include a defense against liberal challenges and a marker determining when the monument would be finished. Included in the bill is a statement that if the monument is challenged to be unconstitutional that the state’s attorney general may prepare and present a legal defense of the monument. The bill even rejects a common complaint of the left against such structures by closing, ‘The placement of the monument under this section shall not be construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”
Sure enough, various anti-religious groups have been fighting the project since it was announced in 2015 and have been preparing lawsuits once it was finalized today. The American Humanist Association claimed the monument violates the “separation of church and state” in the First amendment, and have stated, “Let the record be clear that the American Humanist Association decries any attempt to govern based on Biblical principles as being both theocratic and unconstitutional.”
The Satanic Temple demanded that they be allowed to erect a statue of Baphomet, a demonic, winged creature with a goat’s head and two children smiling up at it, to be built nearby. Ironically, their request was denied because a piece of legislation was passed this year preventing such religious monuments from being built unless they obtained legislative approval. This stipulation was created as a result of the green-light for the Ten Commandments monument.
Despite the carefully laid defense within the bill, the future of the monument is unclear. There have been two identical monuments built before in Oklahoma and Texas. The one in Oklahoma was deemed unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court and removed, whereas the one is Texas was eventually upheld. It was determined the monument in Texas had historical meaning and was not in defiance of the First Amendment.
At a time when other religious monuments are being torn down, it’s nice to see a few going up, even if they only last for a little while.