Press release from The Fayetteville Freethinkers
Regarding the Destruction of the Ten Commandments Monument
The Fayetteville Freethinkers, a local club of skeptics, atheists, agnostics, and nontraditional believers, strongly condemns the actions of Van Buren resident Michael Tate Reed, who today rammed his car into the newly erected Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas State Capitol grounds.
The Fayetteville Freethinkers support a strong wall of separation between church and state and oppose the installation of religious monuments such as the Ten Commandments on public property. However, we just as strongly condemn violence and vandalism as a solution or as a means of protest.
Similar displays of the Ten Commandments have been erected in other states, such as Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Alabama, were found to be unconstitutional, and were ordered removed. The Fayetteville Freethinkers believe that a similar outcome would result in the case of the Arkansas monument. We believe that any removal of the monument should be done through the courts or the legislature, peacefully and legally.
We also want to point out that Mr. Reed, who destroyed the Ten Commandments monument today, is reportedly a Christian who at one time attended a Bible College in Oklahoma. He seems to suffer from mental illness. He is not a member of the freethinker community. There is understandable outrage regarding today’s incident, but it should not be directed at freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, or others who hold nontraditional beliefs.
The Fayetteville Freethinkers meet once a month at the Fayetteville Public Library on the last Saturday of the month (off for June and July) and everyone is welcome to attend.
Contact person: Doug Krueger, president of the Fayetteville Freethinkers
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"We could have done something important Max. We could have fought child abuse or Republicans!" --Oona Hart (played by Victoria Foyt), in the 1995 movie "Last Summer in the Hamptons."
"He seems to suffer from mental illness."
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