Continued conflict over Ten Commandments monument on public land.
Arizona based independent film studio, Pure Flix, has donated 25,000 dollars to a fund in the town of Arkansas. The fund is for rebuilding a destroyed Ten Commandments monument. The two meter structure stood outside the Arizona state Capitol.
The monument was a major source of conflict when it was put up. A local Satanic Temple took the state to court because of the monument. It accused the state of favoring a specific religion by allowing the structure to stand. After various court battles, a law was passed that required state legislation for the installation of any structure in the state of Arkansas. The courts also ruled in favor of the state. This meant that the Ten Commandments monument could stay on government land.
The Satanic Temple was later restricted from putting up a monument of satanic god Baphomet. This course of action led to the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas to support the Satanic Temple’s claim of favoritism. They termed the actions of the state as unconstitutional.
A day after the Ten Commandments monument was put up, a Christian resident of Arkansas wrecked the monument by driving his car through it. He stated that government and religion should remain separate as the motive behind his actions. After investigation, it was discovered the perpetrator has a history of mental illness. He faces criminal charges of destroying public structures, trespassing and first-degree criminal mischief. The Satanic Temple later withdrew its case. The group did not want to continue the case as the monument was already destroyed, however, they declared they would sue if the monument were repaired or replaced.
Pure Flix gave their donation to the American History and Heritage Foundation at a small ceremony on the steps of the state’s Capitol. Pure Flix studios was behind the surprise box office success film God’s Not Dead. Parts of the movie were filmed in Little Rock, Arkansas. The studio confirmed that filming for the third movie in the God’s Not Dead series would also be done there. Studio representatives at the event said the donation to the monument’s fund was its way of giving back to the Arkansas people.
Supporters of the Ten Commandments monument argue that the monument has a valuable historical impact and the monument is part of who they are. The antagonists such as The Satanic Temple and the American Civil Liberties Union claimed not to support the illegal destruction of the monument. They still want the state to accept that it favors a specific religion.