A man who confessed to desecrating the controversial Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma last month said he did so because Satan asked him to act that way. 29-year-old Michael Reed Junior rammed his car into the religious monument after urinating on it on October 23 and then went on to make threats about killing President Barack Obama. He told authorities that he had driven his car into the monument the previous night as well. However, he abandoned his car near the structure after vandalizing it a second time.
Upon being interrogated by the Secret Service, Reed apparently said he had been instructed by the devil to act that way. This led to him being taken to a mental facility where he underwent evaluation and was placed in mental detention thereafter. Reportedly, Reed has a medical history of mental illness and he recently stopped taking his medication.
The monument in question has been in the news for several months since American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit to have it removed earlier this year.
“The monument’s placement at the Capitol has created a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” stated Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, in a news release. “When the government literally puts one faith on a pedestal, it sends a strong message to Oklahomans of other faiths that they are less than equal.”
Last month however, a district judge ruled that the Ten Commandments Monument is in fact constitutional because it serves a historical purpose and not only a religious one. He also clarified that the controversial monument is situated on a plot of land that contains several other similar structures.
A day after the monument was vandalized, ACLU condemned Reed’s actions but said it would continue to seek its removal.
“The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism,” it stated. “Our Oklahoma and federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those of no faith at all can coexist as equals without fear of repressions from the government or their neighbors. Whether it is politicians using religion as a political tool or vandals desecrating religious symbols, neither are living up to the full promise of our founding documents.”
The monument will soon be repaired and restored to its original condition.
Photo Credits: Oklahoma Watch