A man went into the Oklahoma City Federal Building on Friday morning threatening to kill President Obama and spitting on a picture of the President. Then he confessed his actual crime: the night before, Satan made him urinate on the Ten Commandments statue sitting on the state capitol’s lawn. Furthermore, Satan directed him to smash the granite monument by driving over it with his truck.
The vandal ‘takes the Ten Commandments very seriously’.
The man, Michael Tate Reed Jr. of Roland, was arrested by the Secret Service and taken to a mental health facility for evaluation. Although he apparently confessed his crime to authorities —plus told them that he’s bi-polar and off his meds — his mother, Crystal Tucker, said:
He would never deface something that meant so much to him. He takes the Ten Commandments very seriously.
But she acknowledged that when he has breakdowns:
… the one thing that is foremost in his mind, his religion, is the thing he takes it out on … Anyone who knows Michael, knows he loves his God.
The monument has been controversial since it was erected on the state capitol lawn in 2012. It was paid for with $10,000 in private funds from the family of Republican Rep. Mike Ritze. However, the fact that it was placed on public property resulted in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of clients that include a minister. A judge recently ruled that its presence is constitutional, but the ACLU has appealed the case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The conservative state government has fully embraced the statue. Governor Mary Fallin immediately offered to help raise more private funds to rebuild it, saying:
This monument was built to memorialize the historical significance of the Ten Commandments in guiding our own laws and lives. It is absolutely appalling that someone would vandalize anything at the Oklahoma State Capitol – the People’s Building – much less a monument of such significance.
A statue of Satan will sit by the monument’s side if it’s ‘resurrected’.
The Satanic Temple has been preparing a response to the Ten Commandments statue since it became obvious that religious expressions on public property have, at least for now, been deemed appropriate. They’re building a 7-foot statue of Satan to stand at its side. The Temple also released a statement in response to the vandalism:
The Satanic Temple was appalled to learn of the act of destructive vandalism laid upon the 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma today. As many are aware, we are seeking to have a Satanic monument erected alongside the 10 Commandments — and only alongside the 10 Commandments. We do not want our monument to stand alone. If our monument stands at the state Capitol, we want it to compliment and contrast the 10 Commandments, with both standing unmolested as a testament to American religious freedom and tolerance.
The statement continues with a reminder to the interested parties:
Oklahoma City has the option to wait until the ACLU’s case regarding the legal status of the 10 Commandments is resolved before it permits its replacement. However, if the 10 Commandments is immediately reconstructed, our monument will be ready for unveiling quite soon.
The ACLU, preferring that matters be settled in court rather than by Satan, also expressed outrage at the destruction, saying that it’s offensive to their clients ‘as people of faith’. But of course their lawsuit will continue. Ryan Kiesel, director of Oklahoma’s ACLU, took this opportunity to reinforce the larger point by saying:
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.
So Satan, you’re not allowed to impose your will on the people of Oklahoma— even by seducing a supposedly devout Christian into doing it. And State of Oklahoma — neither are you.