Freethinkers Oppose Religious Monument at State Capitol
For Immediate Release
The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers opposes a monument to religion that was erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol Tuesday morning. The monument, which contains a version of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, in Judeo-Christian theology, was authorized by Act 1231 of 2015, and was sponsored by state Senator Jason Rapert, (R-Bigelow), a Christian minister. In news stories, Rapert has repeatedly stated that the monument was based on one that withstood constitutional attack in Texas based on how long it had been standing without complaint. All new monuments have been ordered to be removed by courts as they have been erected around the country.
“This monument is a brand-new and blatant attack on the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” said LeeWood Thomas, spokesperson for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. “We expect that suit will be filed shortly to have it removed and that the lawsuit will be successful.”
“Legal precedents nationwide require the removal of the monument,” said Anne Orsi, President of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. “The actions of the Arkansas state government that permitted it to be erected constitute an unlawful establishment of religion. By passing a law designating the language on the monument, the Arkansas State Legislature endorsed one particular religious viewpoint, which violates the United States Constitution.”
The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers’ primary mission safeguards the separation of church and state.
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