For the second time in less than a year, a monument to the Ten Commandments has been unveiled on the grounds of the Arkansas state Capitol.
At a ceremony marking the installation Thursday, Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, thanked supporters of the American History and Heritage Foundation as well as Gov. Asa Hutchinson for his support after the first monument was destroyed in June. Rapert runs the foundation, which funded the monolith with private donations.
Onlookers included members of groups such as the Arkansas Prayer Caucus and the Family Council — as well as the Satanic Temple.
At least two signs featured messages calling for the separation of church and state.
Rapert sponsored a bill in 2015 to erect the monument west of the state Capitol building.
The original version was rammed with a car less than 24 hours after it debuted in June. The new one is flanked by four 3-foot-tall concrete bollards to protect it from meeting the same fate as the first.
The accused driver, Michael Tate Reed II of Van Buren, was declared unfit to stand trial in November and committed to the State Hospital.
Funding for the monument’s replacement came from private efforts. Less than two weeks after the first was smashed, the American History and Heritage Foundation had raised roughly $55,000 in donations toward a new one.
The total included a $25,000 contribution from the executive producers of the God’s Not Dead movie series. Funds had surpassed $85,000 by the reinstallation. Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, is also a representative of the foundation.Gallery: Ten Commandments installation at Arkansas Capitol