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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas state Rep. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, speaks Thursday at the installation of a new Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol. - Photo by Rachel Herzog

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

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  • hurricane46
    April 26, 2018 at 12:52 p.m.

    Too many preachers in the legislature, they need to go back to their churches and leave politics alone.

  • FireEyes
    April 26, 2018 at 12:55 p.m.

    Heading liberals off:
    NEITHER monument was funded by one red penny of state funds.
    Like it or not, accurate history proves this nation was founded upon Christian principles.

  • msh
    April 26, 2018 at 1:01 p.m.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Let the Muslims and the Satanists and the Scientologists put up their monuments as well so we're not left thinking these bozos are not preferential to the Christian faith.

    Or maybe they're just hipocrites.

  • LR1955
    April 26, 2018 at 1:06 p.m.

    I had a dream where a perfectly cut 20 ton cube of granite fell from the sky and landed between the bollards, crushing this monument. But the dream did not reveal if it came from God or a passing by Ancient Alien.

  • CommonSense68
    April 26, 2018 at 1:13 p.m.

    Such a vague comment about the governor's support suggests that his minions are once again trying to appeal to the conservative and Christian voters he has continued to ignore for the past 3 years. Beware Governor, we know your true liberal nature, and we are working to see you defeated by the true constitutional conservative Jan Morgan

  • Illinoisroy
    April 26, 2018 at 1:22 p.m.

    FireEyes-hog wash, note msh's citation for true history of our nation.

  • razorback1177
    April 26, 2018 at 1:27 p.m.

    Now that is an oxymoron for you. A comment from from someone using the screen name Common Sense and talking about Jan Morgan. LOL

  • LRDawg
    April 26, 2018 at 1:32 p.m.

    Hey law makers, try following those Commandments! Start with "THOU SHALL NOT KILL". Change some laws and stop the hypocrisy....or leave the Commandments alone

  • Algarrett
    April 26, 2018 at 1:52 p.m.

    The only Christian principle this country was founded on is the one about slaves obeying their masters. Can you think of any others? I look forward to the litigation already prepared and the state of Arkansas making a sizable contribution to the ACLU and other organizations that strive to uphold the Constitution (which I also support.) Unfortunately in the end, the one who will benefit the most will be Rappert and those who feel compelled to practice their religion on everyone else.

  • TimberTopper
    April 26, 2018 at 2:05 p.m.

    FireEyes, who paid for it is not the problem. It is placed on State of Arkansas property. The only way it can stay there is to allow any other religions to use the same amount of state property in just as visible place for their own monument, should they desire.

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