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Oklahoma statehouse Ten Commandments statue smashed

A man smashed his car into the monument of the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma statehouse on Thursday night.

By
Gabrielle Levy
An unidentifed man smashed his car into the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Oct. 23, 2014. (Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services)
An unidentifed man smashed his car into the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Oct. 23, 2014. (Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- An unidentified man has been arrested for allegedly driving his car into the Ten Commandments statue at the Oklahoma State Capitol building Thursday night.

The Secret Service has arrested a man who they said made vague threats against the Oklahoma City Federal Building Friday.

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Officials said the man admitted to urinating on the Ten Commandments monument before running it over. He also said he would kill president Obama and spit on a photo of the president, all under orders from Satan.

Cleanup of the 6-foot-tall monument is underway, and the man's vehicle has been impounded.

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The monument, which was built with private funding and placed at the statehouse steps, is a source of significant controversy.

A lawsuit filed by the ACLU arguing that the monument violates the state constitution's ban against using public property to support church or religion was thrown out by an Oklahoma County judge in September.

"While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients' deeply held religious beliefs," said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. "The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism."

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In December, the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted unanimously to place a temporary moratorium on new monuments after a rush of religious groups protesting the placement of the Ten Commandments statue, including Hindus, Satanists, and the atheist Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, applied for monuments of their own.

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