Wednesday's HOT MIC
A man screaming "freedom!" crashed his vehicle into Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument three years after he was arrested for pulling the same stunt by destroying the Ten Commandments statue in Oklahoma.
The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.
Michael Tate Reed, 32, of Van Buren, Arkansas, was booked in the Pulaski County jail shortly after 7:30 a.m. on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief. An arrest report lists his occupation as "unemployed/disabled."
Authorities did not know whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf, and a video arraignment was set for Thursday morning, a Pulaski County sheriff's spokesman said. A call to the number listed for Reed on a police report went straight to voicemail.
Arkansas Secretary of State's Office spokesman Chris Powell said officials believe a Facebook Live video posted on a Michael Reed's account that depicted the destruction is authentic.
In the video, the sky is dark and the Arkansas Capitol's dome is visible. Music is heard followed by a female voice, likely on the radio, saying, "Where do you go when you're faced with adversity and trials and challenges?" The driver is then heard growling, "Oh my goodness. Freedom!" before accelerating into the monument. The vehicle's speedometer is last shown at 21 mph (33 kph) and then a collision can be heard.
The monument fell and broke into multiple pieces as it hit the ground.
Oklahoma County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Reed was the same man arrested in October 2014 in the destruction of Oklahoma's Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol.
In a 2015 email to the Tulsa World , Reed apologized for wrecking Oklahoma's monument and said he suffered from mental health issues.
"I am so sorry that this all happening (sic) and wished I could take it all back," Reed said.
Yeah...right. So the guy goes crazy twice? Not likely.
I fail to see the controversy here. No public money was used to build the monuments in Arkansas and Oklahoma. And despite attempts to denigrate them, the Ten Commandments form the basis of Western civilized society. Our body of laws is directly based on the strictures found in the Commandments. Far more than a religious text, the secular application of the Commandments to how we live and interact with one another makes our society possible.
No, we're not perfect and even the Ten Commandments can be a little unyielding on some points. But to take the Commandments as a purely religious expression of God's law is idiotic. They are so much more and nutcases like Reed should be safely locked away and his "mental health issues" dealt with.