An investigation is under way in Oklahoma City into a driver who crashed into a well-known Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state Capitol, breaking it into pieces.
According to a report from KFOR Television, the man was taken in for “mental evaluation” after he told officers that Satan told him to urinate on the stone, then crash into it.
The vandalism hit at one of the Ten Commandments monuments that has been challenged over the years by those objecting to the display of the tenets of Judeo-Christian faith. It, however, has remained on the grounds as part of the history of the state and nation.
Hiram Sasser, director of Liberty Institute, which has worked on issues regarding the display of the Ten Commandments, said it was just last month that a judge in Oklahoma had ruled the display constitutional.
“We are shocked and saddened that someone would engage in such a hostile and violent act against a passive monument,” he said. “We are hopeful the ACLU and the American Atheists who have brought two separate lawsuits against the Ten Commandments monument will publicly condemn this senseless act of violence …”
Liberty, a national nonprofit legal group that defends and restores religious liberties, represented the state in the Ten Commandments case.
According to KFOR, the U.S. Secret Service said the damage was discovered when the man, whose name was not being released immediately, came into the city’s federal building and made threats against Barack Obama.
The station reported, “Agents say he then admitted to them that he crashed his car into the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol, then left his damaged car and walked to the federal building.”
He told the agents Satan had told him to do it.
Authorities say he was detained for a mental evaluation, and Gov. Mary Fallin issued orders for security officers to try to crack down on unapproved behavior.
Authorities said the vehicle actually sat at the site of the crash for 12 hours, prompting Fallin to express concern.
“This is alarming,” she said. “That anyone would get this close to the Capitol and knock down a historical monument.”