28 June 2017
What kind of nut would ram his car into Ten Commandments monuments in two different states? The answer seems to be a self-described born-again Christian who admits to psychotic episodes, during which he flirted with Satanism, and strongly believes in the separation of church and state. The man arrested this morning for destroying a freshly-installed monument outside the Arkansas state capitol is believed to be the same man who wrecked a monument in Oklahoma in October 2014. "[N]o one religion should the government represent," he reportedly says in a Facebook post prior to his latest exploit. Oklahoma was eventually compelled to remove the Commandments monument from its capitol, but Arkansas is required by state law to keep a monument near its capitol grounds. While the perpetrator's core idea is admirable in the abstract, it's probably inseparable in fact from a madness that may have reclaimed the poor fool. The depths of his previous madness are detailed in a letter he wrote to an Oklahoma newspaper in 2015. I was tempted to describe him as a non-lethal terrorist, but "vandal" is more appropriate, since the only life he appears to have threatened was his own. I can't sympathize with any believers who feel aggrieved by this attack, but at the same time this country doesn't need people like the attacker taking the Constitution into their own hands. We might well ask how much more sane all the other people are who lash out against the way the political winds are blowing.