Author: Rolly Hoyt-KTHV
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Fire and brimstone was the theme under a scorching midday sun as the rights of religions, non-religions and anti-religions all debated at the Arkansas State Capitol. A self-described Satanic Temple drove a statue of Baphomet to the gathering, hoping to someday see it placed on the same grounds as the state’s Ten Commandments monuments.
The monument arrived on a flatbed truck and was unveiled at the bottom of the capitol steps. Meanwhile, the Ten Commandments stood behind a screened fence rimmed with caution tape, presumably for maintenance and to prevent mischief in the heated environment.
“We find ourselves here because our elected officials, who may have been voted in by 50.1 percent of their district, they've failed and forgotten that upon taking that office they then represent 100 percent of that district,” said Leewood Thomas of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. He was among four scheduled speakers who climbed on tot the truck to address the crowd of about 100 people.
Other speakers were interrupted by apparently Christian counter-protesters. One man was led away after shouting his piece at one speaker. A police officer escorted him, though that was the most confrontational moment of the two-hour rally.
Upstairs in the air-conditioned capitol, state senator Jason Rapert (R- Conway) attended meetings while the crowd derided him outside. Rapert is the driving force behind erecting the Ten Commandments monuments, leading a group that secured the private funding and pushing the tablets through using a new law that gave the legislature the power to authorize monuments on the grounds.
Read more at KTHV.com