VAN BUREN, Ark. — An Arkansas man who destroyed a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol building in June 2017 says that he heard something inside impress on him, “Destroy it tonight.”
Local television station KARK recently sat down with Michael Tate Reed II after he was released from the state hospital, where he was receiving treatment for mental issues. He reportedly told the outlet that he doesn’t regret knocking down the monument with his car in the early morning hours of June 28, 2017.
“So you feel like it was your calling to do this?” reporter Tyler Thomason asked. “Yes,” Tate replied. “I had to get people’s attention for what’s going on in the world.”
He said that when he learned that the monument had been installed outside the capitol, something inside told him to destroy it.
“I felt a huge pressure come over me, and I heard it inside: ‘Destroy it tonight,'” Reed outlined. “That’s all I could think about. It was a tunnel vision.”
As previously reported, while Reed characterized himself as a “Pentecostal Jesus freak” on his Facebook page at the time of the incident, and still writes of himself, “The only thing good about me is God in me and everything else we’re working on,” he says he also believes in the “separation of Church and State.” He says that he supports the Ten Commandments, but not on government property.
Reed posted a video prior to committing the act in which he outlined that while he believes that men should “obey the commands of God,” he feels that “[t]here’s no one religion government should support.”
Reed additionally suffers with mental illness—particularly schizoaffective disorder—and was consequently found to be unfit for trial, and not guilty due to mental issues. He was rather ordered to undergo further evaluation in a state hospital.
“I meant to do it, fully well,” Reed told the Arkansas Times last year. “I did it because I fully believe I’m the rider on the first white horse in Revelations.”
Reed had previously destroyed a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma, later explaining that he was obtaining help for his psychiatric issues. He was not charged in that case either due to his mental health issues.
“Michael Tate Reed II stated in a letter that his psychotic breaks led to getting inspiration from a Dracula movie, thinking Michael Jackson’s spirit was in meat, believing he was the incarnation of an occult leader and attempting to contact Lucifer’s high priestess he called Gwyneth Paltrow,” Tulsa World outlined.
Reed is likewise being required to undergo regular therapy as a stipulation of his most recent release from the hospital. He also may not leave the state without permission.
“It’s my choice what I do with my life,” Reed told KARK. “If some people don’t agree with that, that’s fine.”
As previously reported, a new Ten Commandments monument was installed in April after more than 800 supporters donated money to replace the display that Reed had destroyed.
“The sole reason that we donated this monument to the state of Arkansas is because the Ten Commandments are an important component to the foundation of the laws and the legal system of the United States of America and of the state of Arkansas,” said Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, who leads the American History and Heritage Foundation, the non-profit entity that raised funds for the monument’s installment.
In May, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, representing four female atheist and agnostic complainants, and the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, along with the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of the monument’s placement.
1 John 5:3 states, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous.”
Romans 13:8-10 also notes, “Owe no man anything but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this: thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”