LITTLE ROCK — The producers of the “God’s Not Dead” movie series will provide $25,000 to help replace the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol that was recently destroyed, the group that funded the original monument said Wednesday.
The American History and Heritage Foundation said in a news release that executives with PureFlix Entertainment and GND Media Group will present the donation Thursday at the state Capitol.
“God’s Not Dead 2” was filmed in Little Rock in 2015, the same year the state Legislature and Gov. Asa Hutchinson approved legislation authorizing the installation of a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds at private expense.
A 6-foot tall granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments was installed just southwest of the Capitol building June 27 and was destroyed early the next day when a driver crashed a car into it.
Michael Tate Reed II, 32, of Van Buren was arrested in the incident and faces charges of defacing an object of public interest and first-degree criminal mischief, both felonies, and trespassing on state Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has said a state-approved Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds would amount to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion and that it would sue to have such a monument removed.
State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, who sponsored the legislation authorizing the monument and founded the American History and Heritage Foundation to raise money for the project, has said the purpose of the monument is to honor the historical moral foundation of Arkansas law and not to endorse religion.