Sen. Jason Rapert yesterday created a GoFundMe fundraising effort to raise money for a monument to Ten Commandments to be placed at the Arkansas State Capitol.
Rapert is seeking $16,635 for the monument. Thus far, he has raised $700 from six people in the fourteen hours since the effort went live. Rapert stated that the funds must be raised in the next two weeks to keep the project on schedule.
A law sponsored by Rapert allowed private funds to pay for the creation and installation of a monument bearing the Old Testament Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds. Such a monument will surely invite a legal challenge on First Amendment grounds. A similar effort was abandoned in Oklahoma after the state Supreme Court there found that it was unconstitutional. Satanists and other groups are also attempting to get their own monuments, inspired by Rapert. The Republicans who backed the Ten Commandments monument have thus far been less open to monuments on the Captiol grounds from other traditions.
Rapert invoked both the Bible and puns in order to make his fundraising push. From the GoFundMe page:
[W]e are inviting you to participate in this “monumental” project by donating any amount today. We know that many people want to participate so they can be a part of this important project and support the right of the American people to recognize the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of law in the United States of America.
Rapert closes with this: “There will be many more monuments in the future, but this is our first and we want you to be a part of it.”
That bit in the Gospel of Matthew comes to mind, “For I was in need of a gaudy monument and you gave me a gaudy monument.”