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Man Decapitates Statue of Jesus Christ, Cites Bible's 'First or Second Commandment'

( [email protected] ) Jun 19, 2014 04:44 PM EDT
Charles Jeffrey Short of Charleston, North Carolina was arrested Sunday for vandalizing a statue of Jesus Christ outside a Catholic Church. He told police he attempted to destroy the statue due to the the Biblical "first or second commandment."
A man arrested for decapitating a church lawn statue of Jesus Christ says he did it because ''the second or first commandment'' forbids public displays of men and women, Charleston police say. (CBS News)

The second of the Ten Commandments given by God and found in Exodus 20 instructs Christians to abstain from idol worship and from creating idolotrous images.

A man in Charleston, North Carolina may have taken the Biblical commandment a little too literally.

CBS reports that Charles Jeffrey Short, 38, was arrested on Sunday after admitting to police that he beheaded the statue of Jesus outside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. This is the second beheading of Christ at the church in one week, after an incident last Thursday when someone hammered off the heads and "some hands" of another statue of Jesus and a child.

A local man walking by the church witnessed a man knock off the statue's head, reveals the police report. An officer was called to the scene who in turn confronted Short. A search through Short's bag produced a Kobalt sledgehammer coated with white residue.

Police arrested Short near the church after he reportedly admitted to hammering the statue "six or seven times," causing $5, 000 worth of damage. When asked why he vandalized the statue of Jesus, Short replied, "because the second or first commandment states to not make an image of a male or female to be on display to the public."

Police returned to the church to find the head "was completely demolished off the statue" of Jesus.

Members of the Sacred Heart are horrified by the occurrence, saying the 6 foot concrete statue of Jesus represents Christ's love for humanity.

This is not the first time the church has experienced vandalism; last week, an unidentified person hacked off the heads and hands of another statue of Christ and a child, a police report states. The marble statues had been outside the church since 1996. Police are still unsure if the two events are connected.

Short is currently held with a $2, 130 bail, charged with malicious injury to real property.

An excerpt of the King James Bible version of The Second Commandment of the Bible reads: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath...

Jeanette Hayes, Deacon of First Church of God in Nashville, Tennessee, said that regardless of one's religious views, destroying public property is never permissible.

"While the commandments are interpreted many different ways by many different people, defacing property is blatantly un-Christian behavior and is nowhere condoned in the Bible," she stated.

A similar situation occurred earlier this year, when statues at two Catholic churches in Vineland decapitated in a "sicko" and "disturbed" manner.

Richard Samson, Deacon of the Christ of the Good Shepherd Church told CBS News,"I cannot imagine what is going through the mind of a person that would deliberately go deface statues that are dedicated to ours savior."