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Police: Man Decapitates Jesus Statue Because Of ‘Second Or First Commandment’

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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. (Photo by Mark Zimmerman/Getty Images)

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. (Photo by Mark Zimmerman/Getty Images)

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Charleston, S.C. (CBS CHARLOTTE) – 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.

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, The Post and Courier reports. It is the second beheading of Christ at the church in less than one week, after an incident last Thursday when someone hammered off the heads and “some hands” of another statue of Jesus and a child.

Short was arrested near the church after admitting to police that he hammered the statue six or seven times because the Ten Commandments forbid the public display of any type of person – including Jesus – according to the report.

Around 5:45 a.m. on Sunday, a local man walking by the church saw a man knock off the statue’s head, according to the police report. An officer was called to the scene, confronted Short, and was given permission to search his bag that contained a Kobalt sledgehammer coated with a white residue.

A diocese spokeswoman for Sacred Heart said the 6-foot concrete statue of Jesus represents Christ’s love for humanity – and now a nearly $5,000 repair bill.

Responding to why he vandalized the statue of Jesus, Short explained that he did it “because the second or first commandment states to not make an image of a male or female to be on display to the public,” the arresting officer wrote in the report.

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…”

Just last week, someone hacked off the heads and hands of another statue of Christ and a child, a police report stated, according to The Post and Courier. The marble statues had been outside the church since 1996. Police are investigating any connection.

Short was being held Monday on $2,130 bail, charged with malicious injury to real property.

– Benjamin Fearnow

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