Louisiana becomes the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move by the GOP-dominated Legislature to advance a conservative agenda under the new governor.

The Law Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation Wednesday requiring poster-size displays of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” in all public classrooms from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

Opponents questioned the law’s constitutionality and vowed to challenge it in court. Supporters said the move was not religious, but had historical significance. In the language of the law, the Ten Commandments are “fundamental documents of our state and national government.”

The posters, which will be paired with a four-paragraph “contextual statement” describing how the Ten Commandments “have been a staple of American public education for nearly three centuries,” must be in classrooms by early 2025.

Under the law, state funds will not be used to implement the mandate. Posters are paid for by donations.

The law “recognizes” but does not require the display of other materials in K-12 public schools, including: The Mayflower Compact, signed by religious pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620 and often referred to as America’s “first constitution.” ; Declaration of Independence; and the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory — today’s Midwest — and paved the way for new states to be admitted to the Union.

Civil rights groups and organizations want to keep religion out of government after the governor signed it Wednesday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette. He promised to file a case Challenge it.

See also  JuJu Watkins 51 points 15 USC's 67 points No. 4 in Stanford's defeat

The law prevents students from receiving an equal education and makes children of different faiths feel safer in school, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a joint statement Wednesday. Afternoon.

“The law violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional,” the groups said in a joint statement. “The First Amendment guarantees that we are all free to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice without government pressure. Politicians cannot impose their preferred religious doctrine on students and families attending public schools.”

State Senator Royce Duplessis said in April CBS affiliate WWL-TV That he opposed the law.

“That’s why we separate church and state,” said Duplessis, a Democrat. “We learned the 10 Commandments when we went to Sunday school. As I said on the Senate floor, if your kids want to learn the Ten Commandments, you can take them to church.”

The controversial legislation, tucked into the Bible Belt, comes in a new era of conservative leadership in Louisiana under Landry, who replaced two-term Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in January. The GOP holds a majority in the Legislature, and Republicans hold every statewide elected office, paving the way for a conservative agenda for lawmakers.

State House Representative Todd Horton authored the bill. In April, he defended it before the House, saying the Ten Commandments are the basis for all laws in Louisiana, WWL-TV reported.

“I hope and pray that Louisiana will be the first state to allow moral codes to be put back into classrooms,” Horton said. “Since I was in kindergarten [at a private school], it was always on the wall. I learned that God exists and know how to respect Him and His laws.

See also  SpaceX launches the Falcon Heavy X-37B space plane Sunday night at KSC

Similar bills have been proposed in other states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah, to require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in classrooms. However, due to threats of legal battles over the constitutionality of such measures, no state except Louisiana succeeded in enacting the bills.

Legal battles over displaying the Ten Commandments in classrooms are not new.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a similar Kentucky law was unconstitutional and violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The High Court found that the Act did not have a secular purpose but served a religious purpose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *