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Louisiana Orders Schools To Display 10 Commandments In Every Classroom, Including Colleges

Louisiana Orders Schools To Display 10 Commandments In Every Classroom, Including Colleges

In the latest shot fired in America's intensifying culture wars, Louisiana will now require public schools to display a Ten Commandments poster in every classroom, after Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed a bill into law on Wednesday. “If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses,” said Landry at a bill-signing event. 

Starting in January, each public classroom in the Pelican State must have a display of the 10 Commandments measuring at least 11 by 14 inches and using "large, easily readable font." The display must include a four-paragraph "context statement" on how the commandments "were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries."

Louisiana the first state requiring that the 10 commandments be displayed in every school. The lefts reaction….pic.twitter.com/jMO41ATDrL

— Ava- I Love My USA! ???????? (@WEdwarda) June 19, 2024

Notably, the requirement covers not only K-12 schools but public universities too. The law says it doesn't seek to create an "unfunded mandate," but anticipates schools will use displays donated by private parties. 

For now, Louisiana is the only state with such a requirement -- and legal challenges are already in the works. A consortium of organizations comprising the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation issued a statement after Landry signed the bill into law, saying the measure goes against a 1980 precedent set in Stone v Graham, in which the Supreme Court struck down a similar Kentucky law. The group added: 

“We are preparing a lawsuit to challenge H.B. 71. The law violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools."

The law's language was clearly drafted with legal challenges in mind. It notes that "including the Ten Commandments in the education of our children is part of our state and national history, culture, and tradition." It also specifies that the text of the commandments to be used in Louisiana classrooms is the same as what was upheld in the 2005 Supreme Court case, Van Orden v Perry.

An excerpt from Louisiana's newly-enacted HB71, stipulating which version of the 10 Commandments must be displayed 

In that 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the Constitution's establishment clause did render a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Texas capitol building illegal. "Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the establishment clause," the majority wrote. 

The Supreme Court gave its blessing to this monument on the Texas capitol grounds, but an earlier decision threw out a Kentucky classroom requirement like Louisiana is now attempting (Larry Kolvoord/AP via NBC News)

"It is the Legislature’s intent to apply the decision set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States in Van Orden v. Perry...to continue the rich tradition and ensure that the students in our public schools may understand and appreciate the foundational documents of our state and national government," the Louisiana law declares.  

Given Louisiana has the second-highest murder rate of any American state, a little more "thou shalt not kill" can't hurt.  

Tyler Durden
Thu, 06/20/2024 - 18:00