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Leftists lose it after Louisiana becomes first state to require Ten Commandments in every classroom
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Leftists lose it after Louisiana becomes first state to require Ten Commandments in every classroom

Gov. Jeff Landry ratified the popular legislation Wednesday to the chagrin of critics of ancient moral wisdom.

Louisiana state Rep. Dodie Horton (R) was successful last year in getting "In God We Trust" displayed in every classroom in the state. She went a step further this year, introducing a bill that would require K-12 public schools, colleges, and universities to display the Ten Commandments on campus and in the classroom.

House Bill 71 was wildly successful in both chambers of the state legislature, passing 82-19 in an April House vote, then 30-8 in a state Senate vote last month — with all opposing Senate votes cast by Democrats.

Horton told "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" after the vote, "Our children deserve all that we can give them. I've been wanting to get God back in the classrooms since ... removed many moons ago. So this is progress and it's just a great day for our Louisiana students."

Republican state Rep. Michael Bayham, one of the bill's authors, told the Washington Post, "It's our foundational law."

"The Ten Commandments is as much about civilization and right and wrong," continued Bayham. "It does not say you have to be this particular faith or that particular faith."

Despite threats of legal action and subversion from leftists and other anti-religion groups — who are otherwise keen to have LGBT propaganda and pride displays exhibited in school settings — Republican Gov. Jeff Landry ratified the legislation Wednesday, saying, "If you want to respect the rule of law, you've got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses. ... He got his Commandments from God."

Landry was evidently unswayed by the concern-mongering of various anti-religion groups, including the New York-based Center for Inquiry. The CFI implored the governor to veto the legislation, telling him in a June 14 letter that a failure to do so leaves Louisiana classrooms with a "dishonorable distinction."

The out-of-state anti-religion group said the introduction of framed pictures of historical documents aback the classroom amounted to "force-feeding public school students ... religious doctrine." The CFI suggested further that the law didn't reflect the will of voters, even though Louisiana voters elected the lawmakers and the governor who ultimately passed the law.

Blaze News previously reported that the law requires every public school governing authority and the governing authority of each nonpublic school that receives state funds to display the Ten Commandments "in each building it uses and classroom in each school under its jurisdiction."

Each governing authority has some latitude regarding the nature of the display; however, the Ten Commandments must feature prominently in a framed document at least 11 inches by 14 inches. The text, which must be "printed in a large, easily readable font," is to read:

The Ten Commandments[:] I AM the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.

The displays are to be accompanied by a "context statement" noting that the Commandments "were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries," "were also included in public school textbooks published by educator William McGuffey," and "also appeared in textbooks published by Noah Webster."

The ratification of the legislation left the ACLU, the ACLU of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation incensed.

They claimed in a joint statement that the Ten Commandment displays will "send a chilling message to students and families who do not follow the state's preferred version of the Ten Commandments that they do not belong, and are not welcome, in our public schools."

The radical groups, now threatening a lawsuit, glossed over the legislation's stress on the Ten Commandments' historical significance besides its religious importance, and claimed, "Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools"

'I can't wait to be sued.'

"All students should feel safe and welcome in our public schools," said the anti-Commandments coalition. "H.B. 71 would undermine this critical goal and prevent schools from providing an equal education to all students, regardless of faith."

Gov. Landry made clear while in Nashville Saturday that he's keen on crushing such challenges in court, reported the Tennessean.

"I'm going home to sign a bill that places the Ten Commandments in public classrooms," said Landry. "And I can't wait to be sued."

In anticipation of legal challenges from those prickled by timeless prohibitions against murder, stealing, adultery, lying, dishonoring parents, and idolatry, state Sen. Jay Morris made sure to include amendments to the bill highlighting the U.S. Supreme Court's recognition in 2005 that "it is permissible to display the Ten Commandments on government property."

In a 5-4 decision, the court found in Van Orden v. Perry that "simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the establishment clause."

Extra to noting a previous legislative allowance for the publication of the Ten Commandments "and other historically significant documents for posting in court houses and other public buildings to address 'a need to educate and inform the public as to the history and background of American and Louisiana law,'" Morris noted the Supreme Court's 2019 recognition of the Ten Commandments' significance.

Schools have until Jan. 1, 2025, to get their classrooms in order.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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