Religious Freedom Could Win Big In Louisiana Public Schools

May 25, 2024

Louisiana lawmakers are growing close to passing a bill that would require public schools to display the Ten Commandments on school property.

Louisiana’s Senate voted 30 to 8 in favor of the bill (House Bill 71) in May. “The nature of the display shall be determined by each governing authority with a minimum requirement that the Ten Commandments shall be displayed on a poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches,” the bill states. “The text of the Ten Commandments shall be the central focus of the poster or framed document and shall be printed in a large, easily readable font.”

Republican State Senator John Morris III added an amendment to the original bill, which would allow the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence in public schools. As these are key aspects of American history, they should be part of the normalized curriculum for all public school students. But because of the amendment, the original bill was placed back under consideration and voted on again before being sent to Republican Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry. (LEARN MORE: State Considers Allowing Chaplains In Public Schools)

Importance of the Bill

“Although this is a religious document, this document is also posted in over one hundred and eighty places, including the Supreme Court of the United States of America. I would say is based on the laws that this country was founded on,” Republican State Senator Adam Bass told a local news outlet, according to the Christian Post.

“It’s generally accepted in many legal cases that the Ten Commandments has historical significance,” First Liberty Institute senior council Lea Patterson told the Blaze, “and that its display is consistent with history and tradition, which is the governing legal test in such matters.” (LEARN MORE: Chaplains To Serve In Schools Following Historic Decision)

But some are against the Ten Commandments being displayed. “I didn’t have to learn the Ten Commandments in school. We went to Sunday school,” Democratic State Senator Royce Duplessis said. “That’s why we have church. Do you want your kids to learn about the Ten Commandments? Take them to church.”

“No federal court has upheld the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools, regardless of context,” ACLU senior staff attorney Heather Weaver told NOLA.com. “There’s a good reason for that too: Public schools shouldn’t be used to religiously indoctrinate or convert students.” (LEARN MORE: State Largely Bans LGBTQ Flags In Public School Classrooms)

What Will The Text Read?

If the bill passes, the text shown in schools will 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.” (LEARN MORE: Maryland District Removes Parental Education Rights)

How Do You Feel?

It is your right to tell your local, state, and federally elected officials exactly what you want from their time in office. If you want qualified chaplains to be able to volunteer in your school district, tell your lawmakers today. Sign up for www.millionvoices.org today (text MV to 80550) and share this article with your friends and family so they can stay informed. And start working today to make a better tomorrow for all of your American neighbors.

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