Louisiana Puts God Back in Schools with Ten Commandments Requirement

Denis---S / shutterstock.com
Denis---S / shutterstock.com

Louisiana has made a bold move, becoming the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be prominently displayed in all public schools and colleges. Effective June 18, this new law mandates that any Louisiana school receiving state funds must display the Ten Commandments in every building and classroom under its jurisdiction. Talk about a step in the right direction!

The specifics are precise: the text must be the main focus of a poster or framed document, measuring at least 11 inches by 14 inches, and printed in a large, readable font. A 200-word context statement explains that the Ten Commandments were a crucial part of American public education for nearly three centuries. This statement highlights their inclusion in historic textbooks by notable educators like William McGuffey and Noah Webster. Webster’s “The American Spelling Book,” featuring the Ten Commandments, sold over 100 million copies and was used in public schools until 1975.

This legislation, championed by Republican state Rep. Dodie Horton, builds on her previous successful effort to display the national motto “In God We Trust” in classrooms across the state. The Louisiana Senate passed the measure with a 30–8 vote on May 16, and the House gave its final approval with a 79–16 vote on May 28. Governor Jeff Landry promptly signed it into law.

Horton’s initiative goes further than similar measures in other states. While more than a dozen states allow schools to display “In God We Trust,” Louisiana now requires the Ten Commandments in every classroom. Horton emphasizes the historical significance of the Ten Commandments, arguing they are foundational to both Louisiana’s and the nation’s legal systems.

In a snappy rebuttal to the Supreme Court’s 1980 decision striking down a similar Kentucky law, Horton asserts that the Ten Commandments provide a much-needed moral code. She argues that these commandments offer a clear set of ethical guidelines amidst the questionable content in today’s classrooms.

Critics might argue this violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which prohibits government endorsement of religion. However, the current Supreme Court has shown a trend towards a more flexible interpretation, considering such displays’ historical and traditional contexts.

Horton’s legislation is part of a broader movement. Last year, the Texas Senate passed a similar bill, although it stalled in the House. In Utah, a bill initially required public schools to display the Ten Commandments. Still, it was amended to incorporate biblical principles into the curriculum instead.

The debate continues, but one thing is clear: Louisiana’s new law strongly emphasizes the importance of the Ten Commandments in American history and public education. For those tired of the moral decline in today’s schools, this is a refreshing move towards reinstating timeless values. It’s about time someone stood up for a little old-fashioned decency!