Louisiana to Require Schools to Post Ten Commandments

By Charlie McCarthy – May 28, 2024

Louisiana’s legislature has passed a bill requiring all public schools to display the Ten Commandments.

Republican Gov. Jeff Landry’s signature is needed to make it law.

Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, introduced the bill, which was passed by the GOP-led House 79-16 on Tuesday night.

The Republican-controlled state Senate passed the House bill with a 30-8 vote on May 16.

The legislation requires the text of the Ten Commandments be printed on a poster no smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches, Nola.com reported.

“I’m not concerned with an atheist. I’m not concerned with a Muslim,” Horton said when asked about teachers who might not subscribe to the Ten Commandments. “I’m concerned with our children looking and seeing what God’s law is.”

Opponents expressed concerns the bill violates the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from establishing a religion.

Sen. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, who identified himself as a practicing Catholic, was among the bill’s opponents.

“I didn’t have to learn the Ten Commandments in school. We went to Sunday school,” Duplessis said, Nola.com reported. “You want your kids to learn about the Ten Commandments, take them to church.”

Civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Southern Poverty Law Center also opposed the legislation.

The Supreme Court in 1980 ruled that classroom displays of the Ten Commandments were held unconstitutional, The Hill reported.

Horton recently cited Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a landmark 2022 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot stop an individual from engaging in personal religious observance, or else risk violating the First Amendment.

“The landscape has changed,” Horton said, Nola.com reported.

Still, after Landry signs the bill into law, it is expected to face a legal challenge.

Horton’s bill requires Protestant text, with Elizabethan language based on the King James Bible. That differs significantly from versions used by Catholics, Jews, and others, The Hill said.

Utah also considering legislation that would require schools to display the Ten Commandments in classrooms.

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.