Louisiana’s New Classroom Law Sparks Old Political Tension

Louisiana's New Classroom Law Sparks Old Political Tension

Louisiana Mandates Display of Ten Commandments in Public School Classrooms

Introduction

Louisiana has recently passed a bill making it mandatory for all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities to display posters of the Ten Commandments. This law has reignited a long-standing debate over the role of religion in government institutions. Civil liberty groups have planned lawsuits against this mandate, claiming it to be a breach of government-imposed religion.

Supporters’ Views

Supporters of this mandate argue that the Ten Commandments are historical documents that played a significant role in forming the foundations of society. The head of school at a Catholic-run school in suburban New Orleans expressed his pleasure at the news, saying that the commandments are good safeguards for society. The Attorney General, a Republican ally of Louisiana’s Governor, also expressed her intention to defend the law, stating that the commandments are important to this country’s foundations.

Opponents’ Views

Opponents of the law argue that it is unconstitutional and harmful to public school families and students in Louisiana, who come from diverse religious and non-religious backgrounds. Some fear that mandating the display of the Ten Commandments will make students feel like outsiders and that it breaches the constitutional barrier between religion and government. One teacher has already expressed his decision not to post the Ten Commandments in his classroom, stating that it is unconstitutional and harmful to students.

Legal Precedents

This mandate has sparked discussions on the validity of similar laws in other states. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Kentucky law requiring the display of the Ten Commandments violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Court found that the law had no secular purpose and served only a religious one.

More recently (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that displays of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky courthouses violated the Constitution but upheld a Ten Commandments marker on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Court’s findings have been interpreted in different ways, and the current conservative majority could shift the balance towards allowing such mandates.

Concerns from Different Religious Groups

Members of the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations expressed their concerns about the law. They questioned whether it aimed to highlight universal principles or was intended to send a message to Muslim students and others that their religion is not welcome. These groups also emphasized that Muslims respect the Ten Commandments, which are largely reinforced by similar passages throughout the Quran.

Conclusion

The Louisiana mandate for displaying the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms and state-funded universities has sparked a new wave of discussions on the role of religion in government institutions. Supporters of this mandate believe that the commandments are an integral part of historical documents that played a significant role in forming the foundations of society. Opponents of this law argue that it is unconstitutional and harmful to public school families and students in Louisiana. As the debate continues, lawsuits against the mandate will inevitably be brought before the courts.

Originally Post From https://ktar.com/story/5577614/louisianas-new-law-requiring-the-ten-commandments-in-classrooms-churns-old-political-conflicts/

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