Louisiana orders every classroom to display Ten Commandments

Every public school classroom in Louisiana has been ordered to display a poster of the Ten Commandments – a move that civil liberties groups say they will challenge.

The Republican-backed measure is the first of its kind in the US, and governs all classrooms up to university level. Governor Jeff Landry signed it off on Wednesday.

Christians see the Ten Commandments as key rules from God on how to live.

The new law describes them as “foundational” to state and national governance. But opponents say the law breaks America’s separation of church and state.

The first amendment to the US Constitution – known as the Establishment Clause – says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In 1980, the US Supreme Court struck down a similar Kentucky law requiring that the document be displayed in elementary and high schools. This precedent has been cited by the groups contesting the Louisiana law.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the requirement that the Ten Commandments be posted “had no secular legislative purpose” and was “plainly religious in nature” – noting that the commandments made references to worshipping God.

It’s probably just a political move to stimulate what Republicans devise to be the overwhelming preference of its constituents.  And in this deep southern environment of the United States of America they are likely correct. But if you are irreligious, atheistic, agnostic or of another religion, the mandate smacks of authoritarianism. Arguably there is nothing wrong with the underlying principles of the Ten Commandments as a code of ethical or suggestive social conduct; but its parallel and reference to the stronger, distinctive uncompromising theory of Christianity (that “I am the one and only god”) is less palatable as a public direction. This is so without even tainting the assertion or its related contradiction as a religious dispute; that is, refuting the legitimacy of the premise is plainly irrefutable extending far beyond any mystical proof. It is rather a contest of the proposition that, “It’s my way or the highway!” lending itself to the potent warrior feature of the gambit.

God gave the 10 Commandments from Mount Sinai, accompanied by smoke, earthquakes and the blast of a trumpet to emphasize the importance of these laws.

  • You shall have no other gods before Me.
  • You shall not make idols.
  • You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  • You shall not covet.

As a practical matter there is so much advantage than can be asserted about uniformity, repetition and heraldry that one hesitates to condemn it for universal application.  Certainly for those in power (political or military or both), such singular abbreviated truths make life a lot easier to manage and control (not dissimilar to parents telling their children what to do and what to wear). On the other hand, based upon the models which characterize European countries in particular (especially the northern states such as Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Finland) the acceptance of broader options are more intellectually enlightened. Christianity for example is viewed by some as a highly restrictive thesis which by its limitation of possibilities is considered deliberately suppressive (often strategically based upon horrible threats of repercussion).

But it doesn’t require evidence of logical or legal objection to state-driven developmental mandates to acknowledge the trespass of such authority upon what might reasonably be suggested is the privilege of individual decision. Nor, more to the point, is there necessarily foreseeable damage to whatever constitutes the belief of others to have them limited in their publication of their personal prerequisites. This is especially so when there are at hand so many demonstrable examples of obvious contradiction of those imperatives by others of their own membership and leadership.

In view of America’s rapidly evolving appearance as a totalitarian state of limited perspective and deniable virtues, routinely heightened by what is assessed by many of their own citizens as a preposterous “steal” of its latest federal election and the incontrovertible alliance of the supporters with mentally challenged and reactionary militants (not to mention the dismissal of failure of its own dictatorial candidate), this latest absurdity adopted by the Louisiana governor is illustrative of the rapid decline of the once self-proclaimed empire. Parenthetically this latest move to limit or obstruct individuals is discerned as yet another manifestation of those in the shadows with the financial means of enforcing what they determine to be profitable social behaviour. These so-called “legislative” authorities do not arise from nothing or nowhere.  Something, somewhere is stimulating this superficial activity. We would be entirely remiss to imagine that this or any other human thought appears out of nowhere or nothing. And, if you’ll forgive the platitude, “It all connects”.  Connecting the dots does not entail a logical subterfuge; rather, it permits openness and honesty, two factors of American society which are currently on the global radar and the subject of much candid analysis and unapologetic apprehension.