The US passed a law requiring the Ten Commandments to be taught in schools, first in Louisiana.

The US passed a law requiring the Ten Commandments to be taught in schools, first in Louisiana.

A new law signed by Republican Governor Jeff Landry on Wednesday mandates that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom in public schools in Louisiana.

The first state to do so, Louisiana’s law requires the religious norms to be displayed in “large, easily readable font” on posters in all classes from kindergarten through state-funded institutions beginning in 2025.

“You have to start with the original lawgiver, which was Moses,” Landry added, “if you want to respect the rule of law.” Moses received the commandments from God.

The law’s opponents threatened to challenge it in court and questioned its constitutionality. The measure’s supporters said that it has historical value in addition to being purely religious. The Ten Commandments are described as “foundational documents of our state and national government” in legalese.

The law prohibits using state funds for the mandate’s implementation. Donations would cover the cost of the posters.

The Mayflower Compact, which was signed by religious pilgrims on board the Mayflower in 1620 and is sometimes referred to as America’s “First Constitution,” the Declaration of Independence, and the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory, or modern-day Midwest, and paved the way for the admission of new states to the Union, are among the other items that the law “authorizes,” but does not require, to be displayed in K–12 public schools.

In defense of the measure, proponents of the law have cited the US Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which restored the employment of a high school football coach who had been suspended due to a scandal involving prayer on the field. The coach’s prayers were deemed to be private speech under the First Amendment, which the Supreme Court upheld, meaning the school district could not impose any restrictions on them.

As legal experts had feared, the ruling lowered the threshold between church and state and permitted increased religious expression in public areas. At the time, the court made it clear that allowing religious speech in public does not always mean that a government body is in violation of the establishment clause.

In other states, including as Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah, measures requiring the Ten Commandments to be exhibited in classrooms have been introduced. However, other than Louisiana, no state has been able to get the proposals into law despite threats of legal battles over the constitutionality of such policies.

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