PoliticsThursday 06.20.24

“Don't look at it": Louisiana GOP lawmaker reacts to criticism for law requiring Ten Commandments in public schools.

Louisiana Republican State Rep. Lauren Ventrella rejected criticism on Thursday for co-authoring a bill that requires the Ten Commandments be displayed in public schools, and said anyone offended should just not look at them.

“What do you say to the parents of students, or even teachers, who don't share your religious views?” CNN host Boris Sanchez said in an interview with the lawmaker, hours after Gov. Jeff Landry signed her bill into law.

“Don't look at it,” Ventrella replied.

“This nation has gotten out of hand with crime, with the bad, negative things that are going on. Why is it so preposterous that we would want our students to have the option to have some good principles instilled in them?” Ventrella said. “If they don't hear it at home, let them read it in the classroom.”

“It's no different than the Mayflower Compact, which is mentioned in the document as well. I don't understand why this is so preposterous and that litigation is being threatened. It doesn't scare us in the state of Louisiana,” Ventrella continued. “We say, bring it on.”

“Because if someone has a home in which they choose to believe something different, which is welcome in this country — it's literally why people fled to come here to found this country to begin with — then they should be allowed to. And it's not really an option if you're requiring it to be put up on the wall of the classroom,” Sanchez replied.

Sanchez then posed a hypothetical to Ventrella: Would you back such a bill if it requires a classroom to display doctrine from another religion?

“What would you say if your child had to go to a classroom in which the five pillars of Islam were required to be on the wall?” Sanchez asked. “How would you feel?”

“Again, this is not about the five pillars of Islam,” Ventrella said. “This bill specifically states the Ten Commandments. It is a historical document.”

“I'm presenting you with a hypothetical that would help you put yourself in the shoes of someone you may not understand and their point of view,” Sanchez responded. “How would you feel if you walked into a classroom and something you didn't believe in was required to be on the wall?”

“I appreciate you, Boris,” Ventrella said. “You could give me a thousand hypotheticals. But again, this specific bill applies to this specific text. The Quran or Islam, that is a very broad statement.”

Recount Wire