PoliticsThursday 06.20.24

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry cites “original lawgiver" Moses, signs law requiring Ten Commandments be shown in classrooms.

Republican Gov. Jeff Landry of Louisiana on Wednesday invoked biblical figures as he signed a law to require public school classrooms in the state to display the Ten Commandments.

“If you want to respect the rule of law,” Landry asserted, “you've got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses.”

Landry’s signature makes Louisiana the first state to mandate that the religious commandments be visible in public schools. Other states, such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah, pushed similar bills but those have thus far failed to become law.

“This bill mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom, in public, elementary, secondary, and post-education schools, in the state of Louisiana,” Landry said.

Public school classrooms will need to display poster-sized versions of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font,” along with a four-paragraph context statement which cites the religious text’s contribution to American public education. Supporters of the measure note that the Ten Commandments are “foundational documents of our state and national government.” The mandated posters will be paid for by donations rather than state funds.

Before Landry signed the measure, a child seen in the background fainted. Bystanders carried the child away from the governor, who appeared not to notice. It's not clear why the child fainted.

“That’s right,” Landry responded to another attendee. “[Moses] got his commandments from God and wrote them all for us.”

The law is likely to face court challenges due to opponents arguing that the law violates the idea of separation of church and state enshrined in the First Amendment.

Recount Wire