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Stone tablets depicting the Ten Commandments are seen outside the Supreme Court in Washington in 2005 (OSV News/Jason Reed, Reuters)

Louisiana has become the first state in the United States to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom. Source: NCR Online.

It is the latest move from a Republican-dominated legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor.

The legislation that Republican Governor Jeff Landry signed into law last week requires a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

“If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses” who got the commandments from God, Mr Landry said.

Opponents questioned the law’s constitutionality and vowed to challenge it in court. Proponents said the measure is not solely religious, but that it has historical significance. In the language of the law, the Ten Commandments are “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

The posters, which will be paired with a four-paragraph “context statement” describing how the Ten Commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,” must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.

Not long after Mr Landry signed the bill into law at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Lafayette on Wednesday, civil rights groups and organisations that want to keep religion out of government promised to file a lawsuit challenging it.

Similar bills requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in classrooms have been proposed in other states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah. However, with threats of legal battles over the constitutionality of such measures, only Louisiana has succeeded in making the bills law.


New law requires all Louisiana public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments (By Sara Cline, AP via NCR Online