Louisiana Promotes Christianity in Public Schools

school classroom

The state of Louisiana passed a law requiring public schools to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom. As expected, secular organizations oppose this. In their press release, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) noted:

This move is not only discriminatory against religious minorities and non-religious individuals but also a clear breach of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The SCA characterized the Ten Commandments as a religious symbol. This seems obvious to most of us, but the Supreme Court is another matter. Their conservative majority has dismissed the religious significance of the Ten Commandments. By insisting that it is a historical but not religious symbol, they've been able to infuse more religion into public life. This should anger more Christians than it has.

The SCA also explained that public schools should be inclusive. They should be a safe and welcoming environment for all students. Posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms undermines that. It is yet another way of privileging Christians. 

Christian extremists are hoping that this will end up before the Supreme Court. They have good reason to think that the Court will rule in their favor. But that isn't what this is all about. They want the Court to demolish the separation of church and state. That seems to be what this Court wants too.

Why is this such a big deal? First, it is part of a broader strategy to undermine the separation of church and state. Second, school children in Louisiana deserve better than this, including those who don't go along with the religious tradition of the majority. Isn't that enough?

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