Louisiana places Ten Commandments posters in every classroom

Every public school classroom in Louisiana has been ordered to display a Ten Commandments poster — a move that civil liberties groups said they would challenge.

The Republican-backed measure is the first of its kind in the United States and applies to all classrooms through the college level. Gov. Jeff Landry signed it on Wednesday.

Christians consider the Ten Commandments to be important rules from God on how to live.

The new law describes them as the “foundation” for state and national governance. But opponents say the law violates the separation of church and state in the United States.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution – known as the Establishment Clause – says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

State law requires a poster to include the sacred text in “large, legible font” on a poster measuring 11 inches by 14 inches (28 cm by 35.5 cm) and The commandment must be the “center of gravity” of the screen.

The commandments will also be displayed alongside a four-paragraph “context statement,” describing the directives as “a prominent part of American public education for nearly three centuries.”

The posters must be displayed in all classrooms receiving state funding by 2025 – but no state funding is provided to pay for the posters.

Similar laws have recently been proposed by other Republican-led states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah.

Four civil liberties groups have confirmed that they plan a legal challenge, highlighting the religious diversity of Louisiana schools.

A joint statement from the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans for the Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation said the law “flagrantly unconstitutional”.

But the bill’s author, Republican state lawmaker Dodie Horton, spoke of the importance of returning a “code of ethics” to classrooms. She was quoted as saying “it was like hope was everywhere” when the bill was rubber-stamped by the governor.

There have been many legal battles in the past over the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, including courthouses, police stations as well as schools.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar Kentucky law requiring the material to be displayed in elementary and middle schools. This precedent has been cited by groups opposing the Louisiana law.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said the requirement to post the Ten Commandments “has no secular legislative purpose” and is “clearly religious in nature” – noting that the commandments were related to worship God.

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