The Ten Commandments: Surely, we are willing to try

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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Governor Jeff Landry of Louisiana recently signed into law a requirement for the display of the Ten Commandments in Louisiana’s classrooms. This is the first law of its kind in the country since 1980, when a more moderate Supreme Court ruled a similar Kentucky law unconstitutional. 

The new law gives schools until Jan. 1 to display the Ten Commandments on “a poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches” in every classroom. The commandments have to be the display’s “central focus” and be “printed in a large, easily readable font,” the law says.

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Debates and legal challenges are to be expected on Louisiana’s decision. Will it stand if it ends up in front of the Supreme Court? Probably not, because the Ten Commandments are part of the Bible, and our nation threw that out of the classroom a long time ago. We won’t have federal support to reinstate The Golden Rule or the Ten Commandments. Other religious groups who don’t adhere to the Bible may demand placement of something from their teachings, and therefore, the law will most likely be struck down eventually. However, it’s interesting that it’s up to the states to decide about abortion. 

Personally, I would like to see the Ten Commandments placed in every classroom, federal building, and state building in America. If you don’t remember them, go to the Bible and find the book of Exodus. Go to chapter 20.

It’s sad that we have to demand that our schools and teachers do what the homes and churches won’t do. How many homes in America have the Ten Commandments hanging on a wall? Many of the churches in America don’t have the Ten Commandments posted. Walk into any local church in your town and see if you can find them posted anywhere in the church building.

Most of America’s young people aren’t in church and they aren’t paying much attention to mom and dad so I guess we are desperate for America’s teachers to do what the parents and the churches aren’t doing. 

When I was young, I recall that the Ten Commandments were displayed in some of our classrooms in elementary school. I don’t ever remember them being read in class, but they were there. We did have a wonderful lady who taught us the Bible one day a week in elementary school.

It’s difficult to have it both ways. Churches and biblical-related entities support separation of church and state on certain issues. This is particularly the case when it comes to the idea of taxing churches or other religious groups. Such an endeavor would eliminate 80 percent of all religious organizations. However, when it comes to having prayer, Bible reading and the Ten Commandments in the classroom, the idea of separation of church and state becomes a bit muddled in the minds of those who believe in prayer, Bible reading and The Ten Commandments. 

In recent years, there has been an explosion of Christian and other private schools in our country. 

Today, many are crying for answers to school and other mass shootings, Many cry for stricter gun laws. The sixth commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Some of the other commandments say, “Honor your father and mother,” and “Don’t steal,” to name a few.

What if posting the Ten Commandments would stop one school shooting or save one life from being heinously taken? Then it would be worth posting them on every school wall in the country. Surely as a nation we are at the point where we are willing to try. 

(Glenn Mollette is a graduate of numerous schools including Georgetown College, and Southern and Lexington Universities in Kentucky. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.)