A Texas Republican has already filed a bill that would allow public school teachers to post the Ten Commandments in their classrooms.
State Rep. Dan Flynn says in HB 307 that “The board of trustees of an independent school district may not prohibit the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments in a prominent location in a district classroom.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Flynn. “If a teacher wants to put it in her classroom, she should be able to do it just as if she wanted to put up Halloween, Thanksgiving or any other decorations.
“I think it’s a good list of disciplines that young people would find very meaningful to them.”
There’s no justification for putting up a poster that tells students they can’t have any other gods but the Christian one, that idols are blasphemous, that taking the Lord’s name in vain is wrong, and that if they work on the Sabbath they should be put to death.
Would that bill violate the Establishment Clause since any teacher doing this would be using their government position to promote Christianity? Yes. Of course it would. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that. You just have to know how to read. It’s not complicated.
According to the bill, if two thirds of the State House votes in favor of it, it would go into effect immediately; if not, then it would go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year. But according to reality, if it passes, there would almost certainly be a lawsuit over the matter, so it wouldn’t go into effect at all.
“It’s unconstitutional,” said Bob Tuttle, a professor of law and religion at the George Washington University Law School. “The government is limited in its ability to display religious messages.
“You couldn’t have a banner hanging across the entrance to City Hall that says ‘Jesus saves.’ That would be the government invoking religion,” he said. “That’s what really is going on here with the Ten Commandments. Schoolchildren are subject to being a captive audience for particular government messages.”
Anyone who puts the Ten Commandments in a classroom, and spends the money to legally defend that move, “will lose and will pay the legal fees.”
Good. I’m all for taxes on people who think their religion allows them to ignore the law.
Flynn tried the same gambit in 2014 and failed. This bill should meet the same fate.
(Screenshot via YouTube)