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The Ten Commandments should hang in every school

By law, the Ten Commandments from the Bible will have to hang on the walls of every state educational institution in the US state of Louisiana from 2025. Critics see this as a violation of the constitution and want to take the matter to court.

Starting next year, the Ten Commandments, which are recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible, will become a permanent fixture in educational institutions in the US state of Louisiana – in the form of posters or framed documents. The corresponding law was introduced by the Republicans and has now been signed by the state's governor, Jeff Landry.

The law stipulates that from 2025, the Ten Commandments must be displayed in the rooms of all public educational institutions in the state – from kindergarten to university. To this end, posters or documents are to be put up on which the commandments are to be printed in “large, easy-to-read font”. The posters are to be financed through donations. State funds are not to be invested.

Republicans insist on historical significance

Louisiana is the first state in the USA with such a law. The Republicans pushed it through with the help of their two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament. They point to the historical significance of the Ten Commandments. It is an important document for the founding of the USA and the creation of the federal state, the text of the law states. The posters and documents should therefore also include the note that the Ten Commandments “were an important part of public education in America for nearly three centuries”.

Governor Landry, also a member of the Republican Party, also emphasized when signing the law: “If you want to respect the rule of law, you have to start from the original law that Moses gave.”

Constitution prohibits preference for one religion

But the law is highly controversial. Critics see it as a weakening of the separation between church and state and a violation of the US Constitution. The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits the establishment of a state religion or the preference of one religion over another.

Several civic groups have announced that they intend to take legal action against the law, including the United Americans for the Separation of Church and State. The group described the regulations as “blatantly unconstitutional.”

“Religious coercion of students”

In a joint statement, several organizations criticized “religious coercion of students.” The constitution guarantees everyone the right to decide for themselves what religious beliefs they have and practice. There is religious and ideological diversity at educational institutions in Louisiana, where everyone should feel safe and welcome. “We will not allow the Louisiana legislature to undermine these rights to religious freedom,” the statement continued.

There were also plans for similar laws in other US states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Utah. These have not yet been implemented due to fears of legal disputes. The US Supreme Court had already declared a similar law in Kentucky unconstitutional in 1980.

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