Texas lawmakers are working on a bill to restore the Ten Commandments to government-school classrooms across the state. The goal, they say, is to remind children about God’s laws and their critical role in the foundation of America. Texas Senators have already approved the measure and top officials support it.
Under the legislation, every public-school classroom in the Lone Star State must display a “durable poster or framed copy of the Ten Commandments” starting in the next school year. To be sure rogue schools and teachers do not mess around, the bill mandates that the commandments be at least 20 inches tall,16 inches wide, and posted in a “conspicuous place.”
The measure is aimed at reminding Texas children not just of God’s laws, but also their nation’s heritage. “The bill will remind students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America,” State Senator Phil King, the Republican who introduced the bill, explained during a hearing this month prior to passage in the Senate.
The legislation has high-level support among the state’s elected officials. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, for instance, heartily endorsed the measure. “Bringing the Ten Commandments and prayer back to our public schools will enable our students to become better Texans,” he said, expressing hope that it would change the culture of the nation.
Of course, the Ten Commandments are at the very foundation of the United States and Western civilization more broadly. America’s Founding Fathers understood that God’s command not to murder implied a God-given right to life, while the commandment against theft established an unalienable right to acquire and own private property.
While the lawless U.S. Supreme Court expelled prayer and Bibles from government schools in the early 1960s, it was not until the 1980s that it went after the Ten Commandments. But as Justice Potter Stewart put it in his dissent, what the court really did was establish the “religion of secularism,” or humanism as it is often known.
Just two years ago, Texas lawmakers passed a bill ordering public schools to display signs reading “In God We Trust,” which is the nation’s motto as well as the motto of many states. Officials in other states have been pursuing similar bills for some years even as rogue federal courts, using a preposterous reading of the First Amendment, continue trying to suppress the efforts.
Anti-God extremists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation are preparing to file a lawsuit as soon as the bill is signed into law. Pointing to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1980 decision in Stone v. Graham saying that “the preeminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious,” the humanist zealots hope the courts will strike this down, too.
The U.S. Supreme Court, which features Moses and the Ten Commandments prominently on the building, never had the constitutional authority to expel God’s laws from schools. Setting aside the question of whether government should be educating children, it is imperative that children be taught about God and His laws — and this bill would be a positive step in that direction.