The Ten Commandments won’t be required to be displayed in public school classrooms, with the failure of a GOP-backed bill in Texas.
Senate Bill 1515, written by Republican state senator Phil King, would have required that the Ten Commandments, a set of rules of behavior from the Christian Bible which begins with “You will have no other gods before me,” be displayed prominently in every classroom in the state. King claimed that the bill would restore religious liberties he claims were lost and “reminds students all across Texas of the importance of a fundamental foundation” of America.
Last month, the bill passed in the state Senate, despite opponents pointing out that it is blatantly unconstitutional. State institutions such as schools are not permitted to advance any one religion over others, no matter what Republicans think. And yet, Senate Bill 1396, which would require schools to allow time for students and employees specifically to pray and read the Bible on each school day, was also passed by the Senate last month.
SB 1515, at least, has effectively died early Wednesday morning, as the House lawmakers did not meet to vote on it before the midnight deadline.
Even if SB 1515 or 1396 were to become law, they would be illegal laws, and there would be a long crawl of cases to come the Supreme Court. This is it’s own kind of frightening, as the current Supreme Court is cut from the same cloth as the Texas Senate. After their reversal of Roe v. Wade, which classified medical privacy as a right, SCOTUS can’t be trusted with the First Amendment and our freedom of religion, either.
“Parents should be able to decide what religious materials their child should learn, not the (Texas legislature),” the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said in a statement last month. As usual, the ACLU is on the front lines preparing lawsuits to fight any of these anti-freedom laws if they should be passed.