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Dan Patrick pledges to pass Ten Commandments bill

The political battleground that is the public school system continues to provide fodder for state lawmakers as calls to require displaying the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms have picked up steam in the past week.

Louisiana became the first state to require the Ten Commandments to be posted in school classrooms after Gov. Jeff Landry signed the legislation into law.

“If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses,” Landry said.

The Louisiana law will require the Ten Commandments to be displayed with a “context statement” alongside it describing the Ten Commandments’ historical role in American public education, as well as other “historical documents” including the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Northwest Ordinance.

Shortly after the law was signed, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Freedom from Religion Foundation released a joint statement saying they would be filing a lawsuit against it.

Their statement reads, “The law violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools.”

Following Landry' signing of the bill into law, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick posted a statement on social media about Texas’ previous attempt to pass a similar bill.

“Texas would have been and should have been the first state in the nation to put the 10 Commandments back in our schools,” wrote Patrick. “Last session the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1515, by Sen. Phil King on April 20th and sent it over to the House, to do what Louisiana just did. Every Texas Republican House member would have voted for it.”

“But, Speaker Dade Phelan killed the bill by letting it languish in committee for a month assuring it would never have time for a vote on the floor. This was inexcusable and unacceptable. Putting the Ten Commandments back into our schools was obviously not a priority for Dade Phelan.”

During the 88th legislative session, SB 1515 would have required every school district in the state to display a copy of the Ten Commandments in every classroom in order to teach students “the importance of a fundamental foundation of American and Texas law.”

SB 1515 was passed in the Texas Senate before making its way through the House Committee on Public Education before being placed on the House Calendar, where it was not taken up on the floor.

“I will pass the 10 Commandments Bill again out of the Senate next session,” Patrick promised in his social media post.

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