Israel 365 News: Jewish Parents Challenge Ten Commandments in Classrooms…or Did They?
June 28, 2024

by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz in Israel 365 News

Amidst a storm of controversy, media reports suggest that a group of Jewish parents are part of a larger collective that is initiating legal action against a new Louisiana state law. This law mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in all public school classrooms. However, a deeper investigation reveals a more nuanced truth than what is being widely reported.

In a groundbreaking move, Louisiana has become the first state to enforce the display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. This decision is expected to ignite a national debate. Republican Governor Jeff Landry has signed a bill into law, stipulating that the posters with the Biblical verses must be displayed in Louisiana classrooms in a ‘large, easily readable font’ by the beginning of next year. The displays will also feature a four-paragraph’ context statement’, highlighting the Commandments’ historical significance in American public education for nearly three centuries. These displays are mandated to be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.

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Similar bills have been proposed recently in state houses in Texas, Utah and Oklahoma.

In a swift response to this new law, a legal challenge has been mounted on behalf of nine families. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation have united to argue that the law enacted last week infringes upon the First Amendment. The lawsuit contends that the law ‘approves and prescribes one particular version of the Ten Commandments, to which many people do not subscribe’, thereby contravening the Constitution’s prohibitions on establishing an official religion and prohibiting free exercise of religion.

According to the lawsuit, parents send their children to public school “to ensure that they receive a secular, religiously unbiased education and can interact with and get to know peers from a variety of cultural and faith traditions.”

The complainants believe that if the Ten Commandments  are  displayed in the classroom, “their children will be pressured to observe, venerate, and adopt the state’s preferred religious doctrine and to suppress the expression of their own religious backgrounds and views at school.”

The decision by the Jewish faith leaders to take part in the lawsuit was criticized by the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing more than 2,000 traditional Orthodox rabbis in American public policy.  They emphasized that while abortion is permitted by Jewish law in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger, elective abortion violates Jewish law.

See the full article in Israel 365 News

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