Texas Lawmaker Files Bill That Would Allow Display of Ten Commandments in Public School Classrooms

AUSTIN, Texas — A lawmaker in Texas has filed a bill that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public school classrooms, if desired.

“I think it’s a good list of disciplines that young people would find very meaningful to them,” Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, told the Star-Telegram.

House Bill 307 simply states that “[t]he board of trustees of an independent school district may not prohibit the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments in a prominent location in a district classroom.”

Flynn, who had also presented the legislation in years past, said that he filed the measure again as he has heard from teachers who state that they would like to post the Commandments in their classroom. He said that he sees the matter as being no different than a teacher decorating her classroom for the various holidays.

“We live in a day where everyone wants to question everything you do,” he stated. “A teacher’s classroom is her office, where she should be able to put things she wants to. I want to not let school boards prohibit them from doing it if they want to.”

However, Bob Tuttle, a professor at George Washington University Law School, told the Star-Telegram that he believes the Ten Commandments belong in church and not in government-run facilities.

“It’s a statement of what it’s like to live your life in the company of God,” he said. “It’s appropriate for congregations. … But I do not believe that it’s something I want the state trying to explain.”

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“You couldn’t have a banner hanging across the entrance to City Hall that says ‘Jesus saves.’ That would be the government invoking religion,” Tuttle remarked. “That’s what really is going on here with the Ten Commandments. School children are subject to being a captive audience for particular government messages.”

Writing for Freedom Outpost, commentator Tim Brown said that he sees nothing wrong with posting reminders not to lie, steal and murder, or to take a day to rest, but added that he believes Christians should remove their children from the public school system.

“[W]hile I’m glad Flynn wants to push for this and it is honorable, I wish more and more parents would take a stand and exodus the public indoctrination centers, let them wither on the vine and educate their children themselves as the Lord commanded us (Deuteronomy 6),” he wrote.

As previously reported, John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in his diary on Feb. 22, 1756, “Suppose a nation in some distant region, should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men, and to piety and love, and reverence towards almighty God.”

“In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness or lust—no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement—no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and goodwill with all men. No man would blaspheme his Maker or profane his worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts.”

“What a Eutopia, what a paradise would this region be,” Adams declared.

Read Adams’ writings here at the National Archives.

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