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Art: Ribbon Structure.

Art: Ribbon Structure.

Maybe Louisiana should require this be put up on all its walls instead.

As I’m sure you’ve read, Louisiana has passed a new tired law to require all public school classrooms display a poster with a version of the Ten Commandments, and alongside a statement about the alleged historic importance of those mitzvahs.

A brief look at the bill doesn’t clarify what happens in a remote-learning situation. Where is the classroom in that case? Where the students are? Where the teacher is? Both? It also doesn’t clarify whether prison classrooms constitute public classrooms. Or whether any other public educational setting would be covered, such as if a local library holds a class on how to knit, whether the Louisiana government thinks that will cause real problems unless they do it next to a poster reminding them that God allegedly doesn’t want them to knit idols.

When is it a public classroom? When a clerk at the DMV tells two or more people how to fill out a form, do they have to stop and affix the Ten Cs to the wall first? Can they just wear a T-shirt with it? What about people who cannot read? Who don’t read English? What about those without sight?

On the other hand, the bill doesn’t seem to specify penalties for failing to comply. It does say schools aren’t expected to spend their own dough for posters. It encourages charity to supply them. Can the charitable posters include advertisements? “These Ten Commands of God are brought to you by…?!”

But let’s skip any establishment clause analysis and ask the question: will anyone be moved by having the posters up? Might they actually accomplish anything useful? During a history lesson about war, might not a student ask, “What about number five? Thou shall not murder? Because this whole war thing sounds like quite a lot of murder.” Or will this influence the textbooks used in Louisiana, with math books having word problems that remind students that we’re all sinners?

Lucy was coveting Sarah’s scarf collection, which was twice as big as her own. Sarah stole six scarves from Matilda, who slept with Geraldine, her neighbor’s wife. If Lucy has three fewer scarves than Matilda, how many scarves does Sarah have?

Louisiana Maths, Volume VI (2025).

Hard to see any of that happening. This is some combination of the bigotry of small-minded Louisiana Christianity trying to graffiti the halls of learning with their gang symbols and bait to the Supreme Court of the United States of America to see if they will ordain a Christian Nationalist movement. Neither of which is very pretty, neither of which is in Christ’s image.


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