Texas’ Push to Display the Ten Commandments in Public Schools Undermines Core American Principles


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Sofia Levorchick, Staff Writer

The Texas Senate has passed Senate Bill 1515, which requires public schools to display the Ten Commandments in public schools, completely violating the principle of the separation of church and state. Given the Republicans’ fondness for the Constitution’s principles, especially the Second Amendment, their inclusion of Christianity in public education is preposterous.  The First Amendment to the Constitution explicitly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” which clearly prohibits the government from endorsing or enacting any law pertaining to any personal religious beliefs. Texas lawmakers are undoubtedly ignoring this valued constitutional amendment.

Furthermore, lawmakers are blatantly disregarding students who do not practice Christianity. Beyond Christianity, Texas has a wide range of religious practices, with a significant number of Muslims, Jews, and members of other religions. Additionally, as of 2016, about 18% of Texans had no religious affiliation (PRRI). Public schools are created to provide education to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic standing, gender, race, and, in this case, religion. They are also intended to create an inclusive environment and respect diverse beliefs; thus, it everyone should be allowed to practice their own religion freely and not have Christian beliefs imposed on them in public schools. Religious minorities should not have to be forced to read the Ten Commandments every day; it’s a violation and an infringement of their rights as citizens of this country. 

If the Texas legislature really wants a set of moral rules displayed in public schools, it should not be associated with a specific religion; instead, schools can display a list of moral rules that are universally accepted, such as “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Rather than promoting a religious text with an influence that doesn’t pertain to and regard every student, schools should be encouraging a high-quality education that teaches children critical thinking skills and exposing them to various cultures and beliefs to better understand the world around them.

If one wants their child to be exposed to, and taught, Christianity and its beliefs in school, they should send them to a private religiously-affiliated institution, not a public school.