Louisiana's Ten Commandments law raises new concerns over separation of church and state in the US

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The U.S. state of Louisiana will now require the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom, raising concerns over what was seen as a long-cherished separation of church and state.

Similar bills have been proposed in Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah, PBS reported on June 20.

"This bill mandates the displaying of the Ten Commandments in every classroom in public elementary, secondary, and post-education schools in the state of Louisiana," said the state Governor, Jeff Landry, a representative from the Republican Party.

"Because if you want to respect the rule of law, you got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses."

Landry is prepared to take the matter to the U.S. courts.

The conservative governor said the founding documents of the United States were based on "Judeo-Christian" principles.

"We've got it on our money; we've got it all over our Capitol. We've got it in the Supreme Court. It is those that want to extract that out of the foundation of this country that really and truly want to create the chaos that ultimately is the demise of this nation," he said.

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a similar law in Kentucky was unconstitutional.

Landry even bragged that he welcomed civil rights groups who have threatened to sue based on First Amendment violations, Raw Story reported.

"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," the group of civil rights organizations said in a statement.

"Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools."

Though not explicitly stated in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constition, the clause is "often interpreted to mean that the Constitution requires the separation of church and state," wrote Hana M. Ryman and J. Mark Alcorn in an article for the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

The phrase dates to the early days of U.S. history, and Thomas Jefferson "referred to the First Amendment as creating a 'wall of separation' between church and state as the third president," according to Cornell University's Legal Information Institute, Raw Story reported.

"The term is also often employed in court cases. For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black famously stated in Everson v. Board of Education that "the First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state," and "that wall must be kept high and impregnable."

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