A Texas Republican recently sponsored a bill to ensure that state teachers can display the Ten Commandments in the classroom.
State Rep. Dan Flynn filed a bill stating the school board trustees may not prevent teachers from prominently posting copies of the commandments in their classrooms, which pays homage to America’s Judeo-Christian roots.
"For too long, we've forsaken what our Judeo-Christian heritage has been. Our rights do come from God, not from government," Flynn told the Star-Telegram.
Flynn’s proposal openly challenges previous legal disputes over the public display of religious symbols and sacred text on public property.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that religious symbols and wording can be displayed publically as long as it can be proved that the motivation for doing so is secular. The ruling, a green light to some, has been used to take down displays in some states.
In Kentucky, a federal court upheld a permanent injunction against three Ten Commandment exhibits in June. District Court Judge Jennifer Coffman ruled that the displays were likely unconstitutional as the displays’ history showed that the defendants’ purposes were religious, not secular, and because the displays’ effect was to endorse religion.
But Mathew Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, represented the home counties of the exhibits told The Christian Post, “The Ten Commandments are part of the fabric of our country and helped shape our laws. They are as much at home in a display about the foundations of law as stars and stripes are in the American flag.”
Flynn agrees that the Ten Commandments are a display of patriotism as much as it is a display of religion. He also believes it is a sign of morality. "And anything that helps build the morals of our young people would be helpful," he stated.
In any case, legal precedent may be on his side. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 -4 to uphold the commandments monument at the Texas capitol building.
Swing vote Justice Stephen Breyer said of Decalogue, “The circumstances surrounding the monument's placement on the capitol grounds and its physical setting provide a strong, but not conclusive, indication that the commandments' text as used on this monument conveys a predominantly secular message."
Flynn also has a majority GOP state House on his side. The Nov. 2 elections ousted two dozen House Democrats. Flynn says his bill well received so far. It is unclear when the bill will be voted on.