Texas lieutenant governor pledges to pass Ten Commandments bill

Texas lieutenant governor pledges to pass Ten Commandments bill

Days after Louisiana required all public schools and colleges to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) vowed that he would pass a similar bill in the Texas Senate in the next legislative session.

In a post on social platform X, Patrick criticized Texas state House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) for killing a state Senate bill that would have required the display of the Ten Commandments in schools, and he vowed to bring it back.

“SB 1515 will bring back this historical tradition of recognizing America’s heritage, and remind students all across Texas of the importance of a fundamental foundation of American and Texas law: the Ten Commandments,” Patrick wrote on X.

During the last legislative session, the Texas Senate passed S.B. 1515, which would have required every Texas public elementary and secondary school to display the Ten Commandments. As lieutenant governor, Patrick is the president of the state Senate.

The bill sailed through the state’s Senate last session on partisan lines, with Democrats criticizing the bill for “insulting non-Christian Texans.”

A House committee voted favorably on the bill, but it did not come to the floor of the state House, thus preventing its passage.

In his remarks, Patrick blamed Phelan for what happened. The two have been feuding since Phelan presided over Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s House impeachment trial this year, and both Patrick and Paxton backed a primary challenger to Phelan.

“Texas WOULD have been and SHOULD have been the first state in the nation to put the 10 Commandments back in our schools,” Patrick wrote on X. “But, SPEAKER Dade Phelan killed the bill by letting it languish in committee for a month assuring it would never have time for a vote on the floor.”

“This was inexcusable and unacceptable. Putting the Ten Commandments back into our schools was obviously not a priority for Dade Phelan,” he added.

Phelan did not respond to a request for comment.

The Texas Legislature meets for regular sessions for about five months every odd year, meaning the Ten Commandments legislation could come up at the Legislature’s session next summer unless the governor convenes a special session earlier.

Oklahoma and Utah have also considered similar bills in the past.

Earlier this week, Louisiana became the first state in the nation to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom, starting next school year. The bill in Louisiana calls the Ten Commandments a “foundational document of our state and national government.”

However, the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have made clear that they view this law to be unconstitutional, saying that it breaches protections against government-imposed religion.

Former President Trump lauded Louisiana’s move, posting on Truth Social that he “LOVES[s] THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PRIVATE SCHOOLS, AND MANY OTHER PLACES, FOR THAT MATTER.”

The White House and Department of Education have not responded to requests for comment on the issue, and President Biden has not publicly addressed it either.

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