Bills to enhance religion in schools spur fights between faiths

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Religion

(RNS) — When Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry was asked to defend his support for a new state law requiring public schools to display a version of the Ten Commandments in public classrooms, he made sure to touch on the bill’s obvious religious connections.“This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and every time we steer away from that, we have problems in our nation,” Landry, a Catholic, said during an interview with Fox News.
But just a few days later, it was Christian clergy — along with an array of religious leaders and parents of various faiths — who filed a lawsuit against the new statute, backed by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and offices of the ACLU.
“As a minister, this law is a gross intrusion of civil authority into matters of faith,” the Rev. Jeff Sims, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister and plaintiff in the case, said in a press conference about the lawsuit. “It interferes with the administration of God’s word, co-ops the word for the state’s own purposes, or claims God’s authority for the state.”
The back-and-forth is part of a broader fight raging across the country, with conservative state lawmakers — often backed by conservative Christians — pushing faith-focused laws and running into opposition from other religious people and their secular allies.
Over the past two year …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn(RNS) — When Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry was asked to defend his support for a new state law requiring public schools to display a version of the Ten Commandments in public classrooms, he made sure to touch on the bill’s obvious religious connections.“This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and every time we steer away from that, we have problems in our nation,” Landry, a Catholic, said during an interview with Fox News.
But just a few days later, it was Christian clergy — along with an array of religious leaders and parents of various faiths — who filed a lawsuit against the new statute, backed by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and offices of the ACLU.
“As a minister, this law is a gross intrusion of civil authority into matters of faith,” the Rev. Jeff Sims, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister and plaintiff in the case, said in a press conference about the lawsuit. “It interferes with the administration of God’s word, co-ops the word for the state’s own purposes, or claims God’s authority for the state.”
The back-and-forth is part of a broader fight raging across the country, with conservative state lawmakers — often backed by conservative Christians — pushing faith-focused laws and running into opposition from other religious people and their secular allies.
Over the past two year …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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