Oh For God’s Sake…A 6th Grader Should Know This Law Is Unconstitutional, And The Texas Senate Doesn’t? [Corrected]

Texas Senate Bill 1515, introduced by Sen. Phil King (R-Weatherford), an ethics dunce, is on the way to the Texas House for consideration. Given the degree of right-wing derangement in Texas, a fair match for Woke Derangement in California, New York and other states, it’s a better than an even bet that public schools in Texas will be required to prominently display the Ten Commandments in every classroom starting next school year. Next up, I suppose, will be a Texas law requiring citizens to say the Lord’s Prayer every morning and to pass a yearly Bible literacy test or be forced to wear sack cloth and ashes. There is no chance, zip, nada, uh-uh, zippo, that the Ten Commandments law survives a legal challenge. None. That is not, as Mona Lisa Vito states under oath in “My Cousin Vinny,” an opinion. It’s a fact.

King, who is a lawyer and a really, really bad one, said during a committee hearing on the bill that the Ten Commandments are part of American heritage so it’s time to bring them back into the classroom. Oooh, good thinking. He also said the U.S. Supreme Court signaled that his bill would be acceptable after it ruled for Joe Kennedy, the high school football coach in Washington state who was fired for openly praying on the field at football games, because he was praying as a private citizen and not as a government employee. That this means the commandments belong in classrooms doesn’t follow at all, and wouldn’t even if that case were not wrongly decided, which it was. “[The bill] will remind students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America,” King brayed during that hearing.

No, the bill will remind a lot of progressives that their worst assumptions about conservatives are sometimes true, while reminding a lot of conservatives why they often feel like they should be wearing bags over their heads. This is just irresponsible and ignorant grandstanding of the most irresponsible kind.

Never mind: the barking seals of aspiring theocracy were nicely represented by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (no, not the former ESPN broadcaster, who is too smart to say something this stupid) who said, “I believe that you cannot change the culture of the country until you change the culture of mankind,” adding, “Bringing the Ten Commandments and prayer back to our public schools will enable our students to become better Texans.”

Moron. If the Establishment Clause would prohibit a law mandating hanging excerpts from the Koran in every classroom, and it does, then a state government obviously can’t require students to stare at an edict that says, among other things, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain “and “Keep the Sabbath day holy.” I am absolutely serious about that sixth grader; the only reason it might not be true is that our elementary schools are uniformly terrible.

I’m embarrassed that I even have to write this post in 2023.

13 thoughts on “Oh For God’s Sake…A 6th Grader Should Know This Law Is Unconstitutional, And The Texas Senate Doesn’t? [Corrected]

  1. I wouldn’t bet on 12th graders knowing what is unconstitutional much less 6th graders.

    The Texas Senate likely knows this will be challenged and isn’t going to stick but it can say it tried to do something only those godless liberals stopped them.

    It’s no different from grandstanding liberals having their agenda obstructed by fascist conservatives.

    How I wish anybody in government were responsible and sane these days.

  2. I’m not sure a 6 to 3 decision is rightfully called a narrow majority. That’s two thirds.

    The bill is stupid and obviously unconstitutional. It seems conservatives can’t get a strong majority anywhere without the idiot fringe reminding me why I don’t like them any more than the left’s idiot fringe.

  3. They know full well it’s unconstitutional. They have no actual hope of making this a law, seeking only to fund-raise from a base interested in establishing a theocracy (as long as it’s theirs). Oh, and to use state resources to do it.
    Fear not, they’ll be back to “protecting the Constitution” the next time someone suggests that a lone teenager with an AK 47 he bought online doesn’t look much like a well-regulated militia.

    • Any “teenager” -“he” would have to be eighteen or nineteen- purchasing any rifle online would have to complete the federally mandated registration process (including an instant background check) at a federally-licensed firearms dealer in the purchaser’s own state, plus meet any additional state requirements before taking possession of the rifle. Law abiding citizens have been unable to purchase firearms directly from sellers since the GCA of 1968, well before Al Gore created the internet.
      An able bodied 18 or 19 year-old American citizen legally eligible to purchase a rifle certainly fits the requirement of the “unorganized militia” as defined in federal law. Many people, myself included, believe that training oneself in the use of arms is a duty of citizenship. Control criminals, not guns. Suggesting otherwise is foolish and counterproductive.

  4. First, I agree unconditionally on not requiring commandments 1-3. As much as I think they are important, even imperative, I can agree that they have no place in our public school system today. I also agree that the Senators are idiots for forcing this upon others in the US.

    However, as a separate item, with no specific religious requirements, what about posting numbers 4-10? I’m going to update the wording a little, using my kids’ examination of conscience, from a textbook with an imprimatur. Could we agree that these could and maybe should be in classrooms without making it religious?

    Treat those in authority with appropriate respect.
    Do not harm others.
    Respect the dignity of each other.
    Do not steal from others.
    Do not objectify others.
    Do not want what others have to the extent that it harms you or them.

    If I were to post those in a public school, would that be a problem? I think, seeing many children my kids’ ages around, that a reminder of those rules on a daily basis would help a lot.

  5. While I find the right’s religious beliefs less harmful than the left’s, neither of them need to be shoved down children’s throats. Can everyone just agree to stop trying to brainwash other people’s children, please?

    • Also, I have no sympathy for Texas at the moment since they just rejected multiple different school choice bills. This is quite obviously nothing but a political stunt and these politicians don’t really care about the malevolent school curriculum being shoved down kids throats. They only want people to think they care.

      • School choice bills are hard. I don’t know the specifics of any of these, but I watch school choice bills with bated breath. Most come with as many problems as they solve.

        Currently, there is a school choice bill that I want defeated, and I like the idea of school choice. It would have me get $2000 tax break per kid in homeschool, pay $7500 per kid to whichever private or public school I chose, and get rid of a scholarship for homeschoolers that pays for special education, which would instead be payed by the tax break.

        This bill would increase government attention on homeschooling and get rid of the fund my daughter qualifies for to pay for her occupational therapy and other services. I do not like the bill.

        Defeating a school choice bill or several does not mean that people don’t believe in school choice. It simply means that these bills are not as good as they should be.

        • I could well be off base (just thinking about it right now), but offhand it seems to me that if a state is going to pay $X per pupil for education, why not just let the parents decide just who it gets paid to?

          I suppose it could default to the local public school if the parents did nothing (I’m not saying that would be good or desirable, but there probably needs to be a default). Otherwise, let them exercise a bit of responsible parenting and make a decision as to who should educate their children. If they are DIY parents, let them get all the money.

          On the gripping hand, I suppose this approach would inevitably lead to some sort of rating or evaluation system — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (until the government corrupts it, that is). Why not have some healthy competition to see who can actually educate our children?

          How much worse could it be than what we have now?

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