Louisiana’s Attempt at Sharia Law

When I penned a column back at the end of November 2023 entitled “A Crash Course on the Separation of Church and State”, there was no way I thought I’d be back here writing about this all over again a mere six months later.  But here we are.  Thank you, Louisiana.  Thank you for making me take the time once again to spell out the basic elements of the constitution you purport to love and support, even as you trample on it with all the faithful recognition of a rabies-infected wombat.  Thank you for reminding me why you rank 49th out of 50 states in quality of education with one of the highest dropout rates in the country.  Thank you for making me take the time to once again remind folks why you can’t force public schools to post the fucking Ten Commandments in every classroom across the state.  Because in case you backward ass hillbillies forgot, this country was founded on the notion of separation of church and state, a concept about which you evidently have nary a clue.

You see, if anyone in the state of Louisiana had actually bothered to read the Constitution itself, rather than just hanging indecipherable copies of it from their mudflaps, they might have known that their new law requiring the Ten Commandments to be posted in each and every public school classroom across the state violates the very essence of what the Constitution stands for.  This has been settled law for some time now with the Supreme Court having a long history of preventing any state or federal government agency from taking any action that endorses any specific religious belief.  Over the years, this precept has led the high court to prohibit such government practices as organized prayer in public schools, the inclusion of creationism in public school science classes and the sponsorship of nativity scenes by government agencies.  But even more applicable to the point in hand, the Supreme Court ruled on this very issue in the landmark Stone vs. Graham case where the court struck down a Kentucky law requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools, saying, “The pre-eminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature. The Ten Commandments are undeniably a sacred text in the Jewish and Christian faiths, and no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind us to that fact. The Commandments do not confine themselves to arguably secular matters, such as honoring one’s parents, killing or murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, and covetousness. Rather, the first part of the Commandments concerns the religious duties of believers: worshipping the Lord God alone, avoiding idolatry, not using the Lord’s name in vain, and observing the Sabbath Day.”  Yeah, that’s pretty clear, people.

Given where Louisiana ranks in just about every educational statistic, I can see they clearly aren’t teaching much about Civics down there in the Bayou State, or much of anything else for that matter.  But even these country bumpkin, right-wing legislators have to know that the law they have recently written is a direct violation of the first amendment, that even as they are out there decrying the potential for Sharia law to somehow invade our country, that they are the very ones passing legislation that carries the same impact of imposing a state-sponsored religion.   I have to believe that they know that this law is an affront to the very freedoms this country was founded upon.  Because I simply refuse to believe that anybody elected to public office could be that stupid.

Unfortunately, what’s really going on here is that Louisiana legislators, and many other states where Republicans have a decided electoral advantage, just don’t give a damn about the Constitution.  Oh, they say they do, alright.  They even hang it on the wall of their offices.  But that’s just for show, to convince their low-intellect constituents that they love America more than anything other than the Bible.  They don’t ACTUALLY want to live by it.  They indiscriminately spew out words like “freedom” when what they really mean is the freedom to tell others what to do.

And they believe that the Supreme Court, as currently constituted with a 6-3 super majority that defies the very will and tenor of the American people, will grant them the authority to do just that.  They know that these politicians in robes have little interest in upholding the fundamental freedoms from religion that the first amendment ascribes.  They know this court has a predilection for undermining the sanctity of the Constitution by wilfully transmuting the concept of freedom of religion into one that allows for the freedom to push one’s religion onto others.  And so they are enacting a law they know will end up before the Supreme Court, only this time, they are hoping the highest court in the land, the one that gave up impartiality and integrity quite some time ago, will undo decades, nay centuries, of legal precedent, and dissolve the very notion of separation of church and state, thus granting them the ability to impose their religion onto others.

So fuck you, Louisiana.  Fuck you and your backwards religion.  Fuck your hypocritical notions of patriotism and freedom that reek of an ignorance so pervasive that even Mississippi finds you stupid.  Fuck your further erosion of the fabric of what really makes America great.  I prefer to live in an America that resembles the one our founding fathers envisioned, one where I am free to say fuck your religion and live my life with the freedom to believe whatever the hell I want.

 

Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works.  Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com

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