How To Comply With Louisiana’s New Ten Commandments Law

Teachers are now required to post the commandments in classrooms. But the law has some giant loopholes, and we’re here to help educators use them.

Louisiana, home state of Current Affairs, has become the first state in the country to mandate teachers display the Ten Commandments in every classroom. The law is plainly unconstitutional, but since law is in a very real sense “whatever judges say it is” (i.e., if the Supreme Court says you don’t have a right to an abortion, then you no longer have that right), the right-wing justices on the Supreme Court might well let the legislation stand. Louisiana’s Governor Jeff Landry, who is a strong contender for the title of Worst Governor in America, has said he “can’t wait to be sued” over the law. 

As the law works its way through the courts, Louisiana teachers are likely going to be  asked to put the Ten Commandments on their classroom walls. Many are going to grumble about it. Here at Current Affairs, we want to help frustrated teachers figure out how they can engage in completely legal acts of malicious compliance. We have devised a few solutions. 

First, let’s note precisely what the law requires. It gives the exact text of the Ten Commandments as they must be printed and sets a “minimum requirement that the Ten Commandments shall be displayed on a poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches.” The text of the Commandments “shall be the central focus of the poster or framed document and shall be printed in a large, easily readable font.” The law also requires you to post (either on the poster or with it) a dumb little passage on how the Ten Commandments have often been printed in schoolbooks over the years. But that’s it. So, within those parameters, teachers may use their judgment.

Note, then, that no part of the law prohibits having, say, a Pride-themed Ten Commandments printed on a leather daddy’s naked chest in glorious Comic Sans. Current Affairs has therefore prepared a printable version of exactly such a poster, sized 11 x 14 in strict accordance with the specifications of House Bill 71: 

Oh but don’t forget, you need to print that little context statement as well. We’ve got you covered. You can either have it printed in little tiny text on the bottom of the poster, or put one of these fully legally compliant notices next to it: 

Alright, but maybe you don’t want to be quite that provocative. Maybe you just want to comment on the pure unconstitutionality of Landry’s law. Well, you can always supplement your Ten Commandments poster with one pointing out that the government is not supposed to establish an official religion in the United States: 

Ah, but what if you think the children do need moral instruction, and you just find the traditional Old Testament commandments insufficient? Well, in that case, you can use our handy poster of Bonus Commandments: 

But wait, there’s more! Louisiana governor Jeff Landry is something of a Christian fascist, and it’s important for the children to understand the nature of authoritarianism. Remember the Third Bonus Commandment: Thou shalt treat thy governor with disrespect and mockery when necessary. For you we have the special Jeff Landry As Stalin poster, which you can put up next to your Ten Commandments to “honor” the governor while indicating that you regard him with the approximate moral regard that one might regard Saddam Hussein or Donald Trump.  

Well, that about covers it. If you need additional wall covering in your classroom, we sell a Current Affairs Guide to Socialist Animals that looks great! So does our Socialism is Cool poster. Oh, and anyone in the business of instructing the young should of course keep the Current Affairs Principles for Living (or “rules for life”) displayed prominently. 

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