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Trump flunks the Ten Commandments test

Political pundits are abuzz over the first presidential debate this week, with everyone guessing which issue CNN debate hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will start with. For President Biden, there are plenty of possibilities: inflation, immigration, crime, Gaza, even his own age. But for Donald Trump, there’s really only one possibility: the Ten Commandments. He’s practically begged for it.

One of the first statements in support of a new law signed by Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry (R) requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public classrooms came from Trump. “I LOVE that the Ten Commandments are displayed in our public schools, private schools and many other places,” Trump posted in all capital letters on his Truth Social platform. “READ IT. CAN WE BE WRONG AS A NATION???”

This sets up the perfect stage for Tapper and Bash to begin their debate, with the first question being “Do you support a Louisiana law requiring all classrooms to display posters of the Ten Commandments?”, to which Trump will likely enthusiastically offer his support.

The second question, the perfect follow-up: “For our viewers who don’t exactly remember the Ten Commandments, can you recite them for us?” Ugh! That’s worth the price of admission, because there’s no way Trump could have memorized more than one or two of the Ten Commandments.

The third and most important question was, “Okay, you guys might not remember them all, so I’m going to read them out from one to ten, and then I’m going to ask the Americans watching tonight, which ones did you follow?”

Bingo! Imagine that embarrassing moment. Trump wouldn’t do it, because he can’t.

As late-night comedians were quick to point out, Trump may score on number four, “Honor your father and mother,” but he fails on most others, including number eight, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”The jury found E. Jean Carroll guilty of defamation.Verse 9: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife”26 women accuse Donald TrumpHe was convicted of sexual assault. Number 10 is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s property,” but a different jury found him guilty of financial fraud. And there’s little evidence he paid much attention to number 3, “Thou shalt not forget to keep the Sabbath day holy.”

No matter how much comedians may poke fun at President Trump’s dismal record on the Ten Commandments, the real problem with Louisiana’s law is that it clearly violates the Religious Freedom Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of any state religion, as the Supreme Court has already ruled.

Since 1947, courts have not banned the establishment of a state religion.Applies to state governmentsNot only the federal government, but in 1980 the courtKentucky’s law was struck down as unconstitutionalIn 2005, the court ruled that two Kentucky counties had implemented the Ten Commandments.Illegally mandated the posting of the Ten CommandmentsIn every courtroom.

Is it over? Not for Governor Landry. He knows the law he signed has already been declared unconstitutional three times. But four days after signing the bill, he said at a Republican fundraiser dinner:I can’t wait to get sued. “

In other words, Louisiana’s Ten Commandments bill isn’t about children or education; it’s about giving today’s ultra-conservative Supreme Court another opportunity to destroy separation of church and state and promote Christian nationalism.

Meanwhile, the example of Donald Trump constantly reminds us that the important thing about the Ten Commandments is not posting them, but following them.

Bill Press is the host of “The Bill Press Pod” and author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”