Bismarck, ND – Today, far-right extremists in the State House – led by Rep. Terry Jones (R-New Town) – opened up a pandora’s box of legal, and ethical crises by enabling unconstitutional religious indoctrination to be forced upon students in public schools without parental consent.
SB 2308, which is in direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, would allow for the Ten Commandments to be displayed on the walls of classrooms in public schools all across the state – a proposal which no public school district, nor church, spoke in support of during testimony. The bill passed by a 76 to 16 vote, affirming that a supermajority of House and Senate Republicans do not believe in the principles of our Constitution.
Democratic-NPL Party Chair, Kylie Oversen, said:
“These self-anointed prophets of the NDGOP highlight the exact reason why the Framers of the Constitution explicitly forbid the entanglement of Government and Religion. These legislators – in both chambers – knew they were voting for a bill that had already been ruled unconstitutional, and would be immediately met with lawsuits that would drain taxpayer funds from the state, and public school districts. Even worse, they denigrated their own faith by dismissing the Ten Commandments as nothing more than a ‘historical document.’”
“This legislation takes power away from parents and families to determine how, or if, their children will practice worship. If you can display the precepts of one religion, then anyone’s personal belief system could also be advertised on a classroom wall without input. In the future, we encourage our NDGOP counterparts to open up a book on constitutional law before wasting taxpayer funds to trample on the Bill of Rights, religious freedom, and individual liberty all in one swift session.”