Moses on Mt. Sinai receives the 10 Commandments.

Moses on Sinai receives the 10 Commandments

Suffer the Little Children: I Was Hungry, and You Refused Me Free Lunch and Ignored My Fainting

In a perfect, brutal metaphor of how much these sanctimonious, shit-ass Christian fraudsters care about the kids they're always frenziedly "protecting" - from unholy drag queens, migrants, sexy books - Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry was so puffed-up about signing into law his vile bill demanding public school students get the Ten Commandments jammed down their throats he didn't notice a green-ish girl standing behind him wobble, pass out and hit the unceremonious floor. Finally, a horrified sign from God.

Some noted Landry's ceremony of signing HB71 - God praised, Biblical figures invoked, angelic children propped behind - looked like a scene from the 1800s, apt given that's where he, fellow Louisianan Mike 'Thugs For God' Johnson and other authoritarian wingnuts seek to return us to. "Christian nationalism is on the march across the country," argues one critic, part of a veer to the right ranging from vitriol toward singer Dolly Parton, long beloved on all sides of the partisan divide - "Dolly Parton is Switzerland" - for "false gospel" with her support of LGBTQ issues to Project 2025, the 887-page blueprint by the Heritage Foundation, aided by Moms for Liberty, Tea Party Patriots, the NRA et al, by which Trump hopes to turn flawed democracy into fascist Christian theocracy. "Non-Christians living among us (are) not entitled to political equality, nor (should they) deny the people of God their right to order civil institutions to God," writes Stephen Wolfe in his 2022 The Case for Christian Nationalism. "The Christian’s posture toward the earth ought to be that it is ours, not theirs, for we are co-heirs in Christ" - albeit often vicious ones.

Because GOP hatemongers, adulterers and other charlatans love the performative piety of plastering Commandments everywhere - cue John Prine's "But your flag decal won't get you/ Into Heaven any more" - dick-groping "gutter trash" Lauren Boebert praised her "great friend" Gov. Landry's bill to prison-bound-for-lying-and-cheating Steve Bannon on his podcast. "We need morals back in our nation, back in our schools," gushed Boebert. "If there’s anything we are going to present (to our) children, it should be the word of God....the one truth that is never going (to) leave them. It’s not some woke fad of the day." Another fan of God's word is Donald 34-Count, who told evangelicals at a Faith & Freedom confab he endorsed the Commandments (with gold-plated ones any day now!): "Has anybody read this incredible stuff? It’s just incredible.” He also said he "stood up to the communists, Marxists and fascists to deyfend religious liberty," and offered to take off his shirt to show them "a beautiful, beautiful person" with "wounds all over me. I’ve taken a lot of wounds, I can tell you. More than I suspect any president ever," though Abe Lincoln and JFK would like a word.

A smarmy Landry celebrated foisting his Christofascism in "large, easily readable font" on 680,000 students in 1,300 schools in his state - now the country's first to mandate classroom displays the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional over 40 years ago - in a staged ceremony attended by smiling supporters. Landry was proudly hyping the bill when a wan girl to his left began to teeter and then slid to the floor. As do-unto-others bent to her, the oblivious, it's-all-about-the-children governor ignored the tumult, prattled away - "If you want to respect the rule of law, you've got to start from the original lawgiver, Moses," but actually it was God - and showily signed his name. His Moses/God gaffe was one of the day's several lies. A key pillar of the law is the assertion the Ten Commandments were a “prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries," a claim based on an alleged quote by James Madison evidently made up by Rush Limbaugh. Madison did, however, say, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."

When Landry first announced the bill, he told a crowd - see smarmy - "I can’t wait to be sued." Many promptly made his day. The state and national ACLU, along with several freedom-from-enforced-religion groups, swiftly filed a lawsuit charging the law "violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional." "The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice," said the ACLU. Rights advocates added, "Our public schools are not Sunday schools, and students of all faiths, or no faith, should feel welcome in them." Nine Louisiana families have also now filed a federal lawsuit charging the law "substantially interferes with and burdens” their First Amendment right to raise their kids as they wish. The families are Jewish, Christian and non-religious; two include clergy. The bill, said Presbyterian Rev. Jeff Sims, "doesn’t just interfere with my and my children’s religious freedom - it tramples on it.” It also "sends the harmful and religiously divisive message that students who do not subscribe to the Ten Commandments (do) not belong in their own school community."

On its own, critics argue, the law is bad enough. But much like the meritless 15-week abortion ban used as a wedge to ultimately take down Roe v. Wade, Landry's bill represents not just a victory for evangelicals who want to push their repressive view of Christianity on the country but part of a coordinated effort by the right to reverse decades of legal precedent and begin an epic legal battle they've long wanted - a battle that could end up before a Supreme Court now packed as never before with right-wing Christians sympathetic to their anti-democratic cause. In what's been deemed "a laughably obvious attempt" to mask its true theocratic purpose, the law also suggests the display of patriotic documents - the Mayflower Compact, Northwest Ordinance, Declaration of Independence - chosen to appeal to the two hard-right justices, No-Abortion Alito and More-Guns Thomas, who've used blatantly cherry-picked, wildly flawed "faux-historical nonsense" to justify rulings "in thrall to the idea that the nation should never advance past the late 1700s, and that the Constitution should be entombed in amber."

In truth, advocates argue Landry's unholy gambit is part of a nationwide effort by right-wingers to violate a principle "core to this country’s founding, that everyone should be free to live as themselves" - and, presumably, not be used as an unknowing political pawn in a propaganda campaign of others' making, especially if it entails hitting the dirt as the cameras rolled. After she passed out at the signing at a Lafayette Catholic school, the 10-year-old girl was carried out by a state senator and brought to the school nurse. She's now fine, reports her clueless mother, after her "unforgettable experience." Also, the unseeing Landry and his wife visited and gave her an official governor's pen and a stuffed alligator, so there's that. "Such empathy and compassion," wrote one commenter. "Fucking asshole." Others suggested the scene should have been a Veep credits sequence, or the girl was overcome by all the hot air emanating from the governor, or she passed out from disbelief anyone in this country would sign that law. Said one patriot, "We are all the fainting child, unfortunately."

“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.” - Thomas Paine

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