Mississippi Bill Would Force Teachers to Recite the Ten Commandments Every Day

Jan 23, 2018

By Hemant Mehta

A Mississippi legislator, Credell Calhoun, has proposed a bill that would force teachers to recite the Ten Commandments at the beginning of every school day. Because what Mississippi needs in its public schools is more Jesus.

House Bill 1100 would amend existing laws in the following ways:

What used to be an optional moment of silence would be required in every public school.

A copy of the Ten Commandments would also have to be displayed in every classroom (alongside the already-required “In God We Trust” signs).

And then, since his hand was already on the dial, Calhoun turned it up to 11 for the final request:

The school board of each school district shall require the teachers in that school district to have the Ten Commandments recited aloud at the beginning of the first hour of class each day that school is in session. Any student or teacher who objects to reciting the Ten Commandments must be excused from participating without penalty.

What exactly is the educational benefit of telling children they can’t have other gods before the one true Christian God? Or that they can’t make false idols? Or they can’t take God’s name in vain? Or that they have to rest on Sunday? Or that they can’t have sex with people they’re not married to? Or they can’t want what their neighbors have?

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

27 comments on “Mississippi Bill Would Force Teachers to Recite the Ten Commandments Every Day

  • @OP – What exactly is the educational benefit of telling children they can’t have other gods before the one true Christian God?

    Or the Islamic God?? or the Jewish god??


    Or that they can’t make false idols?

    That could be a problem with Catholics! 🙂

    Or they can’t take God’s name in vain?
    Or that they have to rest on Sunday?

    Or Friday night or Saturday????

    Even ignoring the US constitution, this has not been thought through!

    Report abuse

  • We could have a proper list of ten – based on altruism and consideration of our fellow humans – posted for children to read:-


    The Atheists’ New Ten Commandments

    These are the ten winning beliefs of the Rethink Prize, a crowdsourcing competition to rethink the Ten Commandments.
    The contest drew more than 2,800 submissions from 18 countries and 27 U.S. states. Winners were selected by a panel of judges. [10][11]

    Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
    Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
    The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
    Every person has the right to control of their body.
    God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
    Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
    Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
    We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
    There is no one right way to live.
    Leave the world a better place than you found it.

    Or a list of eight!


    Report abuse

  • Sorry Alan, I couldn’t read it. All those “thou” and pretty soon I’m thinking about witch hangings.
    How about;
    1. Don’t screw with people.
    2. Don’t screw with the planet.
    Finite. (where is Dan?)
    On the other hand, I would have a ball reciting the ten commandments once in a while.

    Report abuse

  • Why are these Commandments referred to as ‘Christian’ both in the article and the responses, when in fact they are Jewish ? Are we afraid of being accused of being antisemetic ?
    Yes they appear in the Christian Bible but were written long before Christianity was founded.
    In fact Jesus condensed them down to just 2 – Love God and love the neighbour, which just about translates in the modern vernacular to what alf1200 said – ‘Don’t screw with people, don’t screw with the planet.

    Report abuse

  • Lancshoop #8
    Jan 24, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Why are these Commandments referred to as ‘Christian’
    both in the article and the responses,
    when in fact they are Jewish ?

    I would suspect it is because elected evangelical fundamentalists are pandering to their own congregations, and are probably too uneducated to recognise the other versions I linked @#5. (or @#4.)

    To such people words like “Christianity” and “religion” mean “their personal beliefs”!

    In their polarised (black and white) minds, there are only two viewpoints – theirs and the wrong one!

    Islamic fundamentalists take the same view of exclusivity for the god-connections to their own religion!

    Report abuse

  • I forget who said (or wrote) it and where I read it, but stuff like this proves the comment that Communism (Stalinism?) and Fascism (whose precursors were the KKK and analog murderous scum) are Christianity’s bastard children. Hitler’s Nazi movement got some aspects of the two muddled, at least up to the 1934 Röhm Putsch, better known outside of Germany as “The Night of the Long Knives”, when Hitler has his SS murder his most dangerous rivals within the SA (and NSDAP). The first two characters of this acronym are “National Socialist”, to contrast it to Communist International Socialism. It was the Nazis having it either way when bashing on their central bogeyman, the Jews. Conveniently, in Nazi mental diarrhea, the Jews were driving forces behind both (Anglo-Saxon?) capitalism, especially in the financial sector, the Nazis perhaps even stealing the term monopoly capitalism (which IS an evil) from the Communists, and of course the “Marxism-Leninism” of the Soviet Union (which vaguely corresponded to historical fact, for entirely different reasons, and was eliminated to a high degree in Stalin’s purges).

    Report abuse

  • Lancshoop, #8

    Why are these Commandments referred to as ‘Christian’ both in the
    article and the responses, when in fact they are Jewish ?

    Yup, a State in the Bible Belt that tries to impose daily recitals of the Ten Commandments in schools is clearly intending to promote Judaism.

    In fact Jesus condensed them down to just 2 – Love God and love the
    neighbour, which just about translates in the modern vernacular to
    what alf1200 said – ‘Don’t screw with people, don’t screw with the

    Let’s see. I can see how “Love thy neighbour” can be mapped onto “Don’t screw with people”.

    But “Love God” mapping onto “Don’t screw with the planet”?

    ‘Fraid not, Lancs. At the very best, not screwing with the planet is a tiny, tiny subset of all the religious baggage entailed in ‘loving God’; and ‘loving God’ is not a prerequisite for not screwing with the planet. The two are not remotely synonymous, which means that the one cannot be a modern ‘translation’ of the other.

    Report abuse

  • Translation errors have been a serious problem whenever original texts have been translated, and the worst errors have occurred in the area of religion. Just a hypothesis: in philosophy, Aristoteles might have had serious issues with the commentaries of Avicenna (the Persian Ibn Sīnā, 980 – 1037), Algazel (the Persian Al-Ghazali, 1058 – 1111, whose commentary was a contra to Ibn Sīnā’s), and Averroes (the Andalusian Arab Ibn Rushd, 1126 – 1198, whose commentary was very much contra to Al-Ghazali). At least 1300 years between Aristoteles and Avicenna, living in entirely different environments (natural and social) – like one of us reading and commenting on stuff about 100 years before Charlemagne – yo. Never mind that the New Testament bit with the needle and camel (which may be a mistranslation of ropes, more likely the fat organic cables used in shipping) which sends Calvin-derived scum into the wildest contortions of explanatory drivel, the (again probably in our times Calvinist-polluted) matter of humans being supposedly given “control” of creation – actually as caretakers, to preserve it, not as pirate-cum-warlord murderous slash-and-burn parasitic exploitation which is the basic business model of Anglo-Saxon business (and its only serious competitor, perhaps even more rapacious, Chinese business).

    Report abuse

  • When we view the primitive backwardness of theocratic southern US states from the UK, it is worth remembering that Northern Ireland and some of the Scottish islands, are only just beginning to shake off the yoke of theocracy!


    The cinema on the Isle of Lewis is to open on a Sunday for the first time as part of a trial that has been opposed by Sabbatarian church leaders.

    The An Lanntair arts venue in Stornoway is to show a sold-out screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

    It is part of a trial that will see it opening on the last Sunday of the month until March.

    Free Church minister Rev James MacIver said Sundays gave people time for the “spiritual side of their lives”.

    . . . and he never heard of those who put “Jedi” on their census forms in the “religion” box! 🙂

    He said the Sabbath was for attending church services and venues, and businesses opening on a Sunday would have an impact on that time.

    The island was traditionally staunchly Presbyterian and its observance of the Sabbath was so strict there was a time when play park swings were chained up at dusk on Saturdays.

    This has been diluted in recent years with the first commercial flight landing at Stornoway airport in 2002 and the ferry sailings out of Lewis on a Sunday, since 2009.

    However, local authority-run leisure centres remain closed on a Sunday, despite campaigners raising money to fund a trial opening – and the Stornoway golf club is also closed.

    Although some businesses are now open on a Sunday, a new row broke out last year when a businesswoman was asked in a letter from The Lord’s Day Observance Society to close her shop to “protect the traditional custom of honouring the Sabbath”.

    In preparation for its trial Sunday opening, the An Lanntair arts venue held a consultation which it said showed a “significant majority” in favour of the idea.

    Elly Fletcher, chief executive of An Lanntair, told BBC Scotland the trial opening of the arts centre and cinema was a “very genuine audience research exercise”.

    “We are not at all trying to challenge or go against local traditions and it feels really important that we say that,” she said.

    “Sabbath observance is something very important to the Isle of Lewis and… we are mindful and respectful of that.”

    Even the organisers are pandering to the bigots’ continuing attempts at domination of Sunday activities!

    The Rev MacIver, from the nearby Stornoway Free Church, said it was a pity that the church was not consulted.

    “I think it is better when there are things that impact on other important services in the community that one should discuss them,” the minister said.

    “It would be better having that discussion prior to any decision. At least we could give our point of view without then having to do it after the decision has been made.”

    Tut! tut! the pastor’s “special issue theocrat” political back-seat driving license, has not been recognised by the civil authorities, even though members of his congregation were consulted! 🙂 The man’s self-important ego is clearly “offended”!

    Report abuse

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2366285.stm

    Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 19:11 GMT – Protest over isle’s Sunday flight

    A 34-seat propeller plane landed at Stornoway Airport on Sunday to a protest from dozens of churchgoers who want to keep the Sabbath special.

    The plane, operated by Loganair on behalf of British Airways, is the first ever commercial flight to have landed on the Isle of Lewis on a Sunday.

    About 60 campaigners stood in quiet protest and handed out leaflets to passengers saying that travelling on the Sabbath was a sin which will damage their own soul and the life of the island.

    Calum Maclean, local representative of the Lord’s Day Observance Society, said: “These Sunday flights are a breach of God’s law and will have an adverse effect on the whole community life of this island as we know it. This is only the start.”

    Lewis, with a population of 22,000, is the spiritual home of the Free Church of Scotland. The church only allows work of “necessity and mercy” on Sundays.

    On Lewis, where most people belong to either the Free Church or other Presbyterian denominations, almost all business and leisure activity stops for the Sabbath.

    Libraries and sports centres are shut, the mobile cinema does not screen films, and even television viewing is frowned upon.

    There is no local bus service and no ferries operate to or from the mainland.

    IT sounds like a captive audience in theocratic “Heaven”! NOT! 🙂

    Report abuse

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/mobile/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8157570.stm

    The controversial first scheduled Sunday ferry sailing from Stornoway on Lewis to mainland Scotland has gone ahead as planned. (19 July 09 14:47)

    There has been strong opposition on the island, where the Sabbath day has traditionally been strictly observed.

    A small group of protesters prayed and sang a psalm as cars boarded the boat, but several hundred people clapped.

    Supporters said it would boost the economy of the Hebridean island and offer local people freedom to travel.

    A small group of about a dozen protesters gathered in Stornoway ahead of the sailing to Ullapool, which left at 1430 BST.

    As cars lined up in the ferry terminal car park, protesters gathered in silence behind a banner.

    It read: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”.

    They sang Psalm 46 – God is our refuge and our strength – and prayed for the nation to “turn its back from sin and wickedness”.

    A number of women wiped away tears as they prayed for a return to the Lord’s commandments.

    CalMac said it could be breaking equality laws if it did not run ferries seven days a week.

    It said religion or beliefs were not valid reasons to refuse to run the ferry.

    Supporters of the service said it would be good for tourism.

    They said it would offer more flexibility to travellers.

    As the ferry left Stornoway a crowd of several hundred gathered to applaud, and wave to those on board.

    The island’s people were becoming bolder in 2009, in refusing to let a backward religious tail, wag the dog, but it seems there is still some way to go even in 2018!

    Report abuse

  • An Lanntair do a good job of including in their programme challenges to the dominant ideology on the islands, as well as – rightly enough – recognising that their role is to serve as an arts centre to all, not just either the religious or the non-religious.

    Richard Dawkins gave a talk there as part of the Hebridean Book Festival a few years ago. A bold move on the part of the organisers, given the hostile environment.

    I wouldn’t normally link to ChristiansTogether, but in amongst its rampant religiosity, this piece illustrates the situation there rather well:


    As ever, religious fervour is at its most febrile and intolerant when it forms part of a distinct sense of identity.

    By the way, if you want a laugh, try calling up the website of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland on a Sunday – http://www.fpchurch.org.uk

    Report abuse

  • Marco #18
    Jan 28, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Richard Dawkins gave a talk there as part of the Hebridean Book Festival a few years ago. A bold move on the part of the organisers, given the hostile environment.

    The topic was discussed on this site at the time:-

    The man whose best-selling book The God Delusion argues that belief in a supernatural creator is irrational and harmful to society is the headline speaker at the main book festival in the God-fearing Outer Hebrides – arguably one of the least-likely places his views will be welcomed.

    Now, hard-line Christians are calling on people to boycott the biologist’s talk at the Faclan Hebridean Book Festival at Stornoway, amid claims his presence will be “offensive”.

    Report abuse

  • @ Alan4discussionand others

    If those people, for themselves, want to keep their Sabbath, let them. If they try to force their views on others who do not share their views – I start thinking of B-52 bomber squadrons as they flew over Vietnam actually having something sensible to do. Just (slightly) kidding.

    About 20 years ago, we vacationed in southern Spain, in a hotel on the edge of a town that had loads of the fat Mediterranean sail or motor yachts. The shops had “odd” opening hours, mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. Rest of the week, you needed to know the fleeting opening hours (this was mostly tourist trap stuff, not the supermarkets – those were elsewhere).

    Here in Germany, restaurants have for a long time been open on the weekends – and one we have recently been to (and which we pass on the way to, or mostly from weekday shopping) shut down on Mondays. Opening times for stores of all kinds are still limited to 8 PM on weekdays (which legally still includes Saturday). Only the big chains in central locations actually have six days a week from (possibly by now later than in earlier times) opening hours to 8 PM, most close up earlier (probably latest 7 PM, and earlier on Saturdays). Sunday is still very restrictive. And I find that to be entirely right.

    A pseudo-religious group at least as bad as any fundamentalists, be they of the American “Bible Belt”, Taliban, IS or Boko Haram, are the “24/7” opening hours psycho- and sociopaths of management. Think late “Manchester Capitalism” and their equally criminal equivalents in (mostly, but not entirely) in the US. Unions (is there anything of the sort left in the centers of economic Fascism, the US and the UK?) fought to reduce inhuman working hours for decades upon decades. To put an end to what was if not de jure slavery (put an end to in the US in 1865), de facto slavery (which the US economy is apparently unable to function without to date).

    What I find so totally mind-boggling is that – at least in the US – there seems to be an alliance between the “24/7” opening hours psycho- and sociopaths (that pile of poo stinking up the White House, and smaller piles putrefying Congress into an equal cess-pit) and the Taliban-equivalents of the US. Honest Abe made a comment about fooling people and some / all of the time. Apparently he didn’t realize that it was possible for “fooling some of the people all of the time” to be sufficient to seriously mess up the US, and has been going on there since January 1981. Alzheimer Ronnie (a puppet controlled by back-room scum), Dubya (even he got screwed into doing more than he may have wanted by Tricky Dick II Cheney, who makes Nixon almost look like a saint), and now Duhnald. I guess the only reason that Pablo Escobar is not Head of the FBI is because he’s been dead for over 24 years. Slick Willy and Obama? Both had a more or less Fascist (or in US terms more appropriately KKK) Congresses against them for six of the eight years of their administrations. And while Willy could, when necessary, become a whole lot tougher than Obama if sufficiently provoked (as Newt Gingrich learned to his chagrin), on the other hand, except for being sensible on taxes (Duhnald is hydrophobically mad), was far too cozy with too many of the psycho- and sociopaths I mentioned above. He let Robert Rubin, who had spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs (the Monsanto, meaning the most criminal mob, of banking) before joining the Clinton administration, and SW let him run riot against the advice of Joseph Stiglitz, later (2001) Economics Nobel Laureate – something almost as amazing as the later, 2008, Economics Nobel Prize for Paul Krugman, as that jury seems mostly hell-bent on promoting the neo-feudalist, masquerading as neo-liberal – and called neocon in the US because of the L-word? – greed-, meaning parasite-promoting type of economy.

    Report abuse

  • Our beloved Constitution will not allow this to take place. There will be national outrage should this bill pass and if it does pass, with more and more states turning to purple and turning to blue, the longevity of this nonsensical bill would likely be short. Schools absolutely need to keep religion out of our schools and that includes any and all references to god, not just the commandments, but the “In God We Trust” slogan as well. This is a slippery slope to teaching creationism as an alternative to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. This must be stopped in its tracks.

    Report abuse

  • Eric M Harper #21
    Jan 30, 2018 at 1:53 am

    . . . creationism as an alternative to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. This must be stopped in its tracks.

    . . . . . .Young Earth and other forms of Creationism are not just about biology!

    “How did the the Earth, the Solar-System, and the galaxies form?”

    {“I’ve read THE bible, so God-did-it-by-mysterious-magic a few thousand years ago!” – “See WE know all all about astronomy, geology and biology!” – no need for “faith” in those high-fallutin’ science books} 🙂

    {“It was all for the Purpose of creating God-Fearing congregations who will commit time and money to spreading (MY version of god-delusion) religion, and financially supporting its preachers who repeatedly spread and reassert these doctrines” (err indoctrinations)}! [allegedly] . 🙂

    Apparently, during billions of years of existence, nobody told the rest of the vast universe that it had a designer, and creating human worshippers on a little planet they call earth, was its purpose! 🙂

    Report abuse

  • I came across a reference from Sam Harris in his book ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’, that bears repeating here:

    ‘If you think it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures… Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or living being” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.

    Report abuse

  • Reply to comment #21: Well it would be nice if the Constitution was some kind of safeguard against this sort of theocratic dictate, but it becomes increasing uncertain that the SCOTUS will uphold this, given the direction of the court and recent appointment. The Constitution is only as good as the judicial system that upholds it.

    Report abuse

  • The problem of the god-deluded trying to have schools provide them with indoctrination fodder is international!


    Religious extremists are using schools to narrow children’s horizons and “pervert education”, England’s chief inspector of schools is warning.

    Amanda Spielman says some community leaders see schools as vehicles to “indoctrinate impressionable minds” – with extremist ideology in some cases.

    Ofsted inspectors are increasingly coming into contact with such extremists, she says.

    She is asking head teachers to confront those who foster extremist behaviour.

    “Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says anything goes, for fear of causing offence, schools leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism,” Ms Spielman will say at a conference held by the Church of England in London.

    “That sort of liberalism holds no truck for ideologies that seek to close minds or narrow opportunity.

    “Occasionally that will mean taking uncomfortable decisions or having tough conversations.

    “It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone.”

    She added: “Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education.

    “Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people’s horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology.

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    The attitude of: “all members of my religious tribe are ‘good’ – and their views deserve unquestioning respect”, needs to be vigorously challenged, rather than nodding approval being given to anyone wearing a “religion badge”!

    Report abuse

  • US schools seem to still be having trouble with that Trump-endorsed NRA commandment:-
    “Thou shalt allow children to carry weapons in public”!


    A shooting by a 12-year-old girl at a Californian school is thought to be unintentional, Los Angeles police say.

    The girl has been charged with “negligent discharge of a firearm” after the incident left five injured.

    A 15-year-old boy, who was shot in the head, and a 15-year-old girl, who was shot in the wrist, are both in a stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery.

    A semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene.

    It happened at 08:55 local time (16:55 GMT) on Thursday at Salvador Castro Middle School in the Westlake district.

    An 11-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 30-year-old woman sustained minor injuries but were not shot directly.

    A student who was at the classroom at the time told ABC News that he believed the girl thought the weapon was a toy gun and “didn’t mean to” shoot anyone.

    According to a website tracking US Gun Violence Archive, there were over 2,000 unintentional shootings in the country in 2017. This incident is the 166th accidental shooting so far this year.

    It is also the one of at least three shooting incidents at US schools in recent weeks.

    On 23 January a student in Kentucky opened fire on fellow students, shooting 17 and killing two.

    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.