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Ten Commandments. Multiple variations. Why the Louisiana law raises preferential treatment concerns

Christians and Jews believe in the Ten Commandments — just not necessarily the version that will hang in every public school and state-funded college classroom in Louisiana.

The required text prescribed in the new law and used on many monuments around the United States is a condensed version of the Scripture passage in Exodus containing the commandments. It has ties to “The Ten Commandments” movie from 1956, and it’s a variation of a version commonly associated with Protestants.

That’s one of the issues related to religious freedom and separation of church and state being raised over this mandate, which was swiftly followed by a lawsuit.

“H.B. 71 is not neutral with respect to religion,” according to the legal complaint filed June 24 by Louisiana clergy, public school parents and civil liberties groups. “It requires a specific, state-approved version of that scripture to be posted, taking sides on theological questions regarding the correct content and meaning of the Decalogue.”

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