Carville blasts Louisiana Ten Commandments law as ‘dumbest waste of time’

Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville ripped into a new Louisiana law that requires public schools to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom, calling it the “dumbest waste of time.”

“I think given the storm season is coming up, we don’t need the Ten Commandments, we need a Hail Mary. It would be, you know, much more appropriate for what we face, really, in Louisiana,” Carville told CNN’s Anderson Cooper when asked Wednesday about the new law in his home state.

“I don’t know which one they’re going to put up,” Carville said. “There’s 10 different versions of the Ten Commandments, and our schools are so underfunded that I’m not sure half the kids even know how to read them. But it’s one of the dumbest waste[s] of time that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Gov. Jeff Landry (R) on Wednesday signed the GOP-led bill that will require all public elementary and high school classrooms in Louisiana to display the Ten Commandments.

Under the laws, the signs must be in classrooms in “large, easily readable font” on a poster or framed document that is at least 11-by-14 inches, by the beginning of 2025. The posters will also contain a three-paragraph statement that will say the Ten Commandments have been a prominent part of American education.

Speaking with Carville, Cooper said Louisiana schools have traditionally ranked very low in American school ratings, while noting this rating has increased slightly over the years.

“Gov. Edwards — John Bel — did a great job. I mean, he got us, off the bottom, but Gov. Landry’s intent on putting us back on the bottom, it seems like,” Carville said. “But I’m serious, when I look at this storm season and the summer coming ahead, it’s going to be a fundamentally different country come mid-October of this year. It’s going to really be bad.”

The new law has already received backlash from civil rights organizations, who argue it violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which guarantees separation of church and state.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups on Thursday said they plan to file a lawsuit challenging the law.

“The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools,” the ACLU of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom from Religion Foundation said in a statement.

Cooper pointed to the Establishment Clause and asked Carville if there is a difference between having a book with certain views in a library and a poster from the Bible in every classroom.

“Well, look, this is book burner talking points, all right? These people want to burn books, take them out of libraries. You know, you can’t substitute reading, writing, arithmetic with … you know, like I say, the courts are going to have to flush this out, but there’s a thousand founding documents,” Carville said, adding later, “The problem is you’ve got to have kids that can read them.”

“What I find fascinating is the book burners really want the Ten Commandments,” Carville quipped. “Give me a break.”

CNN contributor Scott Jennings, who was also speaking with Cooper, argued instead the Ten Commandments could be thought of as part of the principles of the Western civilization.

“I’m not out here crusading for it, and I certainly don’t think public school teachers should be preachers, but, you know, these are the fundamental tenets of Western civilization. They kind of underpin, you know, our entire criminal justice system,” Jennings said. “And look, if they’re part of a historical display, if they’re hanging up there next to the Constitution, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, I don’t have a problem with it.”

“I do think it’s sort of amusing that there are people out here so enraged by this today who at the same time would love to use public schools and public libraries and other public facilities to distribute information that more matches their own agenda,” Jennings continued, arguing people are “overreacting” to the new law.

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