What A Day: Deus Exodus | Crooked Media
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What A Day: Deus Exodus

A copy of the Ten Commandments is posted along with other historical documents in a hallway at the Georgia State Capitol Building Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Atlanta. Louisiana has become the first state in the country to require the Ten Commandments are are displayed in all public schoools. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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A copy of the Ten Commandments is posted along with other historical documents in a hallway at the Georgia State Capitol Building Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Atlanta. Louisiana has become the first state in the country to require the Ten Commandments are are displayed in all public schoools. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

TURNING THE TABLETS

“I can’t wait to be sued,” goaded Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R-LA), while signing the state’s new, first-in-the-nation law requiring public schools to display a poster-sized copy of the Bible’s 10 Commandments “printed in a large, easily readable font” in classrooms.

  • Civil liberties and religious freedom groups quickly obliged him. The ACLU announced it’s preparing a lawsuit challenging HB 71 for violating the First Amendment’s establishment clause. That’s the one stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”—you know, the separation of church and state. Pretty fundamental.

  • The ACLU also noted different religious denominations use different wordings and interpretations of the Bible story. And lots of students don’t believe in them at all. “The government should not be taking sides in this theological debate, and it certainly should not be coercing students to submit day in and day out to unavoidable promotions of religious doctrine,” the group’s statement said.

  • Republicans in Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah are trying to pass laws like Louisiana’s but none have succeeded. Still, if “10 Commandments in the classroom” gives you a “televangelists of the Disco era” vibe, you’re right on! Kentucky already tried to enact a similar law in 1980. The Supreme Court struck it down for having a plainly religious, and therefore unconstitutional, purpose.

So if SCOTUS has already rejected this, why would Louisiana Republicans try again?

  • Normally, the High Court operates on a principle respecting precedent. Cases that are decided are decided, unless circumstances drastically change or the Court committed a grave and identifiable error. But this is no normal Court. Several conservative Justices implied or outright stated that Roe’s right to abortion was settled law, only to turn around and overturn it with the Dobbs decision. More recently, Justice Samuel Alito was caught on tape making pining for America as “a place of godliness.”

  • In the meantime, religious conservatives get to open up another front in their good-vs.-evil culture war. But even some conservative Republicans have spotted the irony here, pointing out that Louisiana’s public schools are an underfunded, underperforming mess where less than half of third-graders are reading on grade-level.

The Christian conservative MAGA base reveres Donald Trump, while he gleefully flaunts nearly all of the commandments they’re performatively installing in schools. Not that they’ve ever once been moved by their own hypocrisy, but how’s that for bearing false witness?

NEWS NEWS NEWS

Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, warned Israel against entering a broader war with the Iranian-backed militia group in Lebanon, even as fighting along Israel’s northern border escalates. The group also released footage of Israeli cities it said was taken by Iranian-made drones that had penetrated Israel’s air defenses.

The Supreme Court announced it could issue opinions Friday, adding a surprise extra day to its schedule for releasing a backlog of highly-anticipated rulings. Four opinions came out Thursday, but none of them counted among the pending cases that could alter abortion access, environmental and labor regulation, or accountability for Jan. 6 defendants including Donald Trump.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. failed to qualify for CNN’s presidential debate next week, then he declared that his exclusion was “a clear violation of federal law.” Did the dead worm living in his brain tell him that? We can’t be sure.

Senate Democrats moved to repeal a post-Civil War law prohibiting abortion medications from being sent through the mail. Dems say they fear Donald Trump and Republicans could revive enforcement of the Comstock Act to ban distribution of mifepristone and similar drugs. The bill is unlikely to pass, but it’s meant to bring election-year attention to abortion access (and how depraved Republican officials are).

Philanthropist Melinda French Gates endorsed President Biden’s reelection Thursday, saying “the stakes for women and families couldn’t be higher.” It was the first time the billionaire ex of Bill Gates has endorsed a presidential candidate. Gates has committed $2 billion to organizations working for gender equality and reproductive rights. We still hate billionaires but okay, Melinda, we see you.

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