News (USA)

“Smug” GOP governor ignores fainting child as he signs law shoving Christianity into public schools

Gov. Jeff Landry signing Louisiana's controversial Ten Commandments law.
Gov. Jeff Landry signing Louisiana's controversial Ten Commandments law. Photo: Screenshot

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) is taking heat, not only for the controversial bill he signed into law Thursday, but for seemingly ignoring a child who collapsed directly behind him as he signed it.

State lawmakers approved House Bill 71 last month, requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all Louisiana classrooms in schools and universities that receive state funding. Critics have called the law as a flagrant violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, which says that the government shall make no laws establishing a core religion for other citizens to follow.

But that didn’t stop Landry from describing the bill as “one of my favorites” at a signing ceremony on Thursday. The governor was so intent on signing the controversial law that he was seemingly oblivious to a potential medical emergency happening directly behind him.

As the crowd applauded Landry’s recap of the law’s mandate, a video clearly shows a young child just behind the governor begin to wobble and then fall to the ground.

Landry continued to bask in the applause as people behind him rushed to help the youngster.

“If you want to respect the rule of law, you gotta start from the original law giver, which was Moses,” he continued, without so much as acknowledging what was going on.

“Have we all just overlooked the fainting child behind the governor of Louisiana signing the Ten Commandments law?” Georgia State congressional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis wrote on X along with a clip of the incident.

Others continued to criticize Landry and the new law throughout the day.

“Remember everyone…this is about the kids. Not the one [who] literally passed out behind him. But, definitely kids,” former Lincoln Project executive director Fred Wellman wrote in an X post.

MSNBC legal correspondent Katie Phang noted that Landry looked “self-satisfied” and “smug” as “a young child passes out behind him.”

Many commenters took the incident as an omen.

“If there was ever a sign from God that his so-called followers are on the wrong path, this would be it,” one wrote.

“If that’s not a sign from god, then what the hell else are these polls waiting for ??” wrote another.

Yet another simply wrote, “We are all that child.”

As CNN notes, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups have already promised to challenge the law, warning that it would result in “unconstitutional religious coercion of students.”

“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, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation said in a joint statement.

“I can’t wait to be sued,” Landry has said in response.

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