The Texas State Senate passed a bill that would require public schools to prominently display the Ten Commandments in all classrooms.
The legislation, passed in the chamber on a 17-12 vote entirely along party lines, now heads to the state House of Representatives.
State Sen. Phil King (R), the bill’s author, said the law recognizes “the role that fundamental religious documents and principles played in American law and heritage.”
Another bill passed in the Texas Senate would allow school districts to require campuses to provide a “period of prayer and reading of the Bible or other religious text each school day.”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) promoted both bills as part of the fight for “religious freedom in Texas.”
“Allowing the Ten Commandments and prayer to return to our public schools is one step we can take to ensure that all Texans have the right to freely express their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Patrick said in a statement.
“I think you can’t change the culture of the country until you change the culture of humanity,” he added. “Bringing the Ten Commandments and prayer back to our public schools will allow our students to become better Texans.”
A growing number of elected Republicans are increasingly questioning the separation of church and state.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) faced backlash last June when she said she was “tired of this separation of Church and State garbage.”
“The reason we had so many excessive regulations in our nation is because the church complied,” Boebert said at the time. “The church is supposed to run the government, the government is not supposed to run the church.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also suggested last July that the Republican Party should embrace Christian nationalism, or the ideology that America is a Christian nation and should enact laws based on Christian values.