Failure of “10 Commandments” Bill is a Win, Say Clergy

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May 24, 2023

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; (202) 417-0171

Failure of “10 Commandments” Bill in Texas House is a Win for Religious Freedom, Say Clergy 

WASHINGTON—Local and national interfaith advocates are celebrating a victory for religious freedom after the Texas House of Representatives failed to advance a bill that would mandate the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools.

“This bill was a flagrant violation of the separation of religion and government, and that’s why our supporters in Texas mobilized alongside people of all faiths and none to stop it,” said The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance. “At the heart of the First Amendment is the notion that all people – including students – have the right to believe as they choose free from government coercion. The vast majority of Americans remain committed to this bedrock principle and, rest assured, will continue to mobilize against any effort to dictate one narrow religious viewpoint on the rest of us.”

For nearly thirty years, Interfaith Alliance has worked to preserve the separation of religion and government at the local, state, and national levels. It has previously opposed the display of the Ten Commandments and other overtly religious symbols on public grounds. Leading up to the House vote, Interfaith Alliance and the Interfaith Alliance of Texas launched a grassroots effort in opposition to the legislation, mobilizing supporters to urge their representatives to vote no on SB 1515.

“Across Texas, people of many faiths and no faiths had a simple message for our legislators: do not tear down the wall of separation between religion and government. The faltering of SB 1515 demonstrates that our message was heard loud and clear,” said The Rev. Dr. Andy Stoker, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Texas. “Our public schools must continue to commit themselves to neutrality, and to be welcoming spaces where students of all backgrounds and beliefs can develop into well-rounded citizens and inclusive human beings,” added Stoker.

If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance, please contact Manisha Sunil at and (202) 417-0171.