‘Don’t Make This About Me’: State Rep Snaps At CNN Host Pushing Back Against New Ten Commandments Law


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Louisiana state Rep. Lauren Ventrella snapped at CNN host Boris Sanchez’s pushback against the mandate requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools.

Louisiana became the first state to require the display of the Ten Commandments following the signing of legislation regarding the matter into law Wednesday by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry. The mandate led organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to raise legal battles by arguing the state law is a First Amendment violation.

Sanchez and the state representative sparred over the mandate as the CNN host argued the U.S. Constitution is a secular document. Ventrella argued faith, along with the Ten Commandments, are a significant historical component to the founding of the U.S.

“Sure, but do you also recognize that the Constitution of this country, its founding document, doesn’t include the word God or Jesus or Christianity and that’s for a reason and that’s because the founding fathers founded this country as a secular one,” Sanchez said. “You don’t see that?”

“Boris, I bet you CNN pays you a lot of money. I bet you got a lot of dollar bills in that wallet,” Ventrella hit back.

“What does this have to do with the network that I work for or what I’m getting paid?” Sanchez asked. “Don’t make this about that, answer that question. Why did the founding fathers not include God in the Constitution if they wanted this country to be the way that you see it?”

“Let me finish my statement,” she replied.

“Answer the question and don’t make this about me,” Sanchez snapped back.

“In God We Trust. We’ll make it about me. I’ve got a dollar bill in my wallet. In God We Trust is written on that dollar. It is not forcing anybody to believe one viewpoint, it’s merely posting a historical reference on the wall for students to read and interpret it if they choose,” she argued.

Ventrella pushed back against critics who say the mandate will interfere with the beliefs of Jewish and Muslim students, arguing it is a historical document that influence the U.S. legal system. Sanchez said the Ten Commandments go beyond being a historical document by pushing specific religious beliefs. (RELATED: Joy Behar Suggests Religious People Who Vote For Trump Are Not Actually Christian)

“I don’t agree with you this is a random, historical document. This is —” Ventrella said.

“I didn’t say it was random,” Sanchez interrupted. “But there are others —”

“This is a very valuable document. Look, this nation has gotten out of hand with crime, with the bad, negative things that are going on. Why is it so preposterous that we would want our students to have the option to have some good principles instilled in them? If they don’t hear it at home, let them read it in the classroom,” she said. “Which is different than the Mayflower Compact which is mentioned in the document as well. I don’t understand why this is so preposterous in that litigation is being threatened. It doesn’t scare us in the state of Louisiana, we say bring it on.”

“Because if someone has a home in which they choose to believe something different, which is welcome in this country. It’s literally why people fled to come here to found this country to begin with. Then they should be allowed to. And it’s not really an option if you’re requiring it to be put up in the wall of the classroom,” Sanchez said.

Ventrella advised students, parents and teachers who do not share the “religious views” of the Ten Commandments to simply not look at it.

The CNN host compared the display of the Ten Commandments to hanging up the Five Pillars of Islam in public school classrooms.

“This is not about the Five Pillars of Islam. This bill specifically states the Ten Commandments. It is a historical document —” she began.

“Sure, but I’m presenting you with a hypothetical that would help you put yourself in the shoes of someone you may not understand and their point of view,” he interjected. “How would you feel if you walked into a classroom and something you didn’t believe in was required to be on the wall? You can answer that question.” (RELATED: Watch CNN Host’s Face When GOP Rep Makes Comment About ‘Slave Labor’)

“I appreciate you, Boris. I cannot sit here and gather and fathom … you could give me a thousand hypotheticals. But again, this specific bill applies to this specific text. The Quran, or Islam, that is a very broad statement. We’re specifically talking about a limited text, on mind you, a piece of paper that’s not much bigger than a legal sheet of paper. Some kids might even need a magnifying glass to read all of this. This is not so preposterous that we’re somehow sanctioning and forcing religion down people’s throats. I’ve heard the comments and it’s just ridiculous,” Ventrella answered.

The Ten Commandments are displayed in the U.S. Supreme Court, many courthouses and public locations across the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of preserving a granite monument inscribing the Ten Commandments in an Austin, Texas, public park in the case Van Orden v. Perry, finding it to have “a mixed but primarily nonreligious purpose,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The court struck down a Kentucky law requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in classrooms in 1980, arguing the text is “plainly religious in nature,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.