The Ten Commandments, the motto "In God We Trust" and Jesus' teachings from the Sermon on the Mount could be displayed in any Mississippi public building under a bill passed by the House Tuesday.
The bill originally was written to allow contracts for parking spaces at public buildings and was amended during a spirited debate. It returns to the Senate for more consideration.
Rep. Tommy Reynolds of Water Valley persuaded House members to allow the display of the Beatitudes, the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount about the meek inheriting the Earth and peacemakers being blessed. The Beatitudes are in the book of Matthew.
The movement to display religious texts in Mississippi taxpayer-funded buildings comes a week after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in cases from Texas and Kentucky on whether Ten Commandments displays are lawful on public property.
Since 2001, Mississippi has had a law requiring the motto "In God We Trust" to be posted in every public school classroom.