Three California parents have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Education for chanting Aztec gods included in a new ethnic studies curriculum.
According to the lawsuit, filed earlier this month, the curriculum asks students to repeat the “In Lak Ech Affirmation” — a chant that invokes Aztec gods worshiped with human sacrifice.
The Thomas More Society – a conservative law firm representing the three parents – has described the model curriculum in court documents as “blatantly unconstitutional.”
The new ethnic studies curriculum was approved earlier this year to be taught in all California public schools. It will teach the state’s students about the “histories, struggles and contributions of Asian, Black, Latino and Native Americans.”
Chapter 5 of the curriculum contains a section of ‘Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers’ which includes chanting to the Aztec gods.
The curriculum says of the chant: “In Lak Ech translates as you are my other self and refers to our habit of mind, empathy, as well as compassion, interdependence, ecology, love and mutual respect.”
“The unequivocal promotion of Aztec gods or deities through the repeated chanting and affirmation of their symbolic principles constitutes an unlawful government preference for a particular religious practice,” Frank Xu, president of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, said in a statement released. on The Thomas. More Society website.
Three California parents have filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Education for chanting Aztec gods included in a new ethnic studies curriculum. An exhibit of the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca is depicted
The gods referred to in the chant are said to be Tezkatlipoca, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totec.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Tezkatlipoca was a protean sorcerer who caused the death of many Toltecs through his black magic.
During the fifth month of the Aztec solar year, Tezcatlipoca was worshiped in special ceremonies in which a prisoner of war was taken to a temple where his heart was cut out with an obsidian knife.
Paul Joanna, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, said in a statement: “The Aztecs regularly performed horrific and heinous acts for the sole purpose of pacifying and appeasing the creatures that call up the prayers from the curriculum.
“Our clients have both religious and social objections to Aztec prayer, and they don’t want their children to sing it, be asked or pressured to do it, or risk being banned if they refuse.”
He added: “Both the California and US Constitutions prohibit prayer in public schools. Can you imagine elements of the Christian faith being incorporated into the public school curriculum? What if a class included praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or even reciting the Lord’s Prayer? How would that be received?’
The constitution prohibits public school officials from leading or promoting prayer in their official capacity, although students are allowed to pray in private at school as part of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.
Huitzilopochtli is another deity referenced in the chant. A drawing of the Aztec god is depicted
The California Department of Education is the target of the new lawsuit, filed earlier this month
In March, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the new ethnic studies curriculum.
The curriculum focuses on “social consciousnesses” and cultures that are often ignored or overlooked in traditional textbooks, such as “African American, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, Native American, and Asian American and Pacific Islander studies,” according to sources available on the CDE website.
The model curriculum also comes with a number of goals that students and teachers can achieve together.
Together, classes can “criticize empire building and its relationship to white supremacy, racism, and other forms of power and oppression.”
They can also “challenge racist, bigoted, discriminatory, imperialist/colonial beliefs and practices on multiple levels” and “connect us to past and present social movements fighting for social justice and a just and democratic society” while students seek “new possibilities for a post-racist, post-systemic racism society.’
The outcomes hoped for with this curriculum include pursuing justice, greater inclusiveness, greater self-understanding, greater empathy for others, and recognizing intersectionality, the merging point of people’s diverse identities.
In March, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the new ethnic studies curriculum. stock image