Three Californian parents are suing to prevent the state’s public school system from reciting prayers to Aztec deities who have been worshiped at the cost of human sacrifice – arguing that it violates US and state constitutions.
The question arose earlier this year when researcher Chris Rufo reported on this particular aspect of the state’s ethnic studies curriculum. As Fox News noted previously, the program suggests chants that invoke the deity Tezkatlipoka.
Tezkatlipoka is an Aztec god who was honored through human sacrifices. According to Encyclopedia of World History, an impersonator of Tezkatlipoka would be sacrificed with his heart removed to honor the deity. In Aztec mythology, Tezkatlipoka is the brother of Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli and Xipe Totec – all seem invoked in the song.
The Thomas More Company, which represents the parents, called the curriculum model “patently unconstitutional”.
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“Our clients are not opposed to students learning about different cultures and religions, including the practices of the Aztecs,” said Paul Jonna, partner at LiMandri & Jonna LLP and special advisor to Thomas More Society.
But the California State Board of Education-approved model ethnic studies curriculum goes far beyond that by requiring students to pray to Aztec deities. This part of the model ethnic studies curriculum is not only offensive, but clearly unconstitutional. “
The California Board of Education and the Department of Education are both named as defendants in the lawsuit. He is seeking a temporary restraining order that would prevent “the defendants from permitting, promoting or permitting the use of Aztec prayers and ‘Ashe’ chanting in California public schools and also requiring the defendants to order to those under their authority not to use Aztec prayer or “Ashe” chanting in public schools. “
As part of the case, the Thomas More Society included a statement from Dr. Alan Sandstrom, who is professor of anthropology at Purdue University in Fort Wayne.
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Sandstrom states that while he is in favor of the goals of the Model Program, he thinks the use of vocals is a “mistake.” “The assertion as presented amounts to religious activity which I believe has no place in public schools,” he said.
The state’s Department of Education did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, and the board of education declined to provide one.
As part of the program’s “teaching resources”, the CDE presents song and more generally defends songs as “stimulants” that can bring unity.
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“This section includes several songs, proverbs and affirmations focused on ethnic studies,” the document read.
“These can be used as stimulants to bring the class together, create unity around the principles and values of ethnic studies, and to invigorate the class after a lesson which can be emotionally taxing or even when student engagement. may seem weak. “