California parents filed a lawsuit against their state’s school system, which had approved a curriculum that contains prayers to Aztec deities and human sacrifice cults among the content. Parents have accused them of violating the California and U.S. constitutions.
According to Fox News, three California parents want to stop the state’s public school system from teaching an ethnic curriculum that recites prayers to Aztec deities and worships them with human sacrifices, arguing that doing so violates the U.S. and state constitutions.
The lawsuit, which was also filed by the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, named as co-defendants the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and the State of California.
The plaintiffs pointed out that the ethnic curriculum promotes the worship of five Aztec gods and the Yoruba religion through repetitive chanting and affirmation of symbolic principles, which, said the president of the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, Frank Xu, in a press release, “constitutes an unlawful government preference toward a particular religious practice.”
The controversy arose after California voted to approve the Model Ethnic Studies Curriculum on March 18.
At the time, conservative U.S. political commentator Glenn Beck referred to it on his radio program. While reading the curriculum details, he said it was “the craziest, scariest story” he had ever had to report.
As Beck said, the curriculum contained the Aztec worship rituals that California students would be asked to imitate, including mass human sacrifice, cannibalism, and extreme and prolonged abuse and sacrifice of babies.
“Those are the gods that they [the Board of Education in California] think really need to be worshiped and brought back in our understanding because that whole Christian God was only about ‘oppression,'” Glenn commented in disgust, adding, “We are under attack from the forces of darkness unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”
For the law firm Thomas More Society, which represents the parents of the lawsuit, the model curriculum is “blatantly unconstitutional.”
And as stated through special counsel, Paul Jonna “Our clients are not opposed to having students learn about different cultures and religions, including the practices of the Aztecs.”
“But the California State Board of Education’s approved Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum goes far beyond that by directing students to pray to Aztec deities. This portion of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is not only offensive, but blatantly unconstitutional,” added legal counsel.
The parents are also seeking a temporary restraining order preventing “defendants from authorizing, promoting or permitting the use of Aztec prayers and the ‘Ashe’ chant in California public schools.”
In the lawsuit that was filed Sept. 3 in California Superior Court, also included as part of the filing was a declaration by Dr. Alan Sandstrom, a professor of anthropology at Purdue University in Fort Wayne, who said that while he is in favor of the goals of the model curriculum, he believes the use of the chant is a “mistake.”
“The affirmation as presented amounts to a religious activity that I think has no place in public schools,” he opined.
The California Department of Education, through its spokesman, Scott Roark, said it had not yet reviewed the foundation’s lawsuit and could not comment on it.