Parents reportedly pleaded with the California Superior Court to remove chants and prayers to Aztec deities from the state’s curriculum.
CBN News reported that the Thomas More Society filed the temporary restraining order in the court in behalf of the parents and of Californians for Equal Rights last September 24 against the Department of Education to end the saying of the said prayers in the classrooms.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Paul Jonna said there’s a difference between teaching about Aztec practices and from actually mandating to pray to their deities, which is already “offensive,” and which makes it “unconstitutional.”
“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,” Jonna said in a statement.
As previously reported, plans of the California Department Education to implement the 800-paged “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” came out in March. The Department of Education explained that the “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” intends to promote America’s “decolonization” through lessons on it, as well as, promote “unity” among the youth through through chants to Aztec Gods.
Parents then in August requested the State Board of Education through Limandri & Jonna LLP to remove Chapter 5 of the said curriculum, which particularly instructs the students to do the chanting and invoke the Aztec deities.
The Thomas More Society then followed-through with the filing of the lawsuit in September being a violation of the Establishment Clauses of the United States and of California’s Constitution. While the Californians for Equal Rights, an organization that advocates against discrimination, joined the lawsuit against the Department thereafter.
The Temporary Restraining Order, entitled “Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, et al. v. State of California, et al.”, raised the “harm’ the invocation of the said prayers and chants will do to the public schools. It also sought a block in the promotion of the said chants and prayers in the public schools of the state.
“Plaintiffs seek an order enjoining and prohibiting Defendants from authorizing, promoting, or permitting the use of Aztec prayers and the ‘Ashe’ chant in California’s public schools and also requiring Defendants to direct those under their authority not to use the Aztec prayer or ‘Ashe’ chant in public schools,” the Temporary Restraining Order said.
“This Application is made on the grounds that use of the prayers and chant violate the Establishment Clauses of both the U.S. and California Constitutions. (U.S. Const., amend. I; Cal. Const., art. I, § 4.) Further, immediate and irreparable harm will occur when the prayers and chant are used in California’s public schools,” it added.
The Thomas More Society disclosed that the California Superior Court agrees that public schools are to make children become aware of their religious neutrality since religious liberty is protected by the Constitution. The court pointed out that such protection given to religious liberty by the Constitution becomes “abridged” when the State itself sponsors a particular religious practice.
Californians For Equal Rights President Frank Xu echoed the said sentiments of the Superior Court in a statement, stating that the “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” is “alarming” for it “irresponsibly glorifies” the Aztecs whose religious rituals involved human sacrifice and dismemberment.
“The ESMC’s unequivocal promotion of five Aztec gods and the Yoruba religion through repetitive chanting and affirmation of their symbolic principles constitutes an unlawful government preference toward a particular religious practice. This public endorsement of the Aztec and Yoruba religions fundamentally erodes equal education rights and irresponsibly glorifies anthropomorphic, male deities whose religious rituals involved gruesome human sacrifice and human dismemberment. Alarmingly, this is only the tip of the iceberg with the ESMC being California’s trojan horse of CRT!” Xu stressed.