On Friday September 4, a group of parents filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Education over the new “ethnic studies curriculum” that requires students to “chant” to Aztec gods.
The impetus for the lawsuit came after the plaintiffs issued a letter to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, asking him to remove the chanting from the curriculum. The letter, dated August 24, went unanswered. The lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Society, a not-for-profit law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of family and religion, on behalf of parents of students, as well as the Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.
“Our clients have both a religious and civic objection to the Aztec prayer, and they do not want their children chanting it, being asked or pressured to do so, or risking ostracism if they refuse,” said Thomas More Society lawyer Paul Jonna.
The curriculum encourages teachers and students to “challenge racist, bigoted, discriminatory, imperialist/colonial beliefs” of which Christianity is considered a part. R. Tolteka Cuauhtin, the original co-chair of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, referenced his book “Rethinking Ethnic Studies”.
His book states that White Christians are responsible for committing “theocide” and replacing indigenous gods with Christianity. Cuauhtin claims people must work to “decolonize” America, through a method he refers to as “countergenocide.” According to Cuauhtin, if Christianity can be successfully dismantled in American society, it will make way for a “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.”