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California Finds A Way Around Prohibition Of Prayer In Schools. Just Call It ‘Ethnic Studies’

The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed organized prayer in public schools in 1962.

But in California recently, they have found a way around that – by dubbing it “ethnic studies.”

The conservative Thomas More Society, a public-interest law firm that focuses on religious liberty, announced on Friday that it had sued the California Department of Education for approving a curriculum that allows prayers to bloodthirsty Aztec gods.

“The prayers are being elicited under the guise of an ethnic studies curriculum,” the society said in a press release.   

According to the group, the California State Board of Education approved a program called the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

The curriculum contains a section for “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers,” which includes the “In Lak Ech Affirmation” that invokes five Aztec deities – Tezkatlipoka, Quetzalkoatl, Huitzilopochtli, Xipe Totek, and Hunab Ku.

Although called an “affirmation,” the society argues, the chant “addresses the deities both by name and by their traditional titles, recognizes them as sources of power and knowledge, invokes their assistance, and gives thanks to them.”

“In short,” the lawsuit says, “it is a prayer.”

The group also pointed out that the state-approved academic standard adds the “Ashe Prayer” from the Yoruba religion. Yoruba, the group explains, “is an ancient philosophical concept that is the root of many pagan religions, including Santeria and Haitian Vodou or voodoo.”

In a statement, Paul Jonna, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, noted that the Aztecs regularly performed “gruesome and horrific acts” solely to pacify and appease “the very beings that the prayers from the curriculum invoke.”

 “The human sacrifice, cutting out of human hearts, flaying of victims and wearing their skin, are a matter of historical record, along with sacrifices of war prisoners, and other repulsive acts and ceremonies the Aztecs conducted to honor their deities,” Jonna said.

“Any form of prayer and glorification of these bloodthirsty beings in whose name horrible atrocities were performed is repulsive to any reasonably informed observer.”

He further maintained that the society’s clients object on both religious and civic grounds.

“They do not want their children chanting it, being asked or pressured to do so, or risking ostracism if they refuse,” he added. “Under both the California and United States Constitutions, they have the right to expect all branches of the state government, including the State Board of Education and the Department of Education, to respect this choice. Furthermore, all Californians have the right to expect that tax-supported public schools will not aid or promote this religion.”

Both the state and U.S. Constitutions prohibit prayer in public schools, especially those drafted by public officials, Jonna concluded.

“Can you imagine if elements of the Christian faith were proposed to be included in the public school curriculum?” he said. “What if a class incorporated praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or even reciting the Lord’s Prayer? How would that be received?”

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