A Religious Right legal group is suing public education officials in San Diego in state court over what they claim is an “Aztec prayer” in California’s new ethnic studies curriculum.
The Thomas More Society, a group best known for filing a slew of unsuccessful lawsuits designed to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, says the use of the “prayer” violates church-state separation. It is representing a group of parents called Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.
Educators in the state say the “prayer,” which is not mandated for use in any school, is really a statement of affirmation. Spoken in an ancient Mayan language, the statement translates as “You are my other me.”
Nolan L. Cabrera, associate professor of education at the University of Arizona, told Religion News Service that the curriculum is designed to boost the study of Latino culture in the state. The aim, he said, is “to disrupt the myth that Chicano students are in some way foreign to this land.”
Cabrera said it is “asinine to think that they’re trying to establish the Aztec religion” as part of the curriculum. (Californians for Equal Rights Foundation v. State of California)