Bonfire of the Sanities: California’s Deranged Revival of the Aztec Gods

The Board of Education in California recently voted unanimously to approve an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum for use in all of the state’s public schools. As our editorial pointed out on the day the vote was taken, this curriculum is “probably the most radical, polemical, and ideologically loaded educational document ever offered up for public consideration in the free world.” It’s a purpose-built program of indoctrination into the worst kind of tribal politics — a project of social engineering designed to erase the unique personal distinctiveness of the human being and remake each of us into avatars of our immutable characteristics. The knowledge that entire generations of Californians will soon be catechized in the dogmas of such a bleak and thoroughly political gospel is almost too grievous to bear.

As I noted a few weeks ago, the most astonishing part of the curriculum is the section that deals with religion:

Students are to be taught that white Christian settlers committed “theocide” against indigenous tribes when they arrived in the New World by murdering Native American gods and replacing them with the Christian God. According to the curriculum, this replacement ushered in a regime defined by “coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide,” and the “explicit erasure and replacement of holistic Indigeneity and humanity.” But all is not lost, we are told. For students will learn that they have the power and the responsibility to build a social order defined by “countergenocide,” which will eventually supplant the last vestiges of colonial Christianity and pave the way for the “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.”

The curriculum presents the pagan gods of the Aztec empire as worthier objects of study and veneration than Jesus of Nazareth. This presentation does not rest at the level of theory or academic inquiry. As Christopher F. Rufo has observed, teachers are encouraged by the authors of the curriculum to lead their students in an “ethnic studies community chant,” which takes the form of worship offered up to these deities:

Students first clap and chant to the god Tezkatlipoka — whom the Aztecs traditionally worshipped with human sacrifice and cannibalism — asking him for the power to be “warriors” for “social justice.” Next, the students chant to the gods Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totek, seeking “healing epistemologies” and “a revolutionary spirit.” Huitzilopochtli, in particular, is the Aztec deity of war and inspired hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices during Aztec rule. Finally, the chant comes to a climax with a request for “liberation, transformation, [and] decolonization,” after which students shout “Panche beh! Panche beh!” in pursuit of ultimate “critical consciousness.”

Read more at National Review

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