California! Who Needs It?

April 15, 2021

Ahhh, California. A place where Americans used to look to for innovation, culture, and that yearning to live and breathe free. Its air was clean and its beauty and climate were a magnet for the rest of the country. We used to sing about “California Girls” and “Cable Cars” as if they were national treasures, and its agriculture was celebrated as coming from “the land of fruit and nuts.”


Well, it’s still the land of fruit and nuts, but not the agricultural kind. The political kind. The California legislature is full of it, fruits and nuts, that is. They have considered and adopted more than their fair share of crazy ideas that they seriously consider in the mainstream.


Who, for example, can forget that enlightened piece of legislation that eliminated boys’ and girls’ toy departments from stores? Yes, every Californian should be able to differentiate between a Barbie Doll and a toy truck when choosing a birthday gift for their little non-binary bundle of joy. What a wonderful piece of legislative forethought that would only confuse us poor, uneducated bumpkins in the Midwest who still need the assistance of sex-designated departments to aid our decision process.


My guess is that it will take a while for my legislature to adopt such an inspired piece of legislation. I don’t think Iowans’ wokeness is as developed as theirs is.


Anyway, that stellar political leadership has now introduced another piece of fruity lawmaking that will enshrine the state’s reputation. It seems now they are proposing to make — as a condition of high school graduation — their version of ethnic studies. Now that may not sound too bad at first blush, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
The legislature directed the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop a model curriculum on ethnic studies that local schools could use. That curriculum includes teachers leading chants to Aztec gods of human sacrifice. Yes, California is setting the stage for their children (binary, non-binary, or just plain confused) to learn how to chant praises to these gods — of course, God forbid the school choir sing O Holy Night for the school’s winter solstice pageant — but chanting praises for Quetzalcoatl (ket-zolÈkooah-tl) or Tezcatlipoca, (tez-ca-tlee-poh’-kawell), that’s just fine for the Golden State.


So what would these chants sound like? According to the Pacific Justice Institute, there are at least five distinct deities for whom chants have been approved by the CDE. Here is one of the jotty tunes your little one will be singing himself to sleep with:

Quetzalkoatl, Quetzalcoatl, x2
The morning & evening star of venus double helix of human beings
fearless here it’s, precious blessed beautiful knowledge, gaining perspective, on events & experiences our ancestors endured,
allows us to become more realized human beings learning
to be listening to each other’s hearts and our elders with humility, dignity, Indigenous brilliance & wisdom in our hearts and our energies, remembering . . . ancestral memories, planning, future trajectories, la cultura cura, with remedies of knowledge,
healing epistemologies, ecologies in life, home, streets, school, work, & life, fueled by. . . .

I think you’re really going to have to get a good beat down to get the kids to remember this. But this is education in the land of fruit and nuts that every parent wants their kiddies to know. By the way, if it matters, Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec feathered snake god who was related to the gods of the wind, merchants, and the patron god of the Aztec priests.


Time for another one? This can be so fun and educational. Tezcatlipoca is the god of the Great Bear constellation and the object of a myth that tells the story of how he (she or whatever) expelled Quetzalcoatl and induced Big Q to sin. Here’s his peppy little chant:

Tezcatlipoca, Tezkatlipoka, x2
smoking mirror, self-reflection
We must vigorously search within ourselves be reflective, introspective bysilencing distractions and extensive comprehensive obstacles in our lives, (in our lives), in order to be warriors of love, of love, for our gente representin’ justice, (justice) local to global global to local eco-logical, & social, (social), justice (justice).

Of course, if you’re in California don’t expect you little offspring to be singing these toons right away. Despite the monumental step forward in education this act takes, California schools aren’t opening soon. You’ll just have to hire a private tutor to learn the melodies.


But while the schools will remain closed, your hard-working and tolerant lawmakers are planning more utopian lawmaking. This one is in the form of police reform called AB655, the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act (CLEAR Act). According to the bright lights sponsoring this measure, the act is to combat “the infiltration of extremists in our law enforcement agencies.”


CLEAR Act would require background checks for all officers who have “exchanged racist and homophobic messages,” or, as we would call it, “hate speech” which it defines as “advocating or supporting the denial of constitutional rights of, the genocide of, or violence towards, any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.”


Now, what that means in real life is translated for us by the senior staff attorney for the Pacific Justice Institute, Matthew McReynolds, as a way to purposefully and arbitrarily classify as “hateful” ideologies that oppose such things as abortion and so called same-sex marriage.
“Under the guise of addressing police gangs, the bill at the same time launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views,” wrote McReynolds. “Indeed, this is one of the most undisguised and appalling attempts we have ever seen, in more than 20 years of monitoring such legislation, on the freedom of association and freedom to choose minority viewpoints.”


“Should the state now ban from public service qualified, fair-minded people who happen to hold religious or political views that conflict with controversial Supreme Court decisions on marriage and abortion?” asks Greg Burt, director of Capitol Engagement with the California Family Council. “This is a blatantly unconstitutional violation of religious liberty and freedom of speech. It is also a tyrannical abuse of power from a politician seeking to ruin the lives of those he disagrees with.”


Put that one right up there with the worship of Tezcatlipoca. I wonder if that lesson-plan calls for the actual sacrifice of a child. Naaah, not ones in school anyway.


“Ket-zol Kooah-tl here I come, right back where I started from….” Hey, that’s a catchy tune.

By DEACON MIKE MANNO