The Satanic Temple (TST) has announced that this coming school year (2016) will find their organization operating in elementary schools across the nation where they will be offering their new After School Satan Club program to students. While the presence of a religious organization in public schools will no doubt be shocking to some, evangelical litigants — primarily the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) represented by lawyers from the Liberty Counsel — have solidly established the legal rights of religious organizations to operate clubs in public schools.
According to the CEF website, “[…] the United States Supreme Court ruled that a public school which allows use of its facilities to secular groups may not discriminate against religious groups.” And now that the CEF has established its Bible-based Good News Clubs across the nation, TST are eager to offer their own after school clubs, which will focus upon “critical reasoning, independent-thinking, fun, and free thought.”
According to TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, “School districts across the nation are now receiving letters from The Satanic Temple explaining that we will be offering our clubs in their schools this coming school year, and parents in those schools can expect to be presented with a permission slip from their children in the first weeks of the Fall semester. All of the districts we’ve approached are nearby to local chapters of The Satanic Temple, and each school district has hosted, or is now hosting, Good News Clubs in their schools. This being the case, we are sure that the school districts we’ve approached are well aware that they are not at liberty to deny us use of their facilities, nor are they at liberty to deny us any level of representation in the schools that they afford to other school clubs — such as fliers, tables, brochures, and school-wide announcements. We would like to thank the Liberty Counsel, specifically, for opening the doors of public schools to the After School Satan Club through their dedication to religious liberty.”
Elaborating the mission of the After School Satan Clubs, Greaves states, “It’s important that children be given an opportunity to realize that the religious materials now creeping into their schools are representative of but one religious opinion amongst many. While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination of children by way of evangelism, instilling them with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath, After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us. We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”
For more information, see the After School Satan Club website: www.afterschoolsatan.com