By No machine-readable author provided. BetacommandBot assumed (based on copyright claims). [CC BY-SA 2.5 ], via Wikimedia Commons

By No machine-readable author provided. BetacommandBot assumed (based on copyright claims). [CC BY-SA 2.5 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Satanic Temple’s After School Satan will challenge the myths and irrational doctrines Christian groups “pump” into children.

In a radical step to combat what they see as Christian “indoctrination” of children in schools, the Satanic Temple has decided to direct its steps into the school buildings. Until 1984, Christian lawmakers were frantically fighting to push a bill that would let evangelicals hold Bible classes in schools. As such, when the Equal Access Act was passed in that year, Evangelicals were overjoyed and rushed into schools holding after-school Bible classes. The school Bible groups dubbed the Christian Good News Club are sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship. These groups however are accused of pushing fundamentalist Christian views into the young minds.

What the evangelicals did not expect, however, is that other communities too would be given “equal access” into schools and as a result, schools host gay support groups, secular community groups, and even groups from other religions. The latest entrant to this scene will be the Satanic Temple, who are proposing to start “After School Satan” in schools with a Christian Good News Club. The group will stand in complete opposition to everything the evangelical groups teach.

The Satanic Temple has declared that their intention is to take their groups directly to those schools where the evangelicals have pitched tents. The Temple does not shy away from accepting that their intention is to “compete” with the Evangelicals. Their intention is to unwind the myths and irrational doctrines the Christian groups “pump” into the young minds by countering them with rational and scientifically valid facts.

The Satanic Temple believes that if one community has been given permission to operate in schools, so should all others. “It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think,” says the co-founder of The Satanic Temple, Doug Mesner. The Temple, however, clarifies that they do not intend to teach devil-worship, or any other kind of worship to the children as their beliefs are non-theistic and Satan is only a symbolic representation of everything that religion has been enforcing on people. The Temple claims that it intends to propagate freedom of thought and expression and wants to destroy all bonds, restrictions and prohibitions religion has placed on people. Further, they explain that the aim of this club will be to promote “equality and empathy” between the members. 

These clubs will be perfectly legal as they do not infringe any law. The club will be operating in the framework of the Equal Access Act. The Liberty Counsel says that the clubs cannot be stopped unless the members are made to engage in “rituals that put people at risk.” However, in a press release obtained by The Friendly Atheist, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel had a different message:

“The so-called Satanist group has nothing good to offer the students and its entire reason for existence is to be disruptive. Schools do not have to tolerate groups which disrupt the school and target other legitimate clubs. No sane parents would consent to allow their child to attend this group. Full of sound and fury, this group will soon fade away,” concluded Staver.

Liberty Counsel has offered pro bono legal counsel to the schools targeted by this disruptive group.

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