New Clubs to Begin This School Year
It is the beginning of the school year. Students are deciding which after school activities they will be participating in sports, music, and Satan?
Yes, the Satanic Temple is petitioning local school districts to have their program called the After School Satan Club. The program is not designed to teach students about Satanism or a particular religious doctrine. The Satanic Temple states that it does not believe in a personal Satan nor the practice of evil. The organization considers Satan to be a fictional entity that represents independent thinking. However, there is an inclusion of blasphemy as a legitimate form of expression.
Lessons will be taught on the basis of scientific rationalism. This means that activism, critical inquiry into the natural world and rational thinking will be used as the foundation for activities and games done by local members of the Satanic Temple.
The creation of the program is considered to be a reaction to the creation of Christian-based clubs, namely the Good News Club. Ironically, a 2001 Supreme Court decision about the Good News Club established the legal protection for the After School Satan Club. The decision states that a religious organization cannot be discriminated against if they establish an after school program.
The Satanic Temple has begun to establish at public grade schools in several U.S. cities. Only the Los Angeles Unified School District has rejected their request so far. Some religious organizations have criticized the decision as directly against their religious beliefs and practices.