Parents have expressed concerns about after-school meetings held by The Satanic Temple and the effects on their children.
The Satanic Temple has always waged a war against on-campus religious groups teaching religion to children. Earlier, they announced their decision to conduct after-school group meetings in schools where Christians groups were meeting. The group has now received the green light to conduct their meetings in Tacoma, Washington. Religious parents, however, are very unhappy with this, and have protested the permission granted to The Satanic Temple to conduct their meetings.
Religious groups together with parents have opposed the organization’s decision to conduct their after-school Satan group meetings in schools. However, the group meetings are completely voluntary and parents have to sign up if they want their children to join the meetings. The After School Satan Club does not intend to teach things related to Satanism or witchcraft, but aim at teaching a scientific, rationalist, non-superstitious world view.
It remains to be seen how many parents will give their permission for kids to attend the Satan club. The News Tribune reports Point Defiance Elementary School has not had any applicants to the after-school Satan meetings. Parents from the school have submitted a request to the Tacoma School Board to ban after-school Satan meetings from the district.
Parents have vented their anger against the After-School Satan club saying “We don’t want a group that identifies itself with Satan to have access to our children.” Ironically, The Satanic Temple has time and again clarified that it does not advocate the worship of an actual Satan-figure or for that matter any kind of worship at all. Satanists “actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things” and believe in The Seven Tenets. Arguably, incorrect notions about The Satanic Temple still abound in the minds of religious parents who said “I don’t see how it is beneficial to any of our students’ families.”
Similarly, the Shiloh Baptist Church of Seattle too expressed its anger at the idea of after-school Satan clubs. Church leaders accused The Satanic Temple members as being non-taxpayers, and have asserted that as taxpayers themselves, they have a right to oppose after-school Satan meetings in schools.
State’s first After-School Satan Club set to debut in Tacoma in December https://t.co/ROGSXO76E0
— Debbie Cafazzo (@DebbieCafazzo) November 9, 2016
The choice of Point Defiance Elementary School for the After School Satan Club was The Satanic Temple’s response to the school’s well-established Christian-based Good News club. Citing a 2001 Supreme Court ruling, the After School Satan website states “as it is illegal for the schools to discriminate against specific religions or preference others, After School Satan Clubs cannot be denied wherever Christian, or any other religious clubs, operate.”
In response to the parents’ protests against the after-school Satan meetings, District Superintendent Carla Santorno said that if The Satanic Temple was banned from schools, then it would be required to ban all other religious groups as well.