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Satanic Temple launches drive against school evangelism

Satanic Temple launches drive against school evangelism

For way too long, evangelical Christian groups in the US have virtually remained unopposed in their efforts to cram young minds with Jesus and threats of hell.

The Satanic Temple decided enough was enough, and have launched an initiative called After School Satan, (motto “Educatin’ with Satan”), saying:

It’s important that children be given an opportunity to realise that the evangelical materials now creeping into their schools are representative of but one religious opinion amongst many. While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination, 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.

And they are legally entitled to offer kids an alternative to biblical bullshit.

The Friendly Atheist Hermant Mehta explained:

When Congress passed the Equal Access Act of 1984, evangelical Christians were thrilled. It meant the government couldn’t stop the formation of after-school Bible clubs at public schools throughout the country – they had the right to use public school space just like any other club. The late Jerry Falwell was ecstatic, saying, ‘We knew we couldn’t win on school prayer, but “equal access” gets us what we wanted all along.’

That decision, however, eventually opened the door to Gay-Straight Alliance and Secular Student Alliance groups, an unintended consequence of the law Christians fought so hard to pass.

Since 2001, when a Supreme Court decision said public schools with “limited public forums” couldn’t discriminate on the basis of religion, Christians have been forming Good News Clubs at elementary schools. These groups, sponsored by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, aim to spread fundamentalist Christianity to little kids. By 2011, they were in an astonishing five percent of the nation’s elementary schools. The groups are run by outside volunteers and the law is on their side.

After School Satan clubs will work the same way as the Christian clubs. They’ll have outside sponsors, they’ll run a curriculum that’s appropriate for kids, and (most importantly) they’ll only form in districts where Good News Clubs already exist. This is about showing Christians the law applies to everybody, and if they want access to public space, they have to accept that groups with whom they disagree will be there, too.

Said Mehta:

It’s a brilliant tactic. If Christians complain and say they shouldn’t be there, it also means eliminating the Bible clubs. When Katherine Stewart, writing for the Washington Post, asked Christian legal group Liberty Counsel about the Satanic group, its founder had nothing to complain about.

Said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman:

I would definitely oppose after­-school Satanic clubs, but they have a First Amendment right to meet. I suspect, in this particular case, I can’t imagine there’s going to be a lot of students participating in this. It’s probably dust they’re kicking up and is likely to fade away in the near future for lack of interest.

Stavers may well be wrong about that. Volunteers are already planning to start groups in a number of school districts this autumn. And The Satanic Temple will be sending school districts with Good News Clubs a letter asking for permission to set up their own groups. If any of them refuse, a lawsuit could be forthcoming.

Mehta emphasised:

• The Satanists aren’t asking for anything Christians aren’t already receiving. That’s why they’re only trying to form groups in places where Christians already have a foothold.

• The Satanic Temple is well aware of the shock value of its name. That’s kind of the point. Conservative Christians in these districts will have to decide whether they can handle a Satanic club at their kids’ school, because the only other option would be for the districts to cancel after school clubs entirely.

• This isn’t about indoctrination. The After School Satan Clubs aren’t trying to convert children to Satanism. They want to teach them critical thinking and the power of science. Christians are welcome to attend.

In order to make this plan work, though, The Satanic Temple needs funding to cover classroom rental costs and curriculum material. You can make a donation right here. A small donor is called a “Kindergarten Infidel” while a large donor is a “Doctor of Devilry.

The Temple’s donation page says:

Well organized fundamentalist Christian organizations are trying to turn public schools into indoctrination camps for your children. With millions in funding and a team of skilled lawyers, these theocrats are persistently eroding the line of separation of Church and State. Your donation will allow us to expand this campaign, fight for true religious equality in the Courts, and bring other campaigns to fruition as we continue to fight on the front line of this important battle.

satanist

It’s not only schools that The Satanic Temple is targeting. In July David Suhor, co-founder of the local Satanic Temple, above, was given permission to deliver an invocation at a council meeting in Pensacola, Florida. But his satanic prayer was disrupted by angry Christians.

Council President Charles Bare warned the crowd that if they didn’t quieten down, they would have to leave. Some people were escorted out by law enforcement.

One council member walked out.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

11 responses to “Satanic Temple launches drive against school evangelism”

  1. Trevor Blake says:

    The mainstream media does not report that secular groups like this also practice genital mutilation in infants.

    That’s because it doesn’t happen and to print such a report would be a lie. Only religious groups so that, and society nods and smiles in approval.

  2. Trevor Blake says:

    The mainstream media does not report that secular groups like this also practice genital mutilation in infants.

    That’s because it doesn’t happen and to print such a report would be a lie. Only religious groups so that, and society nods and smiles in approval.

    Secular groups like this also do not throw gay men from rooftops or set women on fire. Hmmm.

  3. Broga says:

    Satan seems much more reasonable and open to discussion than the God who demands flattery and slavish obedience.

  4. Dave says:

    Considering his supposed importance, the Devil barely gets a mention in the holey bible.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Dave: That’s because the whole concept is a later idea which some Jews latched onto, and which Christians built upon because they liked the sound of it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan#Dead_Sea_scrolls_and_Pseudepigrapha

    There were certainly some little devils amongst the children whom I taught!

  6. Peter Sykes says:

    “As became a young sinner, Sam [Mark Twain] had a special interest in Satan. He asked his Sunday school teacher questions about Eve in the garden, wondering “if he had ever heard of another woman who, being approached by a serpent, would not excuse herself and break for the nearest timber.” Twain recalled, “He did not answer my question, but rebuked me for inquiring into matters above my age and comprehension.” – Fred Kaplan, The Singular Mark Twain: A Biography

  7. 1859 says:

    These Devil Clubs will just produce a generation of Hell’s Angels who’ll go about beating up old ladies with bibles in their hands. Can’t wait to join!

    Can anyone tell me – briefly – why is the USA so full of fundamental christian fruitcakes? How have they become so pervasive? And why are so many who profess to be devoted to jesus, black Americans?

  8. Broga says:

    @1859: Donald Trump, that fount of ignorance, hypocrisy and bigotry has now provided his deluded supporters with their own Satan: non other than Hilary.

  9. Cali Ron says:

    If there was ever an American who personified the devil it would be Donald “it’s all about me ” Trump.

  10. Broga says:

    @Cali Ron : He is the narcissist supreme. How many suckers are there who are ready to vote for a billionaire ( ” I represent the ordinary worker”); Family man (married three times?); Anti immigrant (employs illegal immigrant workers); hates Obama (” his wife admires Michelle Obama so much she plagiarises her speech); pro military who “defend our great country”(sneers at family whose son died fighting for “our great country).

    I could go on but that will do. He is now pro religion.

  11. Lucifer says:

    Good Morning everyone what a wonderful idea to teach kids the way of Satan docturne. It is with great pleasure to see this after school program come to fruit. I would like to see as part of the program love,kindness, respect to be included. I hope to see many of these after school programmes throughout our nation. From Australia.