demon-161049_1280

Back-to-school season is nearly upon us. What after-school activities will your children be participating in this year? If The Satanic Temple gets its way, they may have the option of joining the After School Satan Club.

The group is currently targeting schools who also host a Christian-based after school program called The Good News Club, which aims to instill the fundamentalist virtues of evangelical Christianity into children as young as five years old. The Satanic Temple says that it hopes to be able to offer multiple perspectives to children. While Separation of Church and State prohibits public schools from enforcing any kind of religious agenda during operating hours, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in 2001 that it is a violation of freedom of speech to exclude an after-school activity based solely on religious views and activities. Over the next decade, more than 3500 Good News Clubs began in elementary schools around the country.

But before you think that leaders will have second graders engaged in full blown devil-worshipping, that’s not the kind of organization The Satanic Temple has in mind. In fact, the organization does not believe in any supernatural being. Instead, they trust scientific rationality. In a letter being sent to school superintendents, the organization states that “TST is a religious organization that seeks to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.”

It goes on to say:

Today TST is active in a rapidly growing number of states and is expanding just as rapidly into foreign countries, fighting for Free Speech, Religious Liberty, and rational, science-based inquiry and education. TST’s “After School Satan Clubs” are led by caring Satanists from local chapters in the community near the school. These teachers receive specialized training from TST and a background check is performed on every teacher we approve.

The group plans to meet once a month after school for 60 to 90 minutes, being courteous of availability based on other school activities. The meetings will consist of a healthy snack, literature lesson, creative learning activities, a science lesson, puzzle-solving and an art project. Children who are members of the club will have a membership card to bring and must produce a permission slip signed by parents.

They are also asking that After School Satan Club leaders be allowed to have a table or booth at Back-to-School Night events to help promote the club.

You can read the full letter to superintendents here.

Proponents of the After School Satan Club argue that it is aiming to teach children empathy and to encourage benevolence, curiosity, and inquiry, whereas, they state, The Good News Club seeks to indoctrinate children and use fear (of God’s wrath and of others’ beliefs, for example) as a tactic.

In an article for the Washington Post, a representative from The Satanic Temple stated that they are only doing this to prove the point that if you want to allow religion in schools, you must allow all religion in schools. Otherwise, they believe that religion belongs in churches.

Their letter to superintendents will probably win over more people than their promotional video.

What do you think? Should the After School Satan Clubs be allowed to operate based on previous decisions from the Supreme Court and the Liberty Counsel?

Source: The Washington Post
Image Source: Pixabay