Now that schools across the nation have opened their facilities to after school evangelical programs, the satanic temple thinks that it is only fair to establish After School Satan Clubs in schools across the country to give elementary school kids a choice. They are planning to bring their all their wisdom’ to the country’s elementary school kids. They claim that Christian Evangelical Organizations have infiltrated the lives of Children through their after school Christian programs in schools and they appear determined to give children an alternative. “It is important that young children understand there are many perspectives on all issues and they have a choice in how they think,” Said Doug Mesner, the Temple’s founder.
The controversial news of this latest development hit the media a few days ago and Washington post reports that TST will start petitioning some elementary schools across the country to allow After School Satan clubs to operate in their schools. They are specifically focusing on districts where 5111 The Good News Club’ (an evangelical Christian program) operates: Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Pensacola, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Missouri, Springfield, Tucson and Seattle.
The proposal is a direct response to the presence of the 5111 Good News Club’ program. About 15 years ago the Supreme Court ruled that after school programs could not be banned just because of the religious views and associations of their sponsors. The ruling allowed Good News Clubs to form in schools across the country and the TST argues that they deserve the same free speech protections. In their petition to the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) TST said
“Many elementary schools across the nation have Good News Clubs using their facilities. Because of this, such schools have opened their doors wide open to clubs of all religious affiliations. While GNC (Good News Club) is working closely with parents and teachers to mold good spiritual and moral characters into children based on their religious perspective, the TST also plans to enrich elementary school children in your district.”
According to the Child Evangelical Fellowship, GNC helps Children who are not saved understand the need for a savior while children who are saved are presented with a spiritual growth challenge. The Supreme Court in 2001 also ruled that “religious clubs were legal and did not violate the church-state separation doctrines. Schools can be used by different religious groups after school hours.”
And so enters the TST with the After School Satanic Clubs which leverage on evangelical hypocrisy by trying to avail themselves the same public facilities that other religious groups use.
When asked by the Washington post about this development, Mat Stayer, chairman and founder of the Liberty Counsel acknowledged that the petition is constitutionally sound. He said
“I would certainly oppose any after school satanic club, but they have a constitutional right to assemble. Though I suspect in this specific case, I cannot imagine there is going to be a lot of parents allowing their children to participate in this It is perhaps dust they are just kicking up and will gradually fade away in the near future because of lack of interest.”
The Liberty Counsel represented Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk and other aggrieved Christians in different lawsuits that helped make GNC possible. The council also recently won a case against Cleveland Metropolitan School District to bring GNC there.
According to their site “TST is promoting the After School Satanic Club as a place to learn critical thinking, self-determination and secular moral values, emphasizing a scientific, non-superstitious and rationalist world view.” Meetings will include a literature lesson, creative learning activities, puzzle solving, an art project, science lesson and a healthful snack. Although these explanations are a bit ambiguous, the temple is relatively clear that the goal of the program is not to convert Christian kids to Satanism, but to provide a different point of view than the Good News Club.
“The Good News Club program materials are very disgusting,” Claims Mesner professionally also known as Lucien Greaves. “What they are trying to do is to brainwash kids between the ages of five and twelve years old.” He also adds, “We want to make it clear that this is not a movement against Christians. The Christian Evangelical Fellowship is its own isolationist, fundamentalist and distinct brand of Christianity. I think most committed Christians would be seriously disturbed by some of these materials.”
The TST is very eager to compete with Good News Clubs and does not hide its belief that its own product in the right one
“While the twisted Good News teachings rob young kids of their enjoyment and innocence of childhood, replacing them with preoccupation of sin, fear of hell, a version of critical thinking and negative self-image, ASSC clubs integrate projects, thinking exercises and games that help kids understand how human beings know what they know about the world and the Universe in general,” Greaves said
Unlike GNC clubs which seek to convert kids to their religious perspective via fear of suffering, TST does not believe in imposing a one sided approach to religious issues. They believe that science is the best arbiter of truth. They see quest for knowledge as a noble pursuit and believe in personal autonomy. Nonetheless they also claim that nobody needs to be a Satanist to benefit from any of these teachings, and kids should be given access to a number of comparative opinions with which they can decide what is good for them. The ASSC are conducted by Satanists in accordance with their values, but participators are neither required to identify as Satanists nor will the temple ask that they do so.
Greaves says that the curriculum was developed with help from TST and he has received thousands of emails from different people who are interested in helping Staff After School Satan Clubs in their areas.
The TST also has a corrections page on their website about what After School Satan Clubs are not Particularly it is not an attempt to convert anybody’s kid, it is not asking for any special privileges that other religious groups are being denied and no “it would not be better it were named a Humanist Club. Satanism is important,” they argue:
While the CEF attempts to invade kid’s minds with unhealthy and traumatic guilt ridden admonishments, such as that “they deserve punishments for sin” the presence of ASSC demonstrate that there are different religious beliefs held by moral, respectable and responsible people who live good and productive lives without the burden of superstitious fear. For kids to understand and see that different blasphemous iconography and names can be used by good people without consequences, sends a good message encouraging free thought and critical examination.