Satanic Temple Counters Evangelicals With Their Own After-School Programs
News| | By Robin Milling
Remember when after-school programs meant jobs and internships, helping runaways, or just basic brushing up on your education with tutoring classes in reading and writing. Now, one religious group wants to balance out what they say is too much “evangelism in schools.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the leadership of The Satanic Temple, Doug Mesner, wants an equal opportunity in the nurturing and shaping of young minds by introducing the After School Satan Club in elementary schools.
Believe it or not there was an actual Supreme Court ruling in 2001 in the case of Good News Club v. Milford Central School, where “schools may not discriminate against religious speech should a religious organization choose to operate an After School Club on their premises.” This gave After School Satan the ability to run with their plans of “countering evangelism in schools.” The Satanic Temple believes that if evangelical Christian groups can hold meetings in publicly-funded institutions, they are Constitutionally protected to do the same. Here is the official video promoting the group’s educational desires; which, not surprisingly, has gone viral. Educatin’ With Satan (a slogan on their website) is a curriculum hoping to be made available to public schools around the country beginning in the 2016-2017 academic cycle. The Satanic Temple’s Extracurricular Program For Public Schools mission statement reads:
“It’s important that children be given an opportunity to realize 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.”Recently representatives from The Satanic Temple met in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, where witch trials were all the rage in the 17th century, to hash out details of their program from free-thinking New York to more conservative Mormon country in Utah. The Inquisitr reports their proposed after-school club will have “meetings featuring science, art, puzzles and literature lessons, as well as snack time and other activities designed to stimulate developing, impressionable young minds.” Parents will be required to sign a permission slip to allow their kids the opportunity to attend. After School Satan Clubs embraces the competition with other evangelical groups. The Satanic Temple plans to roll out first to elementary schools with already established evangelical Christian after-school programs.
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