Satanic Temple Starts After-School Club in Portland Elementary School
It might sound a bit odd at first glance, but a Portland elementary school is actually going to be getting an After School Satan Club.
According to Oregon Live, the Satanic Temple has been trying to get After School Satan Club into elementary schools in Portland and Washington for some time, and now it has been approved to begin holding the club at the Sacramento Elementary School starting on October 19.
While this is sure to cause some panic, the Satanic Temple does not really worship a supernatural Satan. It’s an organization dedicated to the promotion of egalitarianism, social justice, and separation of church and state, and it carries a big, heaping dose of satire wherever it goes. Now it’s going into an elementary school.
Organizers say the After School Satan ClubÂ (tagline: Educatin’ with Satan) focuses on science and rational thinking, and is intended to promote “benevolence and empathy for everybody.”
The push for the after-school program comes in response to an evangelical Christian after-school program called the Good News Club, which is not a satirical event at all. The Good News Club is organized by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, and it is a Bible-centered group for born-again Christians “whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.”
The Satanic Temple says the Good News ClubsÂ â€œrobÂ childrenÂ of theÂ innocence and enjoyment of childhood, replacing them with a negative self image,Â preoccupation with sin, fear of Hell, and aversion to critical thinking.”
The website of the After School Satan Club states that it’s best to keep religion out of schools, “But the worst case scenario, when religion is allowed in the schools, is an environment in which one religious voice enjoys the exclusive benefit of delivering its teachings to the children, promoting the understanding that their religion is endorsed by the school, or otherwise has special privilege within their community. The Satanic Temple does not advocate for religion in schools. However, once religion invades schools, as The Good News Clubs have, The Satanic Temple will fight to ensure that plurality and true religious liberty are respected.”
The After School Satan Club just got its first program started, but the Good News Club is pretty established. There are clubs operating in 18 counties in Oregon, but organizers did not say how many specific school clubs were involved.
The Satanic Temple is trying to get its after-school clubs in various schools in the US, including in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., and it is specifically targeting schools that host Good News Clubs. The Sacramento Elementary School’s new After School Satan Club will reportedly meet for one hour once a month, and it will hold its meetings at the same time as the school’s Good News Club.