Across the nation, school days are often extended with after school reading clubs, homework help, and sports activities; but are parents ready for an after-school program based on Satan?
The Satanic Temple is planning on rolling out After School Satan Clubs at select public elementary schools across the nation this year, The Washington Post reports.
Doug Mesner, the Satanic Temple’s co-founder, told the Post it boils down to this: If Christian evangelical groups have already staked a claim in after-school programs, why shouldn’t Satanists have a seat at the table as well?
“It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think,” Mesner, who goes by Lucien Greaves, told the Post.
While many may believe the group worships the devil, that’s not entirely the case, according to the Satanic Temple.
The Satanic Temple (TST) does not teach the existence of a literal Satan but rather uses the name as a symbol for rebellion against tyranny and authoritarian rule, according to the group’s website. The group says it believes that science trumps all.
Mesner, said that the group has already reached out to school districts in nine states that are located near local Satanic Temple chapters. All of the schools TST has reached out to have hosted, or are now hosting, Good News Clubs, he said. He notes that since the Post article first published, they've received a flood of emails from volunteers in other states who want to help host after-school clubs.
Mesner said he believes the presence of Satanists at local elementary schools will send a positive message.
"People will see that as an ironic statement that the message of Satanism is a positive message, but that's true," Mesner told USA TODAY. "When they see people ... living normal, healthy, productive lives and being decent people it makes them think more critically of the claims being put forth from Evangelicals."
Full article: USA Today
Full article: Christian Post
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