The New York based Satanic Temple announced in a press release Monday that they plan to distribute “The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities” to Florida students.
The Satanic Temple pamphlet is designed to be appealing to kids, featuring a colorful, cartoonish cover showing children wearing satanic symbols on jewelry and clothing. It contains coloring pages, jumble words, word searches, mazes, and other children’s activities with Satanist themes, such as a page that says, “Damian is showing his class the way to make an inverted pentagram. Connect the dots to make one yourself.”
“In response to a recent School Board decision in Orange County, Florida that allows for the dissemination of religious materials in public schools, The Satanic Temple has announced they will follow suit by providing Satanic materials to students during the new school year,” the statement began. “Among the materials to be distributed are pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school.”
According to Raw Story, the Temple’s decision to distribute the activity book and other materials stems from a the result of a lawsuit filed after the Orange County School board allowed a Christian group to give Bibles to students, while not allowing Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to hand out atheist materials. David Williamson, founder of the Central Florida Free Thought Community, sued the district over its unwillingness to allow the atheist literature. Williamson’s case was dismissed by a judge after the school district agreed to allow the materials.
In their statement, the Satanic Temple says that neither they nor FFRT agree with the decision to allow religious materials in schools, but “seeks to ensure that pluralism is respected whenever the Church/State division is breached.”
“We would never seek to establish a precedent of dissemination our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State,” said Satanic Temple spokesperson, Lucien Greaves. “However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students…we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing by idly while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”
The Temple’s spokesman added, “I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and it’s Bible, and this might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism. We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the school district has not received a formal request from The Satanic Temple yet, but school officials have said they reserve the right to review them before allowing the materials to be distributed to students.
The Satanic Temple stirred controversy earlier this year over their right to erect a Satanic statue, shown in this Inquisitr article, near the Ten Commandments in the Oklahoma Capitol.