The leadership of the Satanic Temple is working together to bring Satanism to your kid’s public elementary school. Not in class, mind you, but as an after-school program that is intended to broaden your kids’ perspectives and horizons. As the Chicago Tribune reports, the Satanic Temple often mentions that Christianity and other mainstream religions already have a voice in children’s schooling, with evangelical Christian groups often hosting after-school classes and activities in public taxpayer-funded elementary schools across the nation every school day.
According to Doug Mesner, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, the organization wants kids to know they have a choice, and the Satanic Temple wants to be the group to give it to them.
“It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think.”
The complete layout of the Satanic Temple’s new proposed After School Satan Club is expected to be made public on August 1, which is when the Satanic Temple is planning to get in contact with public schools around the country to make arrangements for the After School Satan Club to be implemented at public elementary schools across the nation beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Last week, representatives of the Satanic Temple got together in Salem, Massachusetts to discuss how they are going to get their pilot program off the ground. The Satanic Temple wants to see the new after-school program rolled out in as many states as possible, from liberal New York to super-conservative Utah.
The After School Satan Club official promotional media can be viewed on Afterschoolsatan.com. The proposed goal? To “counter evangelism in schools.”
Not surprisingly, the Satanic Temple’s new plan to provide after school Satanism to public elementary schools in the United States has subjected the group to some serious public backlash. For the most part, the harshest of the criticism has come from the very evangelical Christians that the Satanic Temple has long targeted with their political agenda.
Okay so we can't talk about Jesus in school but The Satanic Temple can run an after school program? Okay...??? I'M LOST.— #AmbilicalCord (@Amber_Ais) August 1, 2016
The criticism of the Satanic Temple’s new After School Satan Club comes from people that don’t really understand the mission of the Satanic Temple. In reality, the group isn’t the opposite of the Christianity, and it’s not about devil or demon worship, either. The Satanic Temple isn’t about magic and deities, it’s about science and reason and doesn’t have anything to do with God or Satan.
Indeed, it’s about secularism and the enforced separation of church and state in the United States.
According to the Satanic Temple, their proposed after-school club will teach elementary school kids to be critical, question everything, develop social skills, and to think reasonably and rationally for themselves. Meetings will feature science, art, puzzles and literature lessons, as well as snack time and other activities designed to stimulate developing, impressionable young minds.
In addition, and despite the complaints coming from evangelical groups and others, the Satanic Temple isn’t out to prey on vulnerable children behind their parent’s backs. Kids will need to have a signed permission form to join in the After School Satan Club. Many evangelical Christian after-school programs don’t require parental permission, and some of the biggest complaints from parents and students at schools with evangelical Christian after-school programs is that students often feel pressured to attend and/or pray despite their parent’s beliefs or lack thereof.
“We think it’s important for kids to be able to see multiple points of view, to reason things through, to have empathy and feelings of benevolence for their fellow human beings.”
True to the nature of the Satanic Temple and the organization’s most commonly utilized M.O., the first elementary schools that the Satanic Temple plans to roll out After School Satan Clubs will be schools that already have established evangelical Christian after-school programs.
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