There are “After School Satan Clubs” scattered throughout the United States. For example, the Northern York County School Board in Pennsylvania recently rejected the satanic organization’s program at the Northern Elementary.
Samantha Groome initiated the request for the Satanic Temple’s after-school club. She wanted her children the opportunity to participate in “non-religious” extracurricular activities such as the Joy El Christian club, which allows meetings for nine of the 16 Northern York County schools. The Christian club offers an off-campus program; the children are dismissed during the school day and bussed to the meetings.
On April 19, 2022, the board’s decision was nearly unanimous, 8-1. Hundreds from the community attended the meeting; most of those present opposed allowing the club’s adoption. During the two-hour meeting, there was a discussion about the target age group the club would recruit and the cultural and Biblical implications of allowing an “After School Satan Club” in their children’s school, reported Jack Panyard.
Many attendees rallied the crowd, using scripture — the Word of God — as their reason for their opposition to the club. In addition, some asserted that the proposal of the Satan club was morally wrong, regardless of the U.S. Consitution’s First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
“Look at the range of our students, the children suffering from mental health issues, suicide, anxiety, depression all these things are off the chart, and my heart goes out to these kids,” one resident said. “More than ever, we need a God in this world and this proposal in the opposite direction,” the York Daily Post reported.
Another parent claimed the Satan Club would increase the social decline in the school.
“Parents and other attendees erupted into applause after the vote,” according to the Christian Press.
A 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case “Good News Club v. Milford Central School” held that all religious clubs are guaranteed “limited public forum” in school districts. The Justices added in their decision the guarantee is regardless of how it practices its faith.
The Satanic Temple’s co-founder, Lucien Greaves, contends the “After School Satan Club” spotlights the “inconsistencies with the separation of church and state in America.” People cannot choose between viewpoints and only allow “certain religious voices but no others. That is religious discrimination,” Greaves added, according to York Daily Record.
Since the club was denied access, the Satanic Temple will likely take their case to court. While Greaves claims the organization does not like litigation, they do so to ensure everyone understands the meaning of religious liberty. In addition, people need to know where their authority ends when it comes to the guarantees of the First Amendment.
Currently, the Satanic Temple has an “After School Satan Club” in Moline, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Los Angeles, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Pensacola, Florida; Tuscon, Arizona; Springfield, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and Portland Oregon.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Christian Press: Pennsylvania school board votes down parent’s request to launch After School Satan Club; by Ryan Foley
York Daily Record: After School Satan Club denied by Northern York school board; by Jack Panyard
USA Today: Fact check: ‘After School Satan Club’ meeting at Illinois elementary school; by Valerie Pavilonis
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