The Satanic Temple, our favorite joyous trolls for the separation of church and state, are working hard to launch a new after-school program for kids. It is, naturally, called the After School Satan Club. Finally, a good and tempting reason to have children!
The Good News Club is a project of the Child Evangelism Fellowship; it’s been operating in elementary schools since the 1930s, and it has an explicitly and solely evangelical bent. As the CEF puts it, “Unsaved children hear of their need for a Savior and saved children are presented a spiritual growth challenge.” The Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the Good News Clubs were legal and didn’t violate church-state separation doctrines. Public schools can open their facilities to be used by religious groups during non-school hours.
And so, enter the Satanic Temple, which frequently points out evangelical hypocrisy by attempting to avail themselves of the same public services religious groups like to use.
“The Good News Club materials are disgusting,” Doug Mesner, sometimes known professionally as Lucien Greaves, tells Jezebel. He’s a co-founder of the Satanic Temple and their spokesperson. “What they’re trying to do is proselytize to children between the ages of 5 to 12 years old.”
That said, he adds, “I want to make clear in this is this isn’t the Satanic Temple against Christians. The CEF is its own distinct, isolationist, fundamentalist brand of Christianity. I think most Christians would be deeply disturbed by some of these materials.”
By contrast, the After School Satan Club, their website explains, is about teaching a rational, scientific, free-thinking worldview:
All After School Satan Clubs are based upon a uniform syllabus that emphasizes a scientific, rationalist, non-superstitious world view. While the twisted Evangelical teachings of The Good News Clubs “robs children of the innocence and enjoyment of childhood, replacing them with a negative self image, preoccupation with sin, fear of Hell, and aversion to critical thinking,” After School Satan Clubs incorporate games, projects, and thinking exercises that help children understand how we know what we know about our world and our universe. – Read the full story on Jezebel