The Satanic Temple is planning to open "After School Satan" clubs in elementary schools across the United States (video below).
The organization is targeting schools that already offer religious extracurricular programs, as “it is illegal for the schools to discriminate against specific religions or preference others,” according to the program’s official website.
"While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination, instilling them with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath, After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us," states the program’s official website. "We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors."
Similar to other extracurricular clubs, After School Satan will give children a snack, literature lesson, science lesson, and an art project, as reported by WFXT. However, unlike their religious counterparts, the club plans to focus on "free-inquiry and rationalism."
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"We're not the boogeymen, we are here to help, here to discuss and help learn," said Travis LeSaffre, the founder of the Boston chapter of the Satanic Temple.
Nine clubs have been proposed at different schools, including at Nehalem Elementary School in Nehalem, Oregon.
"The program just launched, so we don't have numbers yet on how many will be participating, but parents are welcome and encouraged to attend if they would like," Finn Rezz, head of the Satanic Temple’s Portland chapter, told KATU. "Our indoctrination is focusing on teaching kids to think for themselves."
The Temple aims to bring Satanic worship into government-sponsored organizations and meetings in which religious customs are present.
"I think schools and parents should not overreact, but recognize it for the stunt it is," said Moises Esteves, the vice president of Good News. "If you leave them alone, they'll go home and legitimate youth organizations, including the Good News Club, will continue teaching character to kids."
Regarding the Temple’s presence in elementary schools, After School Satan wants to have the same access that religious organizations such as Child Evangelism Fellowship are already given.
"We are offering an alternative program that basically teaches kids how to think critically and look at things from a scientific perspective," Rezz said.