Student reaches out to Satanist Temple for postgame prayer
If Christians can pray on the field, so can the Satanists. And that’s what one Bremerton High School student wants to do.
Lilith Starr, chapter head for The Satanic Temple of Seattle, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that a student gave a formal request for a Satanic invocation on Tuesday morning. Starr said she wouldn’t release the student’s name, but that the Temple is in the planning stages of the event.
“We will be at Thursday’s game doing a postgame Satanic invocation on the field if Coach (Joe) Kennedy continues to pray,” she said. “We won’t step on the field if he is stopped or doesn’t pray.”
Coach Kennedy made headlines when it was discovered that his players joined him in postgame prayers after Bremerton High School football games. Students are free to pray as they wish, but teachers and other district staff are usually banned from such activity. Kennedy has reportedly taken legal action against the high school after the school banned him from praying on the field.
The Satanic Temple of Seattle sent a press release Monday, offering its services to anyone at Bremerton High School who would like to add a Satanic twist for after-game prayers. Starr said that the Seattle Satanist temple is a local chapter of global organization that promotes its brand of non-theistic religion. She said that they believe religion should be about community, connection and purpose without bringing in a god or other supernatural being.
Dori asked why Starr wanted to offer this option if she didn’t agree with the Bremerton coach doing it.
“If the church-state separation is breached, we really don’t think it’s right for the state to be promoting one religion over the other,” she said. “We really want to make the point that this is not just a Christian forum. If it’s going to be open, it’s going to be open to everyone, including us.”
Starr said they are in the final stages of the writing the Satanic invocation, saying it will be secular and not be calling on any Gods or demons. She said they want to make a “strong, theatrical, political call to stand up for the beliefs that we believe in,” such as their seven tenets and freedom to believe as you wish.
“Basically we just want a symbolic representation of that,” she said.
As a Christian, Dori has been a critic of the coach’s prayers, saying he would not want coaches to pray with any kids at a public school. Dori called Starr’s move a “clever way to make a powerful point.”
“If that’s all he is asking, as not an official school representative, then OK, we can do that, too,” she said. “And we’re gonna.”