Satanists offer prayer services to students, staff at Bremerton High School

Oct 26, 2015, 3:24 PM | Updated: Aug 5, 2016, 4:12 pm
Joe Kennedy, bremerton...
Football Coach Joe Kennedy at a Bremerton High School football game. (Bremerton Patriot)
(Bremerton Patriot)

The next time Bremerton’s Coach Joe Kennedy kneels down to take a post-game prayer, he may have more company than he expects. In particular, Satanists.

Related: John Curley says Bremerton football coach is fighting a losing battle over prayers

The Satanic Temple of Seattle is offering its services to anyone at Bremerton High School who would like to add a Satanic twist for after-game prayers.

“We’re offering to provide a Satanic invocation for any student or staff member who wishes it,” said Lilith Starr, chapter head for The Satanic Temple of Seattle. “We don’t have details on what that will look like. We would work directly with that student or staff member to come up with something that represents what they would like to see.”

The temple argues that by not preventing the prayers, the school district has opened the football field for everyone.

“The Satanic Temple of Seattle invites any staff or student of Bremerton High School to contact them to perform a post-game Satanic invocation Friday, Oct 30th on the Bremerton High School football field,” the temple said in a press release.

It is something that KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson predicted. As a Christian, Dori has been a critic of the coach’s prayers.

I’m a Christian who does not think coaches should pray with kids at a public school,” Dori said. “Candidly, I wouldn’t want a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or a Satanist or anyone who doesn’t believe as I believe praying with my kids.”

“If you are a Christian who is OK with a Christian coach praying with your Christian kid, you have to also be OK with a Satanist coming to a high school football game and doing a Satanic invocation with the kids.”

Dori argues that such matters should be left with a student’s faith community, and not come under the influence of a school or coach.

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. She stressed that they do not believe in God or Satan, and that Satan is a symbol of rebellion for their organization; especially when it comes to the separation of church and state.

Starr also said that the Seattle chapter is also an organization of activists. After watching the prayer controversy play out in Bremerton, the Satanic temple decide to ensure that their religion was also represented at the school.

“Basically, by [the school district’s] inaction, they are leaving that football field as an open forum for any religion,” Starr said. “If they are going to allow one, they have to allow all. That’s where we come in.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Satanists offer prayer services to students, staff at Bremerton High School