Satanic organization wants its clubs in elementary schools

Aug 5, 2016, 11:53 PM | Updated: Aug 6, 2016, 11:33 pm

After-school activities are a common occurrence at institutions across the country. Now, a Seattle Satanic organization wants to be part of the fun.

“We’re just concerned that if there is only one club, kids will confuse the teacher in that club with a teacher in the school,” said Lilith Starr with the Satanic Temple of Seattle. “And they’ll think the school is teaching religion.”

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The Seattle Satanic organization that Starr leads is targeting schools across the country that feature Good News Clubs. The Christian evangelical clubs are run by the Child Evangelism Fellowship.

According to the Child Evangelism website, the Good News Club’s mission is to provide “fast-paced, one-hour programs designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment.” The website also sates “training Christians to effectively minister to children has been core to our ministry.”

Or, as Starr puts it, the clubs tell elementary school children that they are destined for hell, and for them to carry that message to their parents and classmates. So far, the Satanic Temple of Seattle has requested to be included at Centennial Elementary School in Mt. Vernon where a Good News Club is operating.

“Wherever a Good News Club is operating, we are interested in coming in with an after-school Satan club,” Starr said.

Starr said that her group primarily believes that no religious organizations should ever be present at public schools. But because the Christian clubs are targeting them, they want to make sure there is a diverse presence.

“First of all, we believe that religion shouldn’t be in public schools at all,” Starr said. “Since it is now allowed with Good News Clubs in 5 percent of schools, we’d like to provide an alternative. There shouldn’t just be one religious voice represented.”

“The schools we are looking at going into with our after school Satan clubs already host Christian evangelist Good News Clubs on their campuses,” she said.

Dori can understand the Satanic Temple of Seattle’s perspective — but only to a point. Dori is against government employees praying with kids on government grounds. But he has no problem with private citizens coming into a school, even for religious reasons, and they should be free to do that. He likens it to a basketball organization that operates on campuses.

But he question’s the Seattle Satanic organization’s motives. Why should they care if private citizens are at public schools in this way?

“We care in that we also want in there,” Starr said. “We are private citizens, too. We have an alternative view point and we want to bring that in there, too.”

“Legally, we have the right, and they have the right,” she said.

Dori still disagrees.

“I think it’s petty for these Satanic groups to say that since Christians are there, they want to be there,” he said. “But truth is, if it’s private citizens involved with the organization of the Christian group or the Satanic group – none of my concern.”

The Satanic Temple of Seattle made news last year when it offered prayer services to  students at Bremerton High School. A football coach at that school caused controversy when he refused to stop praying with his players after games.

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Satanic organization wants its clubs in elementary schools