You are not reading this title wrong. Satan is in our schools!
Well, at least he is in Utah, where elementary school kids are allowed to join after school clubs and programs put on by The Satanic Temple. Since Evangelical and Mormon groups are allowed to have clubs, The Satanic Temple too is allowed to indoctrinate children in its practices and beliefs.
So what will these Satanists be teaching those innocent Utah youth? Witchcraft? Human sacrifice rituals? Listening to Hopsin?
Actually, none of the above. They’ll be teaching our youth about scientific rationality, art, and free inquiry. Because, as it turns out, the atheistic Satanic Temple does not worship a literal Lucifer but a literary Lucifer. They use Satan as a symbol of iconoclasm and rebellion against tyranny in all forms, usually represented by the Jealous God of the Bible, religious dogma, and the government. They believe in values such as secularism, civil liberties, egalitarianism, and scientific rationality.
So the worst thing that can come about After School Satan clubs is more school. In this sense, they really are the Devil. Yet, this is a whole lot better than those super religious clubs that preach intolerance for others, support Dominionism (Christian Theocracy) at the expense of secularism, and other meaningless propaganda. Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t religious clubs that don’t focus on this or that there aren’t programs that explore religion in rational ways (i.e,. the history and philosophy of these institutions). But given the existence of a Christian right in this country who believes in their Jesus tinged variant of Sharia Law, these clubs are more prominent than we’d like to believe. As such, kids actually could use clubs that promote concepts such as liberty, equality, and pluralism, especially since these are the things our country says they value (don’t me get me started on how often they don’t). Also, children of all faiths and denominations are encouraged to join their club to partake in these activities. They’re not even interested in converting folks into Satanists or atheists. Rather, they just want to foster and stimulate learning beyond all school hours! Those slick devils!
(Disclosure: I’m a skeptic/agnostic/deist, so they obviously do not offend me).
So what else have the followers of the Prince of Darkness been up to? So far, there are no indications that they’re planning a theocratic Satantic takeover of the United States, spreading mass murder and abuse, or even selling drugs (I hope they support the end of the War on Drugs though). Instead, they’ve lobbied to stop corporal punishment in schools, helped remove a Ten Commandments monument on Oklahoma state grounds (though their Baphomet Statue would’ve been awesome), and protect both women’s reproductive choices and Muslim refugees. Their most prominent spokesperson and cofounder Lucien Greaves continually emphasizes the organization’s pro-egalitarian stance in every way possible.
Of course, right wingers and super Christians are offended that Satanic clubs are allowed to exist, especially on school grounds. Of course, they forget that if the government promotes their particular religion or faith, they have to promote them all…including Satanism. But fear not hyper Christians, because believe it or not, The Satanic Temple would prefer not to have its presence on public school grounds. In fact, in a somewhat nihilistic sense, they’d prefer not to exist at all.
However, they exist as a counterbalance and an anti-septic to the religious dogma that threatens our secular society and erode our civil liberties. They exist to remind us that we need secularism, to promote scientific thought, AND to protect our civil rights and liberties. In this sense, they aren’t that different from any activist organizations or the impressive lineage of freedom fighters and intellectuals that we praise today. The only difference is that they use Satan, the ultimate rebellious figure, to convey the messages and values we all need to propagate if we want to live in a truly democratic society.
So…Papé Satàn, papé Satàn aleppe.