The club was just established at Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, Kern County, California.
In an interview with KBAK, one parent described the decision to allow the Satanic Temple and Reason Alliance-founded club as “disgusting,” while another parent called it “a mistake.”
According to Paul Hicks, who will oversee the club at the Northern California institution, such a response was anticipated.
Hicks, who is also a professor of critical thinking, stated, “We’ve already received death threats.” As I have repeatedly stated, there is no hatred comparable to Christian love.
According to After School Satan Organization spokesperson Lucien Greaves, the purpose of the club is to “teach youngsters and cultivate critical thinking.”
Greaves states that despite the organization’s controversial name, it does not teach Satanism to children.
People frequently ask us, “then why include Satanism at all, if it’s going to offend people?” because we exclude religious topics from the teachings of Satan clubs at after-school programs.
Contrary to Greaves’ assertion, parents and family members of students report that the entire situation is quite unsettling.
Tehachapi voted affirmative, and I believe they made a mistake. I am certain that my grandson will not join this club,’ said Brenda Maher, another student’s relative.
Sheila Knight, a grandparent, stated, “I understand the school has to allow them because they allow other after school programs, such as the good news, which is a Christian-based after school program; I’m okay with that one, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want their child to attend this Satanic group.”
Dozens of parents and community members expressed their disapproval of the club’s presence online.
In a Facebook post on the Techapi Asks, Rants, and Raves page, a man asserted that he believes the club’s organizers are deceiving with their strategies and motivations.
‘Several individuals have informed me that the new Satan after-school group at Golden Hills elementary school is not a religion, but rather a philosophy club…’ Why did they then chose Satan? Why not organize a Jean Paul Satre existentialism club? Why not the Descartes club?’ Joe Lathrop questioned.
They included Satan in the moniker on purpose. People must cease being intellectually dishonest and admit that they want children to worship Satan as a secular deity, the man added.
The Facebook group members agreed with Lathrop’s allegations.
“It’s disgusting that they target elementary school students. Those are infants,’ one mother wrote.
A commentator stated, “The whole thing is a stunt to elicit a reaction.”
Try creating a Neo-Nazi club or a pro-life club and see how quickly they flee, suggested another individual, referring to the irony of the school board’s claim that it has no option.
Officials of the Tehachapi Unified School District declared in a statement that it is illegal to discriminate against faith-based groups.
Hicks stated that the choice to form a group authorized by The Satanic Temple was influenced by the presence of already-established campus clubs, such as the Good News Club.
The school currently has a Good News Club that teaches children how to save souls for Jesus. We wish to provide an alternative viewpoint,’ added Hicks.
Earlier this year, FOX News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Greaves live on air about the After School Satan Club and its doctrines.
He inquired if Greaves and other organizers had encountered opposition from parents and school administrators, or if they were ‘passive like the rest of America, kind of letting it happen’
Carlson suggested that permitting the groups in schools could be damaging and could pave the way for other clubs of a similar nature.
The FOX anchor stated, “What you’re saying is ludicrous, we both know it’s ridiculous.”
Greaves argued back that the club has the same right to exist on campus as the Good News Club.
According to a calendar on the website for Golden Hills Elementary School, the Good News Club will hold at least two meetings in the coming weeks.
The calendar does not display any meeting dates for the After School Satan Club.
The Supreme Court of the United States declared in 2001 that organizations like the Good News Club may gather on campus after hours.
According to the organization’s website, the Good News Club is dedicated to “delivering timeless biblical truths in fresh, engaging ways.” Children are taught the Good News, and many come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The Supreme Court’s ruling prompted other clubs and groups, such as the After School Satan Club, to become more active and spread across the nation.
In contrast to the Good News Club, the Satanic Temple supposedly does not discuss church operations on school grounds.
Hicks stated, “I am not educating these children to be Satanic, nor am I teaching them to worship Satan or identify as Satanists.”
Lauren Mae, a mother from Tehchapi and volunteer with the After School Satan Club, told SFGate, “The immediate emotion is definitely one of shock and revulsion.”
Also, there is much confusion between The Satanic Temple and The Church of Satan, which are distinct entities. They certainly appear to believe that we are Satanists, which we are not. We do not believe in Satan as a supernatural being.
On its website, The Satanic Temple declares that it “does not advocate for religion in schools,” but that “if religion invades schools, as The Good News Clubs have done, it will battle to guarantee that pluralism and true religious liberty are protected.”
The Satanic Temple will begin meeting at Golden Hills Elementary in December, according to a flier.
However, children must have a signed permission form from a parent or legal guardian in order to attend.
Greaves stated, “No one is required to participate if they don’t want to, and minors will need permission slips signed by their parents to participate at all.”
Greaves stated, ‘It’s vital for people to know that we self-identify as Satanists, even if we’re not preaching Satanism, so they have a notion that this perception of Satanic practitioners is utterly false.’