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Proposal to start 'After School Satan Club' at elementary school — a Satanic Temple program — goes down in flames
Image source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

Proposal to start 'After School Satan Club' at elementary school — a Satanic Temple program — goes down in flames

A school board of Pennsylvania's Northern York County School District voted overwhelmingly against an "After School Satan Club" starting at one of its elementary schools as tempers flared among those who attended Tuesday's meeting.

Image source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

What is an After School Satan Club?

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple — which sponsors After School Satan Clubs — said the clubs are for kids ages 5 to 14 and are designed "to promote self-directed education by supporting the intellectual and creative interests of students," WPMT-TV reported.

The club's website states that they "meet at select public schools where [Christian] Good News Clubs also operate." The site adds that "the pre-existing presence of evangelical after school clubs not only established a precedent for which school districts must now accept Satanic groups, but the evangelical after school clubs have created the need for Satanic after school clubs to offer a contrasting balance to student’s extracurricular activities."

The club operates "in accordance with" the Satanic Temple's "tenets," but "no proselytization or religious instruction takes place," the club's website also states.

What are the tenets of the Satanic Temple?

The Satanic Temple's tenets are:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

The Satanic Temple also insists it doesn't worship Satan or believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural. "The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things."

What happened at the school board meeting?

Samantha Groome, a parent in the Northern York County School District, proposed the After School Satan Club to the school board, WPMT reported.

At Tuesday's meeting a woman stood at the microphone on Groome's behalf to explain the importance of the club and then described the seven tenets of the Satanic Temple before asking, "What's objectionable about that?" the station said.

The woman also was caught on camera hollering "shut up!" at others during the meeting.

Image source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

A man also backed the After School Satan Club: "I do not want Dillsburg to be known as a town that accepts everybody as long as they believe what we do, as long as they feel the same way that we do," WPMT noted.

But it appeared most of those in attendance were dead set against the After School Satan Club.

Image source: WPMT-TV video screenshot

"I never thought anything like this would come to the district," Amy Wintermyer told the station, adding that she doesn't want her 10-year-old son, who goes to school in the district, "to be exposed to anything of the sort."

Her husband, Ryan Wintermyer, added that "it's not for the best interest to happen, and it's not in God's name, God's will for this to happen," WPMT reported.

The school board voted 8-1 against the club, the station said.

Anything else?

Despite the vote going against the After School Satan Club, Greaves told WPMT he would take legal action: "If they deny us the use of a public facility, which they have no right to do, it'll have to move into litigation, costly litigation that the community is going to have to pay for."

The station noted that there are four After School Satan Clubs operating in the country, including in Ohio and Indiana. TheBlaze in January noted the existence of an After School Satan Club at a Moline, Illinois, elementary school.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →