By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
April 28, 2022
“A Satan club? You’ve got to be kidding! Surely, that’s not for real!” This seems to be the response of many people when they hear that After-School Satan Clubs are potentially coming to Guilford County Schools.
Various news accounts have reported that many Greensboro parents are understandably concerned.
Satan Clubs are offered by the Satanic Temple. A flyer about a Satan Club has circulated on social media and portends to come to Joyner Elementary School in Greensboro.
Satan clubs have made their way to two other states, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. A Pennsylvania school board forbade the clubs from coming to their schools, but are now being sued by the Satanic Temple.
According to the Satanic Temple’s website, “[a]fter School Satan Clubs meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs and other religious clubs meet…While the classes are designed to promote intellectual and emotional development in accordance with TST’s tenets, no proselytization or religious instruction takes place…Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism. After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us. We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”
“Absolute balderdash,” said Rev. Mark Creech, the Christian Action League’s executive director. “The Satanic Temple received IRS recognition as a church in 2019. It’s not as though they’re operating from a neutral value system. Under the guise of being rationalists and not religious, the Satan Clubs offer the teaching of another value system, which is intentionally meant to compete with a Christian worldview. That’s what this is about – counteracting the fine work of Christian After-School programs like the Christian Good News Clubs. I think one of the main things that differentiate a Satan Club is that it’s purposely formed to assault the influence of the Good News Clubs or any other Christian-based after-school program. That’s their primary mission. It’s a club, excuse the pun, used with hostile intent for attacking all things Christian.”
In an article in The Federalists, Jordan Lorence, with Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that provides legal counsel and litigates religious freedom cases, said that the people behind Satan Clubs are really just “jerks.” He says they don’t believe in Satan. “They just want to be jerks to people who do,” he said.
Lorence adds, “The Satanic Temple…appears to be obsessed with doing whatever it takes to oppose Christian clubs.”
He also notes that “[i]n 2014, it [The Satanic Temple] asked Phoenix, Arizona, to allow people associated with the group to open public meetings with prayers to Satan, even though they don’t believe in a literal Satan, which resulted in the city council ending prayers altogether for a while. In Oklahoma, the Satanic Temple offered to install a statue of the goat-headed demon Baphomet at the state capitol to counter the Ten Commandments monument there.”
Lorence and other legal experts on religious liberty contend that constitutionally, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent Satan Clubs from coming to public schools. However, he earnestly warns parents and school officials:
“When a public school is open to all groups, the After-School Satan Clubs have the same right to meet there as do the Girl Scouts, 4-H, and the Good News Clubs. But their demonstrated strategy appears to be to use the inflammatory name ‘Satan’ to provoke some school officials to close schools to all groups, in an effort to eliminate the evangelical Christian groups.
“It’s one thing to set up a group to espouse an opposing point of view to the one religious groups choose to express in a forum. But by positioning themselves as faux Satanists instead of as the ‘After-School Atheist Club,’ for example, they recklessly risk closing the forum to every group, even ones that have nothing to do with religion, like the Girl Scouts and 4-H. This potentially destroys the forum to ‘save’ it from the Christians. Their opposition to evangelical Christianity should not result in denying equal access to everyone.”
This week, the Washington Times featured an opinion piece titled Satanic Temple a Societal Scourge Only Godly Citizens Can Rout, written by Cheryl K. Chumley.
In her editorial, Chumley summarizes the matter quite succinctly and explains what must be done. She writes:
“The Satanic Temple has become both a blot on America and a sad commentary on the direction of this nation’s moral compass.
“The fact that this evil is allowed to root and spread shows how far America has strayed from its founding principles; how lackadaisical citizens have become about protecting the culture from degradation; and how the norms in this country have tipped from Judeo-Christian and godly toward secular, humanist, atheist and ungodly…
“The only way to get rid of the Satanists is to dry up demand for their particular brand of deception and lies, and to make them so unappetizing and stomach-turning they’re forced to crawl back into their dark holes.
“The Constitution can’t do that.
“Only a moral and virtuous people can.
“The Satanic Temple won’t disappear until Americans turn back to God and in so doing, become incapable of allowing such evil to openly grow.”
Rev. Creech echoed those sentiments arguing that Satan Clubs have been a long-time coming.
“This is what we get when we incrementally abandon God as we have in this country,” said Creech. “This is what we get when we embrace the notion that separation of church and state means separation from even the influence of the Christian religion. This is what we get when preachers stay out of politics. Someone and something evil will always fill that vacuum.”