As students head to school, Christian parents across the country are concerned about the spread of after school clubs that promote or endorsement of Satan.
The clubs gained national attention during the 2016 school year.
The Satanic Temple has been targeting schools as a counter to after school clubs offered by Christians called Good News Bible Clubs.
A statement on the Satanic organization’s website says, “Currently, the number of After School Satan Clubs (ASSC) is limited, as the program is very new. However, ASSC has generated a massive wave of interest immediately upon being announced. Across the nation parents are concerned about encroachments by proselytizing evangelicals in their public schools, and are eager to establish the presence of a contrasting voice that helps children to understand that one doesn’t need to submit to superstition in order to be a good person. Our goal, ultimately, is to place an ASSC in every school where the Good News Clubs, or other proselytizing religious groups, have established a presence.”
The group says it now has After School Satan Clubs at schools in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pensacola, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Tacoma and Springfield, Missouri.
At most schools, band practice, sports, drama and the chess club are the options that kids choose from for their after-school activities. But in 2016, students at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, also had the opportunity to join an After School Satan Club.
Portrayed through much of history as the evil nemesis of humanity, a new movement sees Satan more as a literary symbol of rebellion than the scriptural Prince of Darkness.
These modern-day Satanists say they are trying to fight what they see as the encroachment of evangelical Christianity in places they say it doesn’t belong — such as public schools.
Last year, these Satanists ignited a debate about who gets to decide what a religion is, and the place of faith in public schools.