Illinois elementary school approves Satanic Temple club meetings (true story)

When I saw this story at first, I thought it was from the Onion. It isn’t.

I understand about non-discrimination, but where do you draw the line? As a Christian who believes in separation of church and state, I’d like to know who approved this. I’d also be very curious to see if anyone actually attends.

Why do you need to draw a line? Association is protected, actions are not. As long as they are civil, who cares?

Sounds like they’re basically secularist liberals trying to make some sort of point about separation of church and state. As long as the school allows any religious groups to meet on school grounds, they have to allow them all as per the First Amendment. I’m not really seeing what the problem is here.

A few years back at my high school a group of kids wanted to form a branch of the Secular Student’s Alliance and asked me to be their faculty advisor. I said sure. Then we filed the paperwork. Given that my town is about 40% Mormon and 40% Baptist, I rapidly got phone calls from the principal and Superintendent, passing on the concerns of the community and fearfully inquiring if we were some sort of Satanic organization. I assured them we weren’t, then pointed out that even if we were, they couldn’t deny us approval. Congress and the Supreme Court laid down that precedent decades ago. Approve one club to use school facilities and you have to approve them all (within reason.) Since Alive Club was quite active on campus…

I think I got a new subheading in my personnel file that day.

Here’s the About Us page from the Satanic Temple webpage:

I absolutely have no problem with this, as a parent. It’s not devil worship.

I almost posted something from Wikipedia that was similar. I don’t know why they call themselves Satanic…maybe Flying Spaghetti Monster was already taken. It’s all good IMO. We have separation of church and state but we have to put “In God We Trust” on our money etc.?

That’s the whole purpose of the club and the organization behind it: to enforce that line.

(edit) The preview is mangled, so:

The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religious and human rights group based in the United States,[1][2][3][4] with additional chapters in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.[5][6] The group uses Satanic imagery to promote egalitarianism, social justice, and the separation of church and state, supporting their mission “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people”. The group was co-founded by Lucien Greaves, the organization’s spokesperson, and Malcolm Jarry.[7][8] The Satanic Temple has utilized satire, theatrical ploys, humor, and legal action in their public campaigns to “generate attention and prompt people to reevaluate fears and perceptions”, and to “highlight religious hypocrisy and encroachment on religious freedom”.[7][9][10][11]

From the article:

@nearwildheaven, if you understand about non-discrimination, what exactly is your issue? This isn’t an issue of separation of church and state - any community group, religious or otherwise, can rent space from the school district after school hours. Why do you want to know “who approved this”? It sure seems like it was a standard application and a standard approval, and whoever was the specific individual that rubber stamped it didn’t really have any discretion - denying the application would have been a clear violation of separation of church and state.

What “line” is it that you’re concerned about crossing?

Even if it were, it doesn’t seem to me like the school district would have any grounds for denying the organization the same access it grants other fee-paying community groups, including other religious groups. It’s a public school, and government agencies in the United States absolutely do not under any circumstances get to treat people or organizations differently based on who or what they worship.

I’m always for diverse (quasi)-religious (or non-religious) groups that get their constitutional rights and let some heads asplode at the same time.

And it’s always educational to see just whose heads asplode when rights are extended fairly and justly.

They’re definitely a force for good. My daughter is a member. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Another project of the Satanic Temple:

(No particular significance to that one, it is just one I googled up. I’ve been reading about the group for years).

They were also behind the well-published Baphomet statue.

They basically exist to troll evangelicals by using their own rules against them.

I’d encourage my kids to attend.

Far preferable to a bible study group or something.

Right. What is the difference between devil and Jesus worshipers, legally and socially, and how does it matter who is worshiped?

I don’t think I joined but I have been on the mailing list for an incredibly long time.

And yeah: TST exists in large part to make sure that the line is drawn clearly.

Were I a real Satanist, I might take offence at the cheap parody of my religion, which is a branch of Christianity, and which exists in order to worship Satan.

ETA don’t neglect the Neo-Pagans! (vs. fake neo-pagans who don’t really believe in Zeus or Anvallus)

Oh, I don’t disagree.

I didn’t realize that ASS (probably not an accidental acronym) was 5 years old already.

In general, the evangelical Christians want exclusive access to students. If faced with the choice between allowing programs for everyone or shutting down programs altogether, they tend to shut the whole thing down.

Hell, I’d buy their overpriced crappy wrapping paper to support their organization.

My HS had students do the morning announcements; one day I got to them because both students who usually do them were absent and I happened to be in the office. I left out “under God” when leading the Pledge of Allegiance. The secretary was very nice and said I did a good job except for that one mistake. When I told that wasn’t a mistake she got confused, and after I said there is no God, she was speechless and got a horrified look on her face.