Devil’s Playground: Satanic Temple Reportedly Planning to Sue After School District Rejects Club
22:45 GMT 03.05.2022 (Updated: 22:46 GMT 03.05.2022)
The Satanic Temple is preparing a lawsuit against the Northern York County School District in Pennsylvania after it rejected a proposal to form an After School Satan Club at a local elementary school.
The trouble began after a parent suggested an alternative to a faith-based program that already existed at Northern Elementary School in Dillsburg.
“They are suing the school to try and get the club in,” John Ritchie from the American Society for Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property told The Hill on Tuesday. “They promote things that are diametrically opposed to the values that America stands for, and at any level, Satan has no rights in America.”
The York Daily Record previously reported that Lucien Greaves, the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, had told the paper he was considering bringing suit over the issue.
According to the page on the Satanic Temple website about After School Satan Club, proselytization and religious instruction is banned in the club, adding that it promotes “self-directed education by supporting the intellectual and creative interests of students.”
“I’m here tonight as a voice of reason,” a man who said he was neither Christian nor Satanist told the York Daily Record at an April 20 school board meeting. “I do not push my beliefs on my children. That is something I do not do. When they’re old enough, they can decide for themselves.”
In North Carolina last week, a “prayer rally” was held in protest against an After School Satan Club’s expected inaugural meeting at a Greensboro elementary school. There are just four such clubs in operation nationwide.
The Satanic Temple calls itself nontheistic and rather than worship a supernatural Satan, hails the skeptical aspects of the literary Satan. In Christian and Muslim theology he is seen as the chief purveyor of evil and the antithesis of God, while in literary depictions like John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan is seen as a master rhetorician who wins over his followers with reason.
In recent years, the Satanic Temple has tested the limits of freedom of religion in the United States by seeking equality in public representation alongside the typical Christian symbolism that is nigh-ubiquitous in American society. In many instances, such as abortion, the temple has taken contradictory positions to Christian institutions.