Thursday, September 18, 2014

Satanic Youth Outreach

Recently schools in Orange County, Florida, were sued over allowing the dissemination of Christian pamphlets and Bibles to students. The judge in the case allowed the material to be distributed, but only if materials from other religions were also allowed. Never one to miss an opportunity such as this, The Satanic Temple has assembled their own religious pamphlets espousing the virtues of Satanism. They plan on distributing them to the same Florida schools affected by the ruling.

The Satanic Temple took advantage of this decision, deciding to flood Orange County schools with a pamphlet entitled The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities that contains kid-friendly Satanic lessons. “These bullies are mad and afraid of things they don’t understand,” the instructions on the word-jumble reads. “Help Damian use inclusive language to defuse the situation.

The spokesman for the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, explained that his organization “would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State.”

“However,” he continued, “if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students — as is the case in Orange County, Florida — we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”

The Satanic Temple continues to make good use of the media to support the separation of church and state. While as an esotericist I find them a little silly and more dedicated to activism than any sort of spirituality, the fact is that calling themselves Satanists gives fundamentalist Christians the willies - and that's a good thing! If they really are going to push for religion in the public sphere, they need to understand that doing so opens that door for all religions, not just theirs.

Next question: who else wants in? The Pastafarians could have a field day with this, getting kids to dress up as pirates and wear strainers on their heads as protected religious practices. For that matter, how about Thelema? It seems to me that "Do what thou wilt" could attract some significant interest in a school environment.

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