Depending on where you live, you may have a new after-school option for your youngster this coming school year: the After School Satan Club. A group called the Satanic Temple has started a push to establish the clubs at public elementary schools as an alternative to Christian Good News Clubs found on thousands of campuses, the Washington Post reports. “It’s important that children be given an opportunity to realize that the evangelical materials now creeping into their schools are representative of but one religious opinion amongst many," Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves says in a press release. But the curriculum won't include donning a hooded robe and chanting in an attempt to conjure demonic forces. Greaves tells the Post that Satan is merely a "metaphorical construct." The group's actual focuses include scientific rationality and the separation of church and state.
A monthly meeting of an After School Satan Club chapter will include a nutritious snack, puzzle solving, art, and other activities. "We're not the boogeymen, we are here to help, here to discuss and help learn," Boston Satanic Temple chapter founder Travis LeSaffre tells WFXT. Greaves tells USA Today that the group has already contacted school districts in nine states. A rep from the Good News Club, which has been around since 1937, calls the After School Satan Club a "stunt," adding that "schools and parents should not overreact. ... If you leave them alone, they'll go home." Ironically, the Satanic Temple is using a 2001 Supreme Court decision that found that excluding an after-school club, such as the Good News Club, from public campuses based on religion violates freedom of speech.