California community is outraged over ‘Satan Club’ hosting meetings at elementary school

Parents in a California community are incensed by the start of a new club at their children’s elementary school. The program is called the After School Satan Club and parental outrage seems largely part of their desired result.

The club was recently created at the Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, California.

The club began in the last ten years and was intended to be an alternative for schools that offer the Christian evangelist Good News Club as an after-school program. The club, created by the Satanic Temple, was not designed to be overtly religious, but instead was intended to focus on supporting the “intellectual and creative interests of students,” according to its website.

Lucien Grieves, the co-founder and spokesperson of the club, told KBAK that there is nothing to be “offended by”.

“We keep religious matters out of the teachings of the after school Satan clubs and people often ask us, well then why include Satanism at all, being that people are going to be offended by it? Well, the fact of the matter is, there’s nothing to be offended by and we don’t want people to be unaware of who we are when we run these programs, as we think there would be a more intense backlash if we were trying to hide it,” said Greaves.

Still, many parents and guardians aren’t convinced. “I think it’s disgusting, I understand the school has to allow them because they allow other after school programs such as the Good News, which is a Christian based after school program, that one I’m okay with, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want their child to attend this Satanic group,” said Sheila Knight, grandparent to a student at Gold Hills.

The adverse reaction to the elective club was expected by Paul Hicks, the man who will lead the program.

‘We’ve already gotten threats against us,’ said Hicks, who is also a critical thinking professor. ‘As I would often say, there’s no hate like Christian love.’

On a community Facebook page, the club has attracted a variety of complaints.

“So several people have told me that the new Satan after school club at Golden Hills elementary is not a religion, but a philosophy club … Then why did they choose Satan? Why not the Jean Paul Satre existentialism club? Why not the Descartes club?” asked Joe Lathrop on the social media site.

“They put Satan in the name for a reason. People should stop being intellectually dishonest and just own up to the fact that they want kids to worship Satan as a secular god,” the man continued.

“Its just sick that they are targeting elementary school kids. Those are babies,” wrote one woman.

The program has already attracted at least one parent volunteer from within the community.

“The initial reaction is definitely that of shock and disgust,” Lauren Mae, a mother in Tehachapi and a volunteer with the After School Satan Club, told SFGATE. “There’s also a lot of confusion between The Satanic Temple and The Church of Satan, which are two different things. They definitely do seem to think that we are devil worshippers, which we are not. We don’t believe in a supernatural Satan.”

Such is the haphazardness of claiming to worship Satan in a majority Christian country where followers of that religion see the being as a demonic spirit, not an idol of independence and reason.

The Good News Club, an arm of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, is a Christian after-school program that is available at select schools across the nation. The Good News Club is currently offered at Golden Hills Elementary.

In the Good News Club v. Milford Central School Supreme Court case of 2001, the court, led by Chief Justice Rehnquist, decided that clubs like the one in question could not be barred from using public spaces solely based on their religious nature.

“The Satanic Temple does not advocate for religion in schools,” according to the group’s website. “However, once religion invades schools, as The Good News Clubs have, The Satanic Temple will fight to ensure that plurality and true religious liberty are respected.”

“It’s important to us that people do know we self-identify as Satanists even if we’re not teaching Satanism, just so people have an idea that that perspective about what Satanic practitioners are is completely wrong,” Greaves said.

Hicks also insisted that their brand of Satanists aren’t proselytizing, and haven’t shown up to this community unsolicited.

“From my understanding, the Good News Clubs sent out some flyers, which they are certainly entitled to do, and some parents got together and said we’re not interested in this. And they knew of the After School Satan Club, and they requested our presence,” claimed Hicks


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