Attorney Duncan Fobes has told Mount Vernon School District that it could be attacked with costly lawsuits, which it would likely lose if the school prevented the club ‘The Satanic Temple’ from holding after-school programs for children at its facilities. The Temple announced to the public this year that it intends to hold meetings in schools in response to a Supreme Court ruling allowing evangelical religious programs to operate in schools.
Nine clubs have been set up all around the US, including the one in Mount Vernon and the Temple has said that they are mainly targeting schools that have a Good News Bible Club. The interdenominational Christian program that operates in more than 3,500 public schools across the US. Spokesperson for the Satanic Temple of Seattle, Tarkus Claypool said a parent brought the Bible club to their attention after finding out that the Good News Bible Club was teaching children to evangelize to other children.
One of The Satanic Temple’s founders, Lucien Greaves, said the after-school clubs try to bring diversity to the religious opinions children are exposed to in school and He claimed that the Good News Club introduced children to“a fear of Hell and God’s wrath.” The religious freedom campaign group says it does not believe in or worship Satan but instead view him as a metaphor for rebellion and rational inquiry.
Due to American law, the school district cannot ban the club from the school property unless it uses hate speech, incites violence or includes pornography. District Board President Rob Coffey explained that the district’s hands are tied. “We must make our facilities available. We must make them available whether we like the group or not. There really is no opportunity for us to say no to the Satanic Temple or the After School Satan Club.”