A school in Portland, Oregon, has granted approval to a local Satanic Temple’s request to set up an after-school programme for pupils.
Children at Sacramento Elementary School, which educates pupils aged between 5 and 10, will have the opportunity to attend the Satanic club’s inaugural meeting on October 19.
Satanic Temple spokesman Finn Rezz told Oregon Live the club would focus on "on science and rational thinking," promoting "benevolence and empathy for everybody" – while providing an alternative voice to the Bible-centred “Good News Club”.
On its After School Satan Club website, the Satanic Temple says it has been starting after school clubs to provide an alternative to evangelical Christian organisations that offer similar programmes in many schools across the US.
“Across the nation, parents are concerned about encroachments by proselytizing evangelicals in their public schools, and are eager to establish the presence of a contrasting voice that helps children to understand that one doesn’t need to submit to superstition in order to be a good person.Sacramento Elementary is the second school in Oregon to get an After School Satan Club. The first, Nehalem Elementary School, was set up earlier this year.
“Our goal, ultimately, is to place an ASSC in every school where the Good News Clubs, or other proselytizing religious groups, have established a presence.”
Previously, the Satanic Temple produced a colouring book, the The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities which offered simple, educational exercises, such as drawing an inverted pentagram round an image of Satan.