An after school Satan Club is set to begin on Dec. 14, just a few days before Christmas, in an elementary school in Tacoma, Washington.
Point Defiance Elementary School is the second in the U.S. to approve an after school Satan Club. The club’s first meeting will be an open house for students, parents, teachers and school staff, according to Q13 Fox.
Lilith Starr, chapter head of the Satanic Temple of Seattle, said the organization lobbied for the club as a countermeasure against the school’s Good News Club, an after-school program run by Child Evangelism Fellowship. Starr said their attention was called by concerned parents who complained to them about the Good News Club.
She said this club, which teaches students Bible lessons, memory verses and songs, employ “fear tactics” on the children.
“It teaches kids are sinners and worthless and they’re going to burn in hell for all eternity,” Starr said. “Give them the tools they need to make their own decisions about the world, science, rationalism, critical thinking skills.”
According to Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves, the club targets schools where the Good News Club is in place. Greaves said parents are “upset” over the presence of the Christian club in their children’s schools.
"The Good News Clubs create a real necessity for the After School Satan Clubs,” he said. “In the future, we hope school districts will devise new standards of conduct for after school clubs — such as no proselytizing, no coerced conversion-based curriculums — that put an end to the Good News Clubs and render the After School Satan Club unnecessary."
Christian parents met last month in an attempt to stop the approval of the Satan Club at Point Defiance Elementary School.
Bishop Michael Doss from Deliverance House of Prayer said if the club pushes through, he would pull out his child from the school and have him home schooled.
“My son will not be at a school where they’re preaching against what I believe,” Doss said, according to Q13 Fox.
Another parent, Kiana Simpson, said she feared what the after school Satan Club would teach the children.
“We don’t know who’s teaching it, their motives behind it, it’s not pure. You know children are innocent,” she said.
Satanic Temple spokesman Tarkus Claypool said the Satan Club will teach logic, reasoning and self-empowerment, as opposed to worshiping a deity.
In November, an after school Satan Club opened in Portland, Oregon, making it the first club of its kind to be launched in an elementary school. Its first meeting was held at the same time the Good News Club meets at Sacramento Elementary School, according to Oregon Live.
The club’s opening was opposed by thousands of parents, who launched a petition to stop it.