Family Research Council's Travis Weber is advising parents, teachers and school administrators not to fall into the trap that The Satanic Temple group is setting by launching its "After School Satan Club."
Taking advantage of a United States Supreme Court ruling from 2001 holding that schools that have a "limited public forum" open to after school Christian clubs can not discriminate against other groups looking to use that forum to advance their worldview, The Satanic Temple has helped launch After School Satan Clubs (ASSC) in a number of elementary schools around the nation.
With the help of volunteers, the ASSC is being launched at public schools that already have Good News Clubs or any other after school Christian clubs in existence.
While the title of the club includes the name of "Satan" and could cause many parents and administrators to have serious concerns about the club's intentions, Weber, the director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, advises parents and school officials not to "take the bait" and let the clubs operate.
Weber states that the main goal behind the ASSC is not to worship Lucifer but rather to cause outrage and shut down the limited public forum at schools entirely, which would effectively shut down after school Christian clubs.
"These atheist and humanist activists simply don't like the fact that children could be exposed to the message of Christianity, and appear to want to pick a fight with Christians," Weber wrote in a blog posted on FRC's website. "They say they want religion totally eliminated from schools, and the group's homepage prominently displays: 'DONATE TO HELP US COUNTER EVANGELISM IN SCHOOLS.' Their main purpose appears to be to try to shut down Christian clubs in schools."
"They are aiming to do that by provoking school administrators into shutting down the limited public forum entirely," Weber continued. "As the group's website states: '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.'"
In the past, The Satanic Temple group successfully shut down a forum that allowed a Christian group in Florida to hand out Bibles at Orange County schools by threatening to hand out Satanic coloring books to students. In response, the Orange County school board voted to ban the distribution of outside religious materials at schools.