(LifeSiteNews) – More “After School Satan Clubs” backed by the far-left group The Satanic Temple (TST) are popping up in public school districts across the country, and with them community outrage.
Last year, LifeSite covered the controversy over such events in Northern York, Pennsylvania and Bedford, Virginia, and in recent days word has spread about more After School Satan Clubs being organized and/or hosting events. A handout posted by TST for a new club at Paonia K-8 in Paonia, Colorado advertises games, puzzles, snacks, community service projects, and more through which children “will learn … benevolence & empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression, personal sovereignty,” and “compassion.”
On Friday, Saucon Valley School District in Virginia rescinded its approval for the club to use a meeting space at Saucon Valley Middle School, which it had tentatively given, after public outcry.
Superintendent Jaime Vlasaty said without elaboration that the applicants “failed to meet the District requirements outlined in School Board Policy 707, subsequently violating this policy,” and as a result “the educational programming and activities of the District [have] been significantly impacted and it has caused unequivocal disruption to the District’s daily operations.”
“Our community has experienced chaos,” Vlasaty said. “Our students, staff and teachers have had to endure a threat to their safety and welfare. The gravity of feelings of instability, anxiety and fear have been profound.” School officials say a threatening voicemail was sent to the district, leading to school closures for one day.
Following the first meeting of its After School Satan Club on school property, B.M. Williams Primary School in Chesapeake, Virginia was closed two days in a row over two consecutive bomb threats, although Assistant Fire Marshal Capt. Steven Bradley said authorities were “not going to speculate on the motive.” One of the emails, sent to multiple school officials and the club organizer, accused the district of promoting “un-Islamic values.”
TST is a secular-leftist agitation group that purports to embrace Satan’s name as a “symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority” while not believing that God, the devil, or other supernatural concepts literally exist. It has advocated for legal abortion, sponsored LGBT “pride” events, and erected statues on public property, among other attention-generating antics in support of various left-wing agenda items.
“Who is actually interested in being part of a Satan club? I think somebody who is rather disturbed, somebody who is interested in the darkness,” responded Fox News commentator and theologian Jonathan Morris, a former Catholic priest. “I think it just proves that there is something that’s called goodness and light. If there’s darkness, there’s light.”
Morris warned that this trend comes amid young people “walking away” from religion, enabled in part by a declining theological focus among institutions previously tasked with helping impart and reinforce the faiths of future generations.
“Of course, your 7-year-old is not going to be interested in religion or theology if you haven’t made it an important part of your life,” he said. “I think a Catholic university, if it gets rid of the mission of passing on the faith to their students, they will no longer be able to compete in a very competitive university system.”