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Putting Satan in an after school program

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Picture source: washingtonpost.com

Picture source: washingtonpost.com

Picture source: washingtonpost.com

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Officially, as of 2001,  the Supreme Court ruled that schools may not discriminate against religious speech. This means that if a religious organization has plans to hold an after school club about their beliefs, they are allowed to in the school’s premises.

   Surprisingly, Utah was one of the first ones to fully accept this and even threw and open house on January 18 for their new After School Satan club. The gathering was held in Vista Elementary School in Taylorsville, Utah.

      The club is for children from the age of 5 to 12. They invite them to think critically about the world, and from a scientific point of view.

  “We are nontheistic, we don’t actually worship a literal Satan,” said Chalice Blyth, the Utah chapter head for the Satanic Temple.

    They want people to understand that satanism is not a bad thing, or at all what Christians have made it seem like. According to Church Of Satan, Satanism is about self-power and learning from the world. They do not actually believe in God or the Devil.

    They’ve been making their religion more widespread and have been putting more information about it with time. It seems some people have been asking what the purpose is and what it’s intended for. Some just want information on what to avoid if you want to practice this. The Church Of Satan have made a website in which they talk about some of these thing.  

      “Since we have been issuing statements of what we are seeking, it was considered time to make a list of behaviors that we wish to see avoided in the Satanic community. Satanists acknowledge that we are human and work towards perfection, but can sometimes fall into negative patterns of action. Thus was born the list of The ‘Nine Satanic Sins’, guidelines for what Satanists consider to be non-productive behavior to be recognized and eliminated from one’s daily existence.”

According to About Religion the “Nine Satanic Sins” are :

  1. Stupidity
  2. Pretentiousness
  3. Solipsism (Basically the Golden rule)
  4. Self-Deceit
  5. Herd Conformity
  6. Lack of perspective
  7. Forgetful of past orthodoxies
  8. Counterproductive pride
  9. Lack of aesthetics

However, this clearly startled many people and those parents were encouraged to come or contact their representatives in the state Legislature. Some parents have gone as far as pulling their child out of that school. Blythe addressed this and stated that he isn’t surprised people are so strongly against the program. He however encourages them to attend to find out what it is for themselves.

   “We’re very aware that not everyone is going agree to what it’s about. They’ll see the word ‘Satan’ and just make assumptions”

     Vista Elementary will not discontinue the program because apart from having the satan club, they have a club of evangelical students, and that would be unfair. Blythe has come forward and said that the program will be educational and academic, he will not actually teach lessons on satanism.

He just invites children who want to think critically about the world, be self powered and better people. Although there are disagreements in this, he believes if you practice one religion, all should be welcome.

  “If you are going to invite religion into schools you have to invite everyone,” said Blythe “You cannot say one is good and the other one is bad.”

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