By Mark Ellis
The Portland chapter of the national Satanic Temple have succeeded in their efforts to bring an After School Satan Club to a local elementary School.
The organization has been approved to begin their program, which focuses “on science and rational thinking,” on Oct. 19 at the school, Finn Rezz, the head of the chapter, told The Oregonian.
The After School Satan Club will promote “benevolence and empathy for everybody,” Rezz said.
They seek to directly oppose “the Good News Clubs” organized by Child Evangelism Fellowship, ” whose purpose is to evangelize children with the Gospel and establish them in the Word of God.
The Good News Club is currently in 18 counties in Oregon.
“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,” the After School Satan Clubs (ASSC) says on its website.
“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,” it said.
Rezz said that the Sacramento Elementary After School Satan Club (in Portland) “will be held on Wednesdays once a month at the same time as the Good News Club.”
In Seattle, the Satanic Temple asked the local school district for approval to start an after-school program last month in direct response to the Good News Bible Club run at Centennial Elementary School.
Satanic Temple of Seattle spokesman Tarkus Claypool said a parent brought the Bible club to their attention because the parent was concerned the club was teaching children to evangelize other children, according to the Associated Press.
Claypool said their club teaches children logic, self-empowerment and reasoning, and they don’t worship a deity.