The Satanic Temple is holding an event at a Pennsylvania high school next month after the local school board said Friday it must approve the group’s application.
The York County North School District said it had approved a request for “the Satanic Temple to use our facilities as we were required to do by Police Council #707,” according to a statement provided to WHP. -TV, the CBS subsidiary in Harrisbourg.
In its statement, the school district said it does not endorse the activities of any outside organization that leases its facilities.
This approval follows the school board’s initial vote against the Satanic Temple’s April application to host “After School Satan Club.”
“There’s a lot of evil in this world already, so allowing him into our school and our community is not OK,” mother Laura Vangeli told the station in April.
The Temple has threatened civil lawsuits against the board for its decision, but no legal action has yet been filed, according to the York Dispatch.
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WHP reported that the Satanic Temple became interested in hosting its event after a group of parents reached out in response to the Christian-affiliated community of Dillsburg’s worship and prayer permission to hold a high school event. The worship group event was held on August 20.
Although the group uses Satanic symbols and iconography, the Temple’s school activities do not purport to be religious in nature.
“Proselytizing is not our goal, and we are not interested in converting children to Satanism,” the school club’s mission statement reads on its website. “After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us.”
Co-founder Lucien Greaves said The Satanic Temple doesn’t blame anyone for having a prayer event, but it becomes “a serious issue when you allow a back-to-school prayer event, but you don’t allow any other religious representation” according to WPMT, Fox’s York affiliate.
The Satanic Temple is based in Salem, Massachusetts. In 2019, the IRS granted him tax-exempt status, according to the York Dispatch.
The Satanic Temple should not be confused with the Church of Satan, a separate strand of the belief system founded in the 1960s.
“After School Satan Club” will be held on September 24 from 6-9 p.m. at Northern High School. It is designed to teach children from the age of five.