The group is taking advantage of the successful lawsuit filed by David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community after a Christian group received permission to disseminate Bibles and other religious materials in the schools. While Williamson was seeking to distribute readings such as “Jesus Is Dead” and “Why I Am Not a Muslim,” when the school board agreed to allow the atheist material, they inadvertently opened the door to Satanists as well.
The Satanism-promoting literature includes a word jumble with instructions that read “these bullies are mad and afraid of things they don’t understand. Help Damian use inclusive language to defuse the situation.”
According to Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves, the organization “would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State.”
That being said, “if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students—as is the case in Orange County, Florida—we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth,” he added.
The Satanic Temple is also responsible for the goat-headed Baphomet statue currently being created for display at the Oklahoma Statehouse in response to the installation of one of the Ten Commandments (see “Satanic Temple Monument Almost Ready for Oklahoma Statehouse“)—although presumably not for the well-endowed devil sculpture that appeared overnight in Vancouver last week (see “Horny Satan Statue Causes Panic, Confusion in Canada“).
Greaves explains that the Statehouse statue and the children’s pamphlets share a motivation, and that “even as we prefer public policies respecting secularism, we feel that opportunities—such as this—to establish an equal voice for contrasting religious opinions in the public square, tend to favor marginalized, lesser-known, and alternative religions.”
“I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and its Bible,” he added. “This might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism. We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer.”Follow artnet News on Facebook.