Members of a Catholic organization gathered outside Northern High School on Monday to show support for the board of the Northern York County School District after it rejected the proposal.
While the club was proposed by someone who lives in the district, it is part of a national program from The Satanic Temple, which claims to be in the early stages of preparing a lawsuit against the school district.
“They are suing the school to try and get the club in,” John Ritchie of the American Society for Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property said. “They promote things that are diametrically opposed to the values that America stands for, and at any level, Satan has no rights in America.”
Leaders with The Satanic Temple said the club is not meant to convert children but to provide a space for kids to explore free-thinking.
According to the official website of the club, and in accordance with the Satanic Temple’s tenets, the After School Satan clubs’ curriculum involves “no proselytization or religious instruction” but rather provides activities designed to promote self-education and development.
“Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism,” reads a message on the site. “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.
“We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors,” the site reads.
The school board rejected the club in late April with an 8-1 vote in front of a packed auditorium.