The Satanic Temple has filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania elementary school for refusing to host an “After School Satan Club.”
The lawsuit accuses the Northern Elementary School in York, Pennsylvania, of violating the Constitution.
Northern Elementary had apparently hinted to the Satanic Temple that they would have a better chance of the club being approved if they removed the word “Satan” from the name.
“Mathew Kezhaya, who serves as the general counsel for The Satanic Temple, said the main issue to be litigated is whether the Northern York County School Board was discriminating against The Satanic Temple by allowing in some after school clubs but not the temple,” KTUL reports.
“Furthering the case of The Satanic Temple, Kezhaya said, the Northern York County superintendent claimed to be concerned with public backlash due to the lack of interested parties. Kezhaya said this is proof their club’s communicative activities popularity was improperly considered when determining their future with equal access to government property, the school,” the report added.
The organization’s legal team argued that the school violated the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment prohibits a government from considering the popularity of communicative activity when determining whether to facilitate that communicative activity on equal terms with other, similarly situated, groups,” Kezhaya said.
Lucien Greaves, the Satanic Temple spokesperson, previously told Fox News about the clubs, “I’m hoping that with our presence, people can see that good people can have different perspectives, sometimes on the same mythology, but not mean any harm.”
According to their website, the Satanic Temple after-school clubs “meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs also operate. Trained educators provide activities and learning opportunities, which students are free to engage in, or they may opt to explore other interests that may be aided by available resources. The environment is open and parents are welcome to participate. While the classes are designed to promote intellectual and emotional development in accordance with TST’s tenets, no proselytization or religious instruction takes place.”
“Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism,” the organization’s mission statement reads. “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.”