After School Satan Clubs reveal dangerous lack of information among community members


The Satanic Temple

The After School Satan Club at Saucon Valley School District gives a shock to many schools around them.

On February 20th, Saucon Valley School District superintendent Mrs. Jaime Vlasaty approved the After School Satan Club (ASSC) – a program sponsored by the Satanic Temple – to rent space in their middle school and meet after school hours. The district was forced to close down the next day, after an anonymous threat mentioning the club was called in. Superintendent Vlasaty has since made the decision to rescind the initial approval given to the ASSC. Since then, Saucon Valley School District has allowed an after school church-affiliated youth group to meet on their premises, despite banning the ASSC from doing the same.

This occurrence has caused a stir of opinions regarding the allowance of such “Satanic” clubs within schools, and it has also brought to light the dangers of making decisions based on a lack of information. 

“It’s not a valid religion,” senior Colby Mooney said. “It’s barely considered a religion and is more meant to [annoy] Christians than anything.”

A few students expressed annoyance regarding the legitimacy of the club, while others were nervous about the habits and morals the club would be sharing.

“It promotes bad habits,” sophomore Jamen Sanchez said.

Students claim that Satanic clubs should not be allowed for various reasons. While it is understandable to be wary of any club that is believed to promote a particular belief, it is incredibly important to genuinely understand what the club is about before condemning it. Nearly every single student interviewed who claimed that Satanic clubs shouldn’t be allowed also had a limited understanding of what the After School Satan Club really is.

The reason why Satanism is so misunderstood is partly due to the fact that there are different groups claiming an association with Satanism – most prominently, The Satanic Temple and the Church of Satan. Which group represents the “true” form of Satanism doesn’t really matter; however, it is important to look into which group is being discussed before making decisions.

The After School Satan Club is a program run by The Satanic Temple, based in Salem, Massachusetts. According to their website, “The After School Satan Club does not believe in introducing religion into public schools and will only open a club if other religious groups are operating on campus.” 

It is important to differentiate The Satanic Temple from the Church of Satan, as their morals and tenets are very different from one another.

The Satanic Temple promotes various acts of kindness and advocacy through their seven tenets. For example, their first tenet claims that “one should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures.” Additionally, their seventh tenet states that “the spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written and spoken word.” There is no tenet in which the Satanic Temple preaches any sort of wrongdoings or harm.

On the other hand, the Church of Satan is a group that supports “warranted” harm. Among their nine statements, the fifth states that “Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek,” for example. The Church of Satan is not affiliated with the After School Satan Clubs being brought to various school districts, nor should it be. The promotion of doing harm onto others, no matter the context, should not be brought into schools. 

According to its webpage, the After School Satan Club “promotes self-directed education by supporting the intellectual and creative interests of students” with a focus on “science, critical thinking, creative arts, and good works for the community” and an “appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them.” 

Students who had a bit more understanding regarding the goals and teachings of the After School Satan Clubs were more open to its welcome into schools that allowed religious groups to meet after the end of the school day.

“I believe that allowing rights for people to believe what they believe is important,” sophomore Deno Gaultieri said. “And it isn’t like religion is being forced on anyone.”

ASSCs are purely voluntary; they only impact those who decide to join, and no religion is being imposed onto any unwilling students. 

“[Satanic] clubs aren’t causing any harm to anyone and [they] promote expressing yourself,” freshman Finn Bull said.

If a school allows one religious group to meet after school, it should welcome all religious groups that are kind and safe. The ASSC is a group that promotes kindness and acceptance, and those are morals that all schools should be open to sharing.