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TACOMA (ChurchMilitant.com) - An after-school satanic club in Washington State has been approved, making it the second in the nation. Volunteers from the Satanic Temple of Seattle (TST) will be hosting an open house for teachers and students at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington on December 14.
Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel is confirming that the application to use school space has been approved, and the club will meet once a month at the West End school until the end of the school year.
Although this club is the first for Washington State, there are currently plans for clubs in nine communities around the United States.
The TST is sponsoring the club, and has defended its club's mission, commenting
While the twisted Evangelical teachings of The Good News Clubs robs children of the innocence and enjoyment of childhood, replacing them with a negative self image, preoccupation with sin, fear of Hell, and aversion to critical thinking, After School Satan Clubs incorporate games, projects, and thinking exercises that help children understand how we know what we know about our world and our universe.
The Satanic Temple is a national organization located in Salem, Massachusetts, and its mission statement reads, "The mission
of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people. In addition, we embrace practical common sense and justice."
Many, however, aren't happy with this club being approved. A pastor remarked, "We want
to cut this off and defeat it before it ever gets a chance to take root." Another pastor commented, "We are the taxpayers here and we ought to stand up
and let them know they are not welcome, they don't pay taxes here."
In response, the TST said, "The After School Satan Club will provide an after-school alternative
focused not on proselytizing to children, but rather on giving them the critical thinking skills they need to make their own decisions about the world."
The approval of this club in Tacoma follows the first official meeting of an after-school Satan club in the United States in Portland, Oregon. The club met at Sacramento Elementary School, the first school in the nation to approve the Satanic Temple's after-school programs.
According to America Needs Fatima, Jose Delgado, whose daughter attends the school, said, "There is nothing
positive about a Satanic Club. Satan is Satan. I'm upset because we didn't even have a say in this. All of a sudden we're going to have this club."
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