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Christian group falsely claims The Satanic Temple offers adult content to kids
A video claims After School Satan clubs are distributing adult material to children. It's not true. I can prove it.
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A conservative Christian non-profit group, eager to demonize The Satanic Temple and its After School Satan club, is spreading blatant lies about what those clubs teach children. Why? Probably because the truth would hurt their narrative.
If you’re not familiar with After School Satan, it’s a critical thinking and compassion-minded club formed in response to (Christian) Good News Clubs that already exist at several public elementary schools. The idea is that if a school allows an extra-curricular Christian club to meet, the law allows other religious groups to meet as well, and the Satanists are taking advantage of that.
The fact that Christians have protested or banned ASS club meetings in recent months just reveals their hypocrisy. They’re not content with merely having access to kids; they want to make sure other groups aren’t given the same opportunities.
To be clear, ASS clubs do not promote Satan, Satanic beliefs, Satanism, or anything else like it. The Satanic Temple, which sponsors these groups, doesn’t even believe in a literal Satan. After School Satan clubs aren’t about indoctrination. Rather, the Satanists “focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us.” It’s like a science club with a devilish twist.
As one recent flyer showed, the club uses arts & crafts, community service, games, and nature activities to promote a non-theistic worldview.
In the same vein, in 2016, after a Colorado elementary school allowed students to pick up donated copies of the Bible, The Satanic Temple created its own coloring book and donated those to the same school.
It was, depending on your perspective, brilliant trolling or a valid response to a religious giveaway.
The After School Satan Club was launched a few months after that coloring book giveaway with this purposely provocative video. It sounded scary, but nothing about the club itself was threatening, which was exactly the point.
There aren’t many of these clubs, but whenever they show up, parents and school district leaders tend to overreact, not realizing that their own policy of permitting after school religious clubs is what led to the Satanists showing up.
They shouldn’t worry, though. Like I said, these clubs promote compassion and science. It’s the Christian clubs that teach kids about hellfire and damnation.
Enter the non-profit Christian Action Network, a conservative group that sees Satanists as the enemy.
Yesterday, CAN released a video attempting to shed light on this evil club and the evil group behind it. But here’s the problem with trying to condemn After School Satan clubs: If you tell people what the Satanists do at those meetings, it actually sounds pretty great.
So the Christians at CAN decided to just tell lies. (If the video ends up getting deleted, you can still see it here.)
The video is full of images and content created by The Satanic Temple and its members clearly aimed at an adult audience. They have nothing to do with the offerings of the After School Satan Club. Much like conservatives have equated adult-themed drag shows with Drag Queen Story Hours, even though the two are nothing alike, they’ve conflated Satanists’ adult content with the offerings of a club meant for children.
It’s unfair and wildly misleading. But it only got worse from there.
Beginning around the 9:04 mark of the video, we see images purportedly from The Satanic Temple’s coloring book. The pages (which can be seen below) reference the use of hard drugs, websites about serial killers, and adult videos.
None of those images appear in the actual Satanic coloring book. (You can see the entire 10-page booklet right here.)
The Christian video, however, leads you to believe otherwise, suggesting that kids might be distracted from work by murder websites and porn, that they would know how meth works, and that they might need a “hangover cure” or an emergency appointment at the STD clinic.
So where do those three pages come from if not the Satanists?
They come from Coloring for Grown-Ups (affiliate link), a parody created by comedians Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen in 2012. The Huffington Post described the book as offering “the pleasurable experience of coloring to a more mature audience, one familiar with the injustices of society, feeble nature of dreams, awkwardness of one night stands and general awfulness of Chris Brown.”
It’s not clear how or why the Christian Action Network got that book confused with the Satanist one.
Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, offered this response in an email:
It is a testament to the unassailable merits of ASSC that those sifting through the curriculum in order to create outrage and controversy are left totally fabricating non-existent ASSC materials in order to do so.
Yesterday, I reached out to Martin Mawyer, the president and founder of CAN, to ask why he included these pages in his video about The Satanic Temple. He wrote back earlier this morning, angry that I didn’t give him more time to respond. Still he said, “You might also want to ask Huff Post.”
He included a link to a HuffPo article about the Satanist coloring book. At the bottom of that piece—separate from the actual content of the article—are images from the adult coloring book.
The final line of the article gives that away:
For a very different, yet equally unconventional, take on a coloring book, check out Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen' hilarious "Coloring Book for Grownups."
Mawyer doesn’t seem to know how to read. He could benefit from some after school clubs himself.
He also said in his email: “Apparently, you don't dispute Rose Bastet having a photo of a live baby stuffed in an oven.”
That image, which appears on a Satanist’s public Instagram feed, refers to an old meme about how evil atheists supposedly are.
It’s a joke. Something Mawyer also doesn’t understand. (It’s also not included in any of the content meant for children.) I assure readers that no babies were actually harmed in the making of that image.
An article introducing the video remains on Mawyer’s website, too, and it explains how CAN has big plans for their hoax-filled content:
Christian Action Network has just produced and released a video exposing The Satanic Temple and its planned perversion for elementary students.
Christian Action Network will produce DVD copies of its documentary film and distribute them to school board members that have accepted or are considering placing the After School Satan Club in their school districts.
Those school board members should know they’re being lied to. Because if there’s one takeaway from all of this, it’s not that the Satanists are evil. It’s that conservative Christians have no problem spreading misinformation when the truth is inconvenient for them.
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