The Satanic Temple Had an Amazing Response to a Pro-Religion Court Ruling

Orange County, Fla., schoolchildren are getting a big heaping dose of Satanism thanks to a recent state court decision allowing the distribution of religious texts in public schools.

After the court announced their decision, the Satanic Temple, a partially satirical group purporting to represent a congregation of devil-worshipers, issued a statement announcing its intent to immediately begin flooding the county's schools with their own version of age-appropriate material, specifically guides to drawing pentagrams and performing dark rituals. According to the statement:

This effort came about when the Orange County school system allowed an evangelical Christian group to distribute Bibles while censoring atheist materials distributed by the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a nonprofit that strives to uphold the principle of separation of state and church. In response, FFRF sued the Orange County School Board. Neither FFRF nor the Satanic Temple agree with the school board's decision to allow the distribution of religious materials in schools; however, the Satanic Temple seeks to ensure that pluralism is respected whenever the church/state division is breached.

They also released a PDF of their planned pamphlets, which manage to be both totally hilarious and actually contain valuable lessons for the children who will soon be reading them. You can read the whole thing here courtesy of the Satanic Temple, but here are a few of the best excerpts:

There's a jumble ...

... connect the dots ...

... and a message to decode.

That last riddle spells out "Audi Preces Meas: Satana Blessed Be," basically meaning "Hear my prayers, blessed Satan." Another page helpfully asks children to answer, with drawings, "What's Cerberus dreaming about?"

Quid pro quo: The Satanists say they'd prefer that no one was distributing leaflets, but if Christians do, well then, so do they.

"Even as we prefer public policies respecting secularism, we feel that opportunities such as this to establish an equal voice for contrasting religious opinions in the public square tend to favor marginalized, lesser-known and alternative religions," spokesman Lucien Greaves told Raw Story. "We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer."

What a bunch of jokers: The Satanic Temple has staged other high-profile protests in response to incidents threatening the separation of church and state. The group is suing for exemption from state-level "informed consent" laws designed to coerce women out of getting abortions with medically inaccurate warnings on the grounds that trust in science is a cornerstone of their belief system. They're also suing to place a statue of the devil instructing children on the ways of Satanism right alongside a monument dedicated to the 10 Commandments on the Oklahoma statehouse lawn.

Those skeptical of the aims of Christian groups would do well to continue following the Satanic Temple, because enshrining preferential religious freedom laws in the American legal system is already having far-reaching consequences:

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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