“Damian is showing his class the way to make an inverted pentagram. Connect the dots to make one yourself.” So reads the new Activity Book (PDF, embedded below) that the Satanic Temple is handing out to children in Orange County, Florida. The county had recently decided to allow an Evangelical group to disseminate Christian materials in public schools and to censor the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The Satanic Temple issued their complementary pamphlets to rep some alternative religious beliefs.
“The Satanic Temple seeks to ensure that pluralism is respected whenever the Church/State division is breached,” reads their press release (PDF).
The pamphlet looks pretty sweet and harmless, aside from, maybe, the smattering of cartoon occult imagery. A word jumble reads:
These bullies are mad and afraid of things they don’t understand. Help Damian use inclusive language to defuse the situation.
A word search says:
Whopper is big and sometimes scary because he has trouble saying what’s on his mind. Help Damian and Annabel use their patience and open-mindedness to decipher what he wants to say.
Lucian Greaves, the leader of the Satanic Temple, explains:
We would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State. However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students — as is the case in Orange County, Florida — we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.
The Satanic Temple continues their ongoing efforts to erect a Baphomet sculpture near the Ten Commandments statue at the Oklahoma State Capitol building. The Temple recently made headlines with their Hobby Lobby-style argument for a religious exemption from anti-abortion counseling. Behold, alternative propaganda.