The Satanic Temple of Tucson has filed paperwork to offer an extracurricular activity to students of Roskruge Bilingual K-8 of the Tucson Unified School District. In an email to staff and Board members this week, Dr. H.T. Sanchez advised that a discussion of the issue is scheduled for executive session for Tuesday, August 9.
According to the official Church of Satan’s website, the Satanic Temple is an atheistic organization “dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.” Satanists believe that the individual is the one true god and should devote his life to pleasing himself. They condone such activities as indulgence, vengeance and sin, as these activities lead to instant gratification.
Many of those in favor of allowing the Satanic Temple to host an after-school activity cite religious freedom. In reference to the controversy, elected TUSD board official Michael Hicks, a Christian who does not subscribe to the Temple’s ideals stated that “If they’re following the same rules and regulations as other groups, I don’t have a problem” also stating that the Temple “should not be discriminated against based on their beliefs.”
On Wednesday, a District spokesperson told Chrisitian Daily in the email statement, “The Satanic Temple has sent a letter of inquiry to Tucson Unified School District regarding holding an ‘After School Satan’ club at Roskruge Bilingual K-8. Our legal counsel has referred the organization to our policy requirements regarding after school clubs. The suggested club does not currently meet the minimum requirement of having a faculty sponsor for the operation of any student club on a Tucson Unified School District campus.”
Hicks noted that the discussion by the Board as to whether or not to allow the Temple to host a school-sponsored activity would take place during executive session. This is unusual, he explained, because every other school board session to discuss extracurricular activities has been open for teachers, parents and students to attend. Hicks does not currently know why exactly the Board has chosen to have an executive session as opposed to a private session.
Editor’s Note: Michael D. Bryan, Esq. advises that the article “imputes values to the Satanic Temple that are not accurate. The author elides Satan worshipers with the Satanic Temple. The author’s assertion that Satanists believe that individual is the one true god and should devote one’s life to pleasing oneself and thus condone indulgence, vengence (sic), and sin, does not represent the views of the Satanic Temple, who are atheists and do not condone or promote the worship of the literary figure of Satan, nor those values the author claims. These values are not what would be encouraged by the After-School Satan program (the program is clearly outlined at http://www.afterschoolsatan.com/). The author unfairly and inaccurately conflates Satanists with the Satanic Temple.”