Satan. The Prince of Darkness. Lucifer. Whatever the title, normal people typically associate Satan with something evil. Satanic worship always puzzles me, because while I can understand that someone would be an atheist (which lets you off the hook on plenty of bad behavior), worshipping someone that you know to be bad and want the worst for humanity seems like a really, really dumb idea.
Alas, there are Satan worshippers, and they are coming to an elementary school near you! Imagine my surprise when I received this gem of an email last week:
In an effort to maintain transparent practices, I would like to share the following information that was sent to the B. M. Williams school community yesterday.
Chesapeake Public Schools (CPS) is committed to open communication and transparency with our families. For that reason, you are receiving this message to ensure you have accurate information.
The School District has long held policies and procedures in place which allow varied community groups to use our publicly funded facilities outside of the school day. This is common practice among school districts around the state and nation. Over the years, different religious groups have requested and been allowed to rent our facilities after hours. By law, CPS cannot discriminate based on beliefs among groups wishing to rent our facilities.
Consistent with the law as detailed above and the criteria set out in the CPS Board policy regarding community use of facilities, the School District has approved a building use request from an organization known as the “After School Satan Club” (ASSC) to host gatherings after school hours at B.M. Williams Primary School. Students must have parental permission to attend any after school event hosted by any outside organization.
It is important to note that CPS does not endorse any of the activities or content of groups that host events on school district property outside the instructional day. It is also important to note that the ASSC is not a School District-approved club, and no District employee is acting as a club sponsor.
The School Board does not approve building use forms and has not voted in this case.
Please note, we have added this item to the agenda for the next regular meeting of the School Board on December 12, 2022, for further discussion. Citizens are welcome to attend and may address the Board during the Hearing of Citizens portion of the meeting. For more information on how to sign up to speak, visit our website (link provided).
We remain committed to working to minimize any distractions this news may create, while ensuring our focus is always on providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students. Thank you for your understanding and support.
Dr. Jared Cotton, Superintendent
Like, WTF, Jared?
So there is literally a group that is totally cool with worshiping the Prince of Darkness, and that group wants to talk to your kids. Inside the school. After hours. What could possibly go wrong?
First, I call BS on the “we have to be equal to everyone” claim. I highly, highly doubt that. Had the Westboro Baptist Church, or some similar organization tried to reserve the school, it likely would have never seen the light of day. Heck, had the local Republican group asked to reserve a classroom after hours for a meeting, I’m betting they would be denied.
Second, the email is a cop-out. It screams “Please don’t show up to the school board meeting like they did in Loudon County,” and “Please don’t blame us when you go to vote.”
Not surprisingly, many local churches banded together to, literally, fight Satan. My church included. I mean, can you call yourself a Christian church and NOT fight Satan? So a massive prayer fight was organized, and eventually the Satanic Temple decided to pull the event, but not before my Catholic church had 40 people out in front of the school praying.
This won’t be the last battle though, and the club is still on the next school board discussion, per an email sent this week:
Dear CPS Families:
Last week I shared information regarding the Facility Use Application for the After School Satan Club (ASSC) to hold monthly meetings at one of our schools. I emphasized that the ASSC is not a District-approved club, and also that the Application was compliant with District Policy. Following our Policy and applicable federal law, the Application was approved.
Today, the Chesapeake citizen requesting to use the facility on behalf of the ASSC has officially withdrawn their request. As such, the application no longer meets the requirements of School Board Policy. At this point, the approval for building use has been canceled.
Please note, this item will remain on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the School Board on December 12, 2022, for further discussion. Citizens are welcome to attend and may address the Board during the Hearing of Citizens portion of the meeting. For more information on how to sign up to speak, visit our website (link provided).
I hope our communications on this matter have helped to answer questions and concerns regarding this situation. Thank you for your continued understanding and support.
Dr. Jared A. Cotton
I think I know what I’ll be doing on December 12th.
This whole thing reminds me of a conversation I had with a flag officer almost 10 years ago. We were having a friendly discussion about religion and the existence of evil. He argued that while he believed in “God” (of some kind anyway), he didn’t believe in true evil, only that people could do bad things based on their interests. I made the comment “The best way for evil to exist is to convince the world it doesn’t.” I still stand by that comment today.
The Satanic Temple will make plenty of arguments about how its just using the imagery to catch attention, or that it just wants to “teach critical thinking,” but in truth its just twisting our own rules to try and justify itself. Remember when Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus in the desert? He’s quite intelligent, far more than most people give him credit for. He’ll manipulate everything we have, from our laws to our emotions, to advance his will. If we’re not willing to fight back, he will pull away our children and destroy everything we hold dear.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.