Satanists Want in on School Book Distribution

The last couple years have seen legal battles between atheists and the Orange County, Florida school system over the distribution of Gideon Bibles in schools there. The school system decided to allow atheist groups to distribute books in the same manner as the Gideons, but now the Satanic Temple wants to give out a children’s book there as well.

The Satanic Temple took advantage of this decision, deciding to flood Orange County schools with a pamphlet entitled The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities that contains kid-friendly Satanic lessons.

“These bullies are mad and afraid of things they don’t understand,” the instructions on the word-jumble reads. “Help Damian use inclusive language to defuse the situation.

The spokesman for the Satanic Temple, Lucien Greaves, explained that his organization “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,” he continued, “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.”

As much as I really don’t like the whole satanist thing, they’re absolutely right. And they’re going to be more effective than atheists at the ultimate goal, which is to end this kind of book distribution in schools by Christians. When it comes to these kinds of cases, the two groups we really need to demand equal access are satanists and Muslims. They’re more scary than atheists are and I think that is more likely to lead to getting the Gideons out of the schools entirely.

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  • doublereed

    The only thing about Satanists is that I can never tell if they’re “for real” or not.

  • Thorne

    They’re more scary than atheists are

    Well, to the Christians, maybe. I think they’re kinda warm and cuddly.

  • John Pieret

    I don’t think most Muslim communities will try this. They probably get enough harassment as it is without going out of their way to make the natives restless.

  • Modusoperandi


  • eric

    @1 – IIRC, this particular group is up front and honest about being ‘first amendment first and satanism second.’ I haven’t clicked on their web page, but from previous incidents I seem to recall that they are essentially a first amendment group that sees satanism as a means of ensuring first amendment religion and speech rights.


    Completely off topic, but I think Ed may want to cover this story. In the past 10 years, CBD has shot at least 67 people (14 of the shootings were fatal) and had 800 excessive force or misconduct complaints lodged against them, but there’s been not one case of disciplinary action. That’s frankly far worse than a regular police force. With a regular PD, they might at least issue wrist slaps or put the guy behind a desk for a few weeks/months. Not CBD, evidently. They do nothing at all.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    eric @ # 5 – Alas, your link is foo. (Who’s CBD?)

  • Alverant

    @1 I tend to take people at face value when they say what religion they are. Otherwise you fall into the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. If they say they’re Satanists/christian/muslim/Pagan/Atheist/whatever, I believe them because I can’t read their mind to know if they’re joking or not.

  • busterggi

    I doubt that Christians find Satanist less threatening than atheists – a belief in Satan presupposes that there is a god that Christians find reassurring.

  • Modusoperandi

    Pierce R. Butler “eric @ # 5 – Alas, your link is foo. (Who’s CBD?)”

    CBD is Cannibidiol.

  • blf

    I suspect eric means No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse (albeit I do not know if that is the link borked@5). CBP is (USAleinstan’s) Customs and Border Patrol, an extremely famous, and famously mistrusted, set of über-goons.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    blf @ # 10: CBP is (USAleinstan’s) Customs and Border Patrol, an extremely famous, and famously mistrusted, set of über-goons.

    Oh, La Migra. Attn white folks: Be careful what you say about those guys, or they’ll draw your name to the attention of their cadet corps in the TSA.

  • eric

    Sorry, here’s the link in plaintext.

    If that doesn’t work, here’s what you need to google it:

    Title: Punishment appears rare in border deaths


    Paper: Sacramento Bee

  • Richard Smith

    “These bullies are mad and afraid of things they don’t understand,” the instructions on the word-jumble reads. “Help Damian use inclusive language to defuse the situation.”

    “Come with me, Mark. I can take you with me. Don’t make me beg you, Mark. Mark? Look at me, Mark. I’ll ask you once more. Please come with me…”

  • eric

    And err, yes mistype, it’s CBP not CBD. Don’t know what that error was about.

  • Modusoperandi

    eric “And err, yes mistype, it’s CBP not CBD. Don’t know what that error was about.”

    It was probably all that Cannibidiol.

  • bushrat

    Excellent, the dark lord’s plan is working. First you get American children to read, then you tell them they have a choice. Muahahahaha MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • beezlebubby

    To me, Satanists are just Pastafarians minus the absurdist humor.

  • Artor

    Beelzebubby, in my experience, Satanists often have the same absurdist humor as Pastafarians, but they haven’t quite kicked of the chains of Xian theology yet. Although some have. Many Satanists could actually be considered atheists.

  • Ed Tew

    Actually, the Satanic Temple people do not worship Satan in any sense. They do not believe in the Supernatural. If you look at their core principles, they look like Secular Humanists with an clever and amusing marketing strategy. After all, if they had called themselves the Secular Humanist Temple people would have yawned. A very small group is effectively engaging Christian propagandists.

  • janiceintoronto

    I love these guys. Their strategy is brilliant and will probably work.

    Go Satanists, go!

  • leni

    Lucien Greaves, lol. That is totally his World of Darkness vampire LARP name. Probably a Ventrue.

  • doublereed

    @7 Alverant

    Generally, I take people at face value. But sometimes Satanist groups will blatantly parody the outrage that right-wing Christians use all the time. It’s hilarious and effective. But it makes it hard to tell if they’re “for real” because it seems like they have too much self-awareness to do that by accident.

    Either way, they fight the good fight.

  • doublereed

    But guys, definitely check out the children’s book.

  • picklefactory

    I think the satanists are great — and if you wonder if they’re serious or not, you’re falling right into their nefarious trap.

    This Lucien Greaves fellow also defended them when they wanted to set up that statue of Baphomet in OK, which had the best quote I’ve seen in one of these stories:

    Greaves told me he has received numerous threats from people who want to attack the sculpture, but that he “wouldn’t expect these outraged and nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.”

    So awesome. Keep it up, guys, you’re doing Baphomet’s work.

  • tacitus

    I think I still have my Gideon’s Bible somewhere, and I vaguely remember the day they handed them out to my class. They still hand out a combined New Testament and Book of Psalms (wisely leaving out the rest of the Old Testament), in thousands of British schools every year, though so schools are finally starting to refuse them entry because of many of their students are from other religious traditions.

    Of course, the vast majority of them are never read, and Gideons International has done nothing to slow down Christianity’s slide into irrelevancy in the UK. What a waste of paper, though.

  • abb3w

    For the curious, the Satanists helpfully make the activity book available on-line.