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.