"After School Satan Club" could be coming to elementary schools in the U.S

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/31/after-school-satan-club-co.html


too sensible, will not work

is this covered by the court decision? it would be sad if the Satan Club can not be established because they are too honest about the intent


But I love “everlasting other-worldly horror.”

After School Satan Club!



the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that to exclude an after-school program on account of the religious views of its sponsors

This is the key sentence. The Jesus Club can set up shop in your school, as long as they’re not a Jesus club, just a… I dunno… Scout troop whose adult sponsors happen to be Christians. So far, so good. But I have sincere doubts the “Good News Clubs” are purely secular in their intent, especially given their name. They really need to be sued in a hurry.

That said, I have concerns about the Satan Club teaching rationalism and humanism, simply because loads of evangelicals already think logic is the enemy. A backlash against secularism is a real possibility, especially if it’s “in Satan’s name.” If they want to push the limits, the Satan Club should teach Satanism, dammit, with all the black candles and goat’s heads. If not, then they should call it something a little more benign like the Thomas Jefferson club. Yea, your Founding Fathers were Atheists, you hicks.


The Supreme Court has said previously that secular humanism can count as if it were a religion for the purposes of exercising your freedom of religion. A “religious belief” doesn’t have to be a belief in a religion but can be a belief regarding the nature of reality and existence and can include belief in the lack of existence of deities or the supernatural.

It’s an odd scenario because there are conflicting perspectives from conservatives, some of whom want atheism recognized as a religion because they (falsely) conflate atheism with a belief in evolution and could therefore have the teaching of evolution banned from schools as a religious rather than academic/scientific subject.

On the other hand, some religious conservatives, like the American Family Association, think it’s ridiculous to call non-religion religion because it supposedly insults religious beliefs.


I really do wish there was some way to give young people a fuller and an honest understanding of the theologies they may encounter during their lives.

Like a theological and philosophical Epcot Center, but one that adheres to rigid fact and disclosure.

You’re lucky to live for a hundred years or so and if you want to choose to believe in something to make those years a little less painful or confusing then I’m fine with that, even if I disagree with your choice or the basic premise you decide to buy in to.

I’ll be honest, if you don’t have a great life; if you’re physically or mentally crippled or you just have shitty circumstances it can be hard as fuck to keep going without some kind of crutch. If I could get the same sense of ease from just believing in something I can’t see I wouldn’t need to smoke so much damn weed.

But kids should know the bargain they are making before they make an investment.


We called it the Chess Club.


I’m seriously considering (once I’ve taken a couple of other things) founding a ‘Church of the Gleeful Agnostic’

I think we need people who can happily embrace all the world has to offer AND be uncertain about what comes beyond without having to be overtly spiritual (lots of the UUs) or overtly anti-Theistic (which is generally where Atheism lies)

I’m all for ‘We have absolutely no clue. None. Not even going to try. Going to pet a puppy now’ as a church with all the trappings. We’d probably have service at the local animal shelter, and our contributions would go to that rather than fancy-expensive religious stuff.

Who’s in? :wink:


I want to go to there.


We should totally make this a thing, shouldn’t we?

I just kind of babbled that out…I’d had the thought of the ‘gleeful agnostic’ before (since the existing ones are more ‘meh’ about things) but the whole animal shelter/agnostic church hybrid just happened a couple of minutes ago and now I’m in love with the idea.


I dunno if it’s good news or bad, but the Unitarian-Universalist church has already been around a while.


I don’t remember if it was Good News Club or something else, but we had this thing back in the seventies/eighties in the Midwest where the visiting group would show these “uplifting” films to the teens at school with all the religious bits edited out. Interesting scenes overlaid with great music set out as a lure, and they’d invite you to come see the rest at an evening gathering where they’d lay it all out. Like a religious Amway pitch.

Does anyone remember this?


Yup, that’s the ‘UU’ I mentioned. They’re my current favorites, but I’m thinking a different vibe. One that doesn’t even look at or give a lick of credence to old religions or spiritual anythings. As in ‘they don’t come up because it’s silly to think that anything that can only be personal and easily misinterpreted should be communicated, and it’s toxic to worry about what lies beyond’

Humanism’s actually a far close technical fit.


Careful though. Your religion may schism along the dogs vs cats line. But at least that would be one religion the history of which I’d love to be forced to study in school.




Just as or more likely will be Nature Based Spirituality or neoPagan clubs.

It’d have to be animal agnostic too, right? :slight_smile:

You can’t be gleefully agnostic while being a dog-ist or a cat-ist. But if you have allergies and have a pet lizard then everybody should think that’s awesome too.

There should be some sort of anti-‘ism’ thing incorporated, shouldn’t there?



My career as a UU reverend would last about five seconds once I took the lectern:

Me [to congregation]: You’re an animal. One day you’ll die. This is all you really know. Now go be nice to one another. Peace out.


You’d be an amazing non-priest of the Chruch of the Gleeful Agnostic though!

(this has to become a thing)