Conservatives upset by After School Satan Club's horrifying plan to teach children about science and rationalism

Originally published at: Conservatives upset by After School Satan Club's horrifying plan to teach children about science and rationalism | Boing Boing


I seem to remember years ago evangelical Christians were trying to get atheism/humanism legally defined as a religion, I think as some kind of end-run around evolution being taught in schools.


Some pastor they interviewed for the article:

“I can’t go into the school building and pray. But yet we can rent a facility to the Satanic Temple …”

Can’t you, though? Because the entire reason the Satanic Temple folks brought their dog and pony show to town was because the school was renting out space to a club whose mission statement is “a clear presentation of the Gospel and an opportunity for children to trust Jesus as savior”. Spare me your sob story about Christianity being oppressed.


I think the title is over-analyzing it. They’re not upset about the science and rationalism stuff, they don’t even get that far.

They see “Satan” in the name, their brains shut off, and they freak out that children are doing ritual animal sacrifice after school.


I don’t know… I think you’re underestimating how much they want to destroy public education altogether in favor of religious/patriotic indoctrination. They want to teach enough science to be useful, just not enough to encourage children to question the world around them. It’s exactly why they want to destroy the humanities, as those fields are the key to creating an engaged, thoughtful electorate. They don’t want an engaged thoughtful electorate that might ask uncomfortable questions - they want obedient sheep who will work hard, not ask too many questions, and not push the boundaries of their authority.


You’re absolutely right, and I’m being a bit flippant about it. There’s definitely an organized push against critical thought1, but I don’t think that’s coming from the same contingent of people getting actively vocally bent out of shape about it. The freakout that makes the news is from the useful idiot masses who get riled up by the anti-intellectuals using “your children will be given upside-down cross tattoos and taught swear words” as a way to get them frothing.

1What does it say about your belief system when it comes apart by children being told to think about it? Just a thought…


Again, I’d say that these people know what they’re trying to do here. I don’t think that they’re just ignorant and superstitious people. They are organized and working to end public education as we know it. :woman_shrugging: It seems to me that we’ve all been flippant about these people long enough, and it’s time to take them seriously and stop their take over of our society.


In general we need more critical thinking skills taught in schools. Though it is hard to test that on a standardized test, which we seem to tailor education to now. :confused:

The whole education system in general is under attack. Teachers are way under paid and beat down by the system. Too many Republicans want it privatized so they can send their kids to theocratic schools, and stop “wasting” money on the poor. :confused: Only the hypocrites want their charter and private schooling subsidized, while killing off public schools.


Yep. Along these lines, my friend and labmate at RPI (we were both PhD students in electrical engineering) came to NYC, and I took him and his family to the Museum of Natural History. He’s originally from Isfahan in Iran, and we got to the part about plate tectonics and he had no idea what that was (because Creationism). He was so, so angry at the mullahs… there was a lot of really agitated discussions in Farsi with his wife. So yeah, that’s the general idea, you’ve got enough parts of science to be an effective engineer, but you’re missing entire domains of knowledge.


Well, this explains - beyond the Iowa display kerfuffle - why I keep seeing all these Republican politicians and other right-wingers now loudly declaring that anything involving Satan isn’t worthy of any kind of first amendment rights. Either as religion or speech. Though they’re being amusing in how they’re framing it - anything that mentions Satan deserves no protections! So, uh, Christianity? (But this is where the right is now - not even pretending the laws they write and interpret will be evenly applied to all. No, they’re not even pretending it’s anything but “one rule for me, another for thee.”)

For some people (i.e. the intended recipients of the rhetoric by conservative leaders). But for others, the people being quote in the media - e.g. “Ted” Cruz - it’s the opposite. The “Satan” bit is just the controversy that provides the excuse to tear down freedom of religion and speech in general.


Satan is a fictitious literary character.

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golden girls satan GIF


I like the last line in the story (stated with no sense of irony) - “This is gonna spread like wildfire. If they are able to get into one school, how many other schools are they plotting to do?” Carrick asked.

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Well there’s their problem! Can’t have one without the other.


Well, they think that they can, because they want to trappings of modernity, but none of the social aspects that they see as more problematic from their ideology… they want, in the words of historian Laura Deeb, An Enchanted Modern…

Her book is about Shia folks in Lebanon, but a similarly analysis could apply to theocratic Christians in the US…


Oh, he means he can’t go into the school building and FORCE kids to pray. Tough to maintain political dominance without false equivalences and claiming victimhood.

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