TACOMA, Wash. - Pastors from all over the city packed Shiloh Baptist Church Tuesday night, frustrated that the Satanic Temple of Seattle wants to establish an after-school program at Point Defiance Elementary.
“We want to cut this off and defeat it before it ever gets a chance to take root,” said one pastor.
“We are the taxpayers here and we ought to stand up and let them know they are not welcome, they don’t pay taxes here,” said another leader.
STS had targeted a school in Mount Vernon, but shifted focus to Point Defiance to provide a counter-point to the school’s already established Christian-based “Good News” club.
The Satanists bill themselves as all about scientific and critical thinking, not as devil worshipers.
Religious leaders feel this attitude is a gateway to introduce anti-religious ideology.
Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel told the pastors the school district would legally have to approve the club if it filed the proper paperwork, which the Satanists have yet to do.
He also added: “They have to have parents willing to sign permission slips sending their children to it.
If they don’t, and this has happened in other places, if they don’t get any parents signing up, they’re going to go away."
Tacoma Public Schools sends out the permission slips for all clubs via a listserv, meaning the club would not be allowed to do any soliciting on campus.
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