“Just the name alone, ’Satanic Temple,’ is negative and these elementary kids don’t need that,” another woman told the news agency.
Additionally, Tehachapi News reported that news of the club had generated so much controversy on social media that administrators of the Tehachapi Raves and Rants Facebook group shut down comments at least once “so they could sleep.” The administrator of the Tehachapi Ask Facebook group decided to remove comments about the topic, the news site reported.
Paul Hicks, identified as a volunteer with the After School Satan Club, told KBAK that Christian-based clubs such as the Good News Club are a main reason the After School Satan Club is necessary. “We want to give an alternative point of view,” he said.
“I’m not teaching these kids that they need to hail Satan or identify as Satanists. What we’re doing is we’re thinking critical thinking, we’re teaching science, we’re teaching empathy,” Hicks said.
According to Everett, there are two active After School Satan Clubs in the country, one in Moline, Illinois, and another in Lebanon, Ohio. One such club is launching Nov. 28 in Wilmington, Ohio. Three clubs are pending approval in Eaton, Ohio; Chesapeake, Virginia; and and Endwell, New York.
The Satanic Temple said it uses the word “Satan” in the name of the club because “Satan, to us, is not a supernatural being.
“Instead, Satan is a literary figure that represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny over the human mind and spirit,” it states on its website.
The presence of evangelical after-school clubs “not only established a precedent for which school districts must now accept Satanic groups, but the evangelical after school clubs have created the need for Satanic after school clubs to offer a contrasting balance to student’s extracurricular activities,” according to the Satanic Temple.
This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.