Satanic children's ministry offers their own release program after Tennessee school board moots Bible study class
The group said they just want parents 'to realize the importance of keeping religion out of public schools completely'.
After some members of Knox County School Board, Tennessee, said they were considering running a program, where kids could miss class in order to enroll in a Bible study program, sponsored by the church, a Satanic group has offered to teach their religious beliefs to kids who do not want to study The Bible.
The group has launched Satanic Children's Ministry of Knoxville in response and says they believe public schools should not be promoting religion. However, if they do, all of them should be represented.
In a written statement, a spokesperson for the organization said, "We are so proud to announce that pending the school board vote in November approving The Church at Sterchi Hill’s Bible Release Time program, Satanic Children's Ministry of Knoxville will be coming to your local elementary with our Satanic Release Program! For one hour once a month, your children can be released from their school to come learn about Baphomet!," they said.
The program would include activities that would help kids learn the "tenets of Satanism", they added, saying, "We'll even send your children back to school with candy, prizes, and educational materials so they can share our program with their classmates!"
The organization said they were an independent Satanic group and did not have affiliations with any other Satanic groups in the US or elsewhere. "Our preferred outcome is for all parents of Knox Co. to realize the importance of keeping religion out of public schools completely," they said, adding that the divide would lead to bullying.
"We would prefer that the school board vote down any policy written for religious release programs but if they do not, we are prepared to roll out a program," a spokesperson for the group told the Daily Mail "We have the financial backing and volunteers needed to make it happen."
Superintendent Bob Thomas gave the trial run a green light at the Sterchi Elementary after the Elgin Foundation and The Church at Sterchi Hills proposed the opportunity, WVLT reported. "We just educate churches and schools in the legality of it," said Executive Director of the Foundation Tim Rogers. The Elgin Foundation already has Bible programs like the ones proposed in place in East Tennessee.
The SMKC spokesperson also said that many Knox County teachers support their intentions. "They may not be for the actual program, but they seem to appreciate the fact that it is shining a light on the problem with allowing one church to have their religious release program in the school," they said.