Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, Illinois recently added an after-school Satan Club to its roster of extracurricular activities, which has concerned and outraged parents and other observers.
The club began handing out fliers in January and can be found on social media.
It is said to be led by volunteers who undergo background checks for professionalism, social responsibility, and good communication skills. A flier distributed by the club says one of its aims is to teach students “benevolence, empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving, creative expression and personal sovereignty.”
According to the district superintendent, no Jane Addams teachers are involved, and the club’s fliers “were not distributed to all students.” The superintendent, Dr. Rachel Savage, also said neither the school nor the district was involved in renting the facility to the club. Savage said a parent initiated the idea for the club in order to bring other “viewpoints” to the school.
A spokesperson for the Satanic Temple claimed, “We’re not teaching children about Satanism. They’re just going to know that this is taught by Satanists.”
A spokesperson for Child Evangelism, which operates some 5,000 Good News Christian Clubs, told Fox News, “I cannot tell you what’s in their hearts, but they certainly are doing work that would be contrary to the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
The Satanic Temple spokesperson acknowledged that Satan clubs were conceived expressly to present an alternative to “religious indoctrination” in some after-school programs. Yet, many would argue the Christian worldview is the actual alternative to a culture in moral decline.
C. S. Lewis, a prominent Christian intellectual known for defending the Christian faith and acknowledging the importance of education, once stated, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” Lewis understood the issue of evil in the world, so he championed a Christian perspective.
The Satanic Temple claims not to worship the devil – rather, that its infamous object of worship merely symbolizes defiance, independence and self-empowerment. Yet, Christian intellectuals, including Lewis, unanimously agree that Satan is evil and brings pain, suffering and immorality into the world.
Notably, Lewis said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man into a clever devil.”
Lewis and other Christian intellectuals have been fierce proponents of integrating Christianity and education. And Christian schools are currently seeing a boom in interest and enrollment, thanks in part to parents across the nation concerned about such developments as at Jane Addams Elementary.