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AFTER-SCHOOL SATAN CLUB SPREADS

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[10/19/16]  Lilith Starr, a devil’s advocate in every sense, is in a rush to get her After School Satan Club started.

As founder of the Satanic Temple of Seattle, she’s under pressure from national satanic headquarters — located in the Colonial witch trials city of Salem, Mass. — to launch a counter-strike against grade school Christianity by opening an after-school Satan Club.

“I think many people have the misunderstanding that we are some kind of tongue-in-cheek troll group,” said Starr, 44, a Harvard grad who sometimes dresses in church robes and, when circumstances demand, paints her lips and part of her face black.

“But in reality we are a very serious religion, with our own shared narrative, culture and symbols, a code of ethics — our Seven Tenets — and worship in the form of activism.”

The national movement is attempting to establish a dozen After School Satan Clubs across the country. Local chapters have applied for space at public grade schools in cities including Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, Portland, Ore., Tacoma, Wash., Salt Lake City, Tucson, and Los Angeles.

The clubs are all seeking school district approval, with the Atlanta-area club saying it hopes to hold its first meeting by Halloween.

The Los Angeles Unified School District appears to be the only school district to outright reject the club. In response to a Los Angeles Times inquiry Monday, the district issued a statement stating the club proposed for Chase Elementary School in Panorama City “does not meet the minimum requirement of having the school’s approval and, therefore, will not be offered at the school.”

That rejection could lead to a legal challenge. The Christians may have the force of Heaven behind them, but the Satanists have the U.S. Supreme Court.

A 2001 high court ruling in a civil case brought by the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Missouri held that when a government operates a “limited public forum” such as after-school clubs, it can’t discriminate against the kind of speech that takes place.

The victory permitted the clubs to proselytize in public classrooms after hours. It also opened the school door for students of any faith, or no faith, to be taught the ways of Satanism.

Fifteen years later, with the Christian-based Good News Club having expanded to hundreds of schools across the U.S., the Satanists are responding.

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