The Satanic Temple, headquartered in Massachusetts, has revealed plans to establish an “After School Satan Club” at Chimneyrock Elementary School in Memphis, marking the inaugural initiative of its kind in Tennessee. The launch is scheduled for January 10.
It’s noteworthy that Memphis-Shelby County Schools neither endorses nor sponsors this event, as explicitly stated in The Satanic Temple’s flyer.
They provided the following statement:
Dear Chimneyrock Family,
We understand that some of you have questions regarding the recent approval of a facility rental to The Satanic Temple, a federally recognized non-profit organization.
As a public school district, we’re committed to upholding the principles of the First Amendment, which guarantees equal access to all non-profit organizations seeking to use our facilities after school hours. This means we cannot approve or deny an organization’s request based solely on its viewpoints or beliefs.
Board Policy 7002 outlines this commitment, allowing community groups and government entities to rent school property outside of school hours. These gatherings are not school-sponsored and are not endorsed or promoted by Memphis-Shelby County Schools.
The Satanic Temple, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public charity, falls under this policy and has the same legal rights to use our facilities after school hours as any other non-profit organization. It will be renting the facility in January, after school. You may read more about the organization in an online news story from the Washington Post.
We understand that this topic may raise questions. Thank you for your understanding and continued partnership.Memphis-Shelby County Schools
Contrary to the provocative name, the organization asserts that its mission does not involve attempting to convert children to any particular religious ideology.
“The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religion that views Satan as a literary figure who represents a metaphorical construct of rejecting tyranny and championing the human mind and spirit,” their website reads.