After School Satan Sounds Like More Atheist Trolling

Militant atheist activist Hemant Mehta writes:

Still Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia is home to a (Christian) Good News Club. And since Fred Mephisto, the head of the local chapter of The Satanic Temple, is a graduate of the same District, he’s been leading the charge to make sure the school also offers an After School Satan club this year.

[…]

But it’s not going very well. That’s in part because the District refuses to even say if it received his application.

Hmmm. Perhaps the District thinks it is being pranked/trolled.  But that may not last too long, as we all know just how much atheist activists love to…..

sue-people

Mehta continues:

I asked spokesperson Lucien Greaves, and he told me in an email that a lawsuit may be in the District’s future:

It’s odd that, in response to the question of whether or not Cobb County School District intends to answer our request for an after-school club, they reply with a non-sequitur merely saying that they have no such club.

This indicates a calculated official refusal to acknowledge our request, and failure to reply to us could constitute a “de facto” rejection of our after-school club application. If it does turn out that the school district has deliberated to institute this apparent policy of official ignorance toward our request, a case for discrimination is clear. We are currently discussing legal options.

 The “friendly” atheist then weighs in:

You know who’s really quiet during this conversation? All those Christian legal groups that say they’re fighting for “religious freedom.” They don’t give a damn if non-Christians are oppressed, do they?

Those poor little precious snowflakes!  They trolled a school board to get some “edgy” version of a Flying Spaghetti Monster club, got ignored, and now they are being OPPRESSED!  It must be so difficult to be a Gnu.  First, the mere sight of a local government seal causes them to suffer “irreparable harm,” and now the oppression of having one’s trolling ignored!  Are we seeing more symptoms of the Gnu virus?

drsmith_oh_the_pain

If you doubt the activists are trolling, check out what Mehta says in his video:

 

 

And maybe you’re wondering what they learn at these After School Satan — or ASS — clubs. That’s a good question.

ASS clubs?

Smell the trolling.

It’s not indoctrination. And it actually has nothing to do with Satan.

These clubs teach kids to ask questions. Think rationally. Appreciate science.

Well lookie here.  So ASS “actually has nothing to do with Satan.”  If the club “actually has nothing to do with Satan,” clearly there is no need to name it After School Satan.  Instead, why not engage in some truth in advertising and name it “After School Young Skeptics?”

Mehta then goes on to label the asking of questions, thinking rationally, and appreciating science as religion:

But the point is: The Satanic Temple has some people freaking out… because they’re only now realizing that religious freedom applies to other religions, too.

These activists just can’t get their talking points straight.  Out of one side of their mouth, they tell us religion is incompatible with asking questions, thinking rationally, and appreciating science.  Then, out of the other side of the mouth, they throw the trollish label “Satanism” on asking questions, thinking rationally, and appreciating science and, presto, it’s now supposed to be religion.

I don’t blame the school for ignoring the trolls.  If it goes to court, perhaps the school lawyers will focus on the trollish nature of the request.  Is the Satanic Temple truly a religion or just another version of mockery (like the FSM crowd)?  Why must it be named After School Satan when “Satan has nothing to do with it?”  Such a needless label is likely to cause confusion and headaches for the school board.  So why not just name it for what it is – something like the Young Skeptics Club?  After all, is there a right to name your school club whatever you want?

Of course, if the trolls agree they need to teach about Satan and Satanism, while labeling skepticism as a religion, all to get the courts to rule in their favor concerning the naming of the club, then let the chips fall where they may.  Since (as google tells me) children need parental permission to attend those little Good News Clubs, the same should apply with ASS.  Good luck with that one.  ASS’s promotion video will surely help get parents everywhere to sign up:

If some ASS clubs were set up, I imagine it would get very old very quick for some atheist/satanist actvists (ASS-Gnus?) to sit in a classroom with two kids trying to keep last year’s atheist activism ploy alive.  It would likely whither on the vine.  This is especially true since so much of atheist activism is fueled by the internet atheist community, which has an attention span just slightly longer than the Twitter community.  A year from now, that community will be rallying around some other “clever” ploy and ASS would be shelved somewhere with the Brights.

Besides, it would be fun to see the New Atheist community defend religion and stand up for religious freedom….as long as the religion is Satanism.😉

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14 Responses to After School Satan Sounds Like More Atheist Trolling

  1. jbsptfn says:

    After School Satan clubs? Oh, brother. Maybe they can have Skeppy and Papa Plagiarizer as guest speakers. They would fit well at an A** club meeting.

  2. SteveK says:

    *eye roll*

  3. TFBW says:

    These clubs teach kids to ask questions. Think rationally. Appreciate science.

    I still find it mildly amusing that these folks consider themselves capable of teaching the subject as described. It would be more accurate to say that they can teach how to stonewall while maintaining the pretence of open-mindedness, apply radical scepticism extremely selectively, and venerate science.

  4. Billy Squibs says:

    Still, I suppose you have to hand it to them. They have happened on what could be a very effective tactic that plays off the fears of Christians. Also, you just know the media will lap this stuff up.

    I’m occasionally inclined to pessimism and unless there is an effective counter challenge, I see two options if this turns into a legal challenge:

    1) Some theists will reluctantly remove their religious practice from the public square for fear of allowing such parody religions a toe in the door.
    2) It transpires that the law has no mechanism for dealing with trolls and well end up with a smorgasbord of religions and their parodies. Perhaps it would not be long before people loose the ability to distinguish between the two.

    Interesting thought here about this new Satanic movement – http://wmbriggs.com/post/19587/

  5. SteveK says:

    Lawmakers could add to the requirements for establishing groups like this to raise the barrier to entry and keep the trolls out – but what?

  6. TFBW says:

    @SteveK: Require at least one expression of interest from the parent of an enrolled child? If they’re just using it as an opportunity to get in people’s faces with their advertising and whatnot, it seems like a fair but minimal barrier to entry. Who knows — they might even be able to find an actual sympathetic parent or two. Good luck to them if they can, I guess. Price of a free country.

  7. TFBW says:

    I should probably say, “price of living in a free country where public education is the norm.”

  8. SteveK says:

    How about also getting the expressed interest/support of a local religious organization in the community? That way you know this group has ties to the community and extends beyond the walls of the school. If there is no local church of Satan in the community for its members to attend then I see no reason to let them gather at the school.

  9. FZM says:

    Billy,

    Still, I suppose you have to hand it to them. They have happened on what could be a very effective tactic that plays off the fears of Christians. Also, you just know the media will lap this stuff up.

    What they are doing may be a bit like some of the “political technologies” that were employed by governments to manipulate the constitutional development of various post-Communist societies in the 1990s and early 2000s via the proliferation of shadow/fake political parties as a way of confusing voters.

    I can see that it might be effective up to a point. But perhaps increasing awareness of some kind of deliberate strategy on the part of anti-religious activists based around proliferating confusing pseudo-religions as a way of attacking established ones would start to undermine this effectiveness.

    William James, in his old (but I think still influential) book on the varieties of religious experience identifies sincerity and seriousness as important distinguishing features of the ‘religious’. If the only sincerely held beliefs in some system of ideas presenting itself as a new ‘religion’ are the ones which involve manifesting hostility to, or the ridicule of, other established religions I don’t think it is going to be all that credible as a religion in the longer term. If a wider range of sincere beliefs are involved it would start to become ineffective as a way of attacking religious belief as such and over time I guess anti-religious activists would be likely to lose interest in it.

    With these ‘Satanic’ and ‘ASS’ type things, Christians could just spend more time talking about the kind of things Satan is associated with in the Christian tradition; i.e. nothing good at all, generally everything that is evil or destructive. These new kind of ‘Satanists’ would then likely have to keep remaking the point Michael highlights in his O/P; their Satan or Lucifer has nothing to do with Satan as understood in the Christian tradition. If, on the other hand they do identify their Satan with the Satan of the Christian tradition they will look like some very weird extremist hate-group (like the more dedicated kind of Neo-Nazi?).

  10. Doug says:

    I note that none of the usual suspects have jumped on this thread with their support for “thinking rationally” and “appreciating science”. Perhaps even notabilia feels compelled to exercise sufficient intellectual honesty to acknowledge an obvious troll.

  11. ernie says:

    its a dangerous waters to tread in to deny someones rights because you suspect them of trolling, it will be an interesting case if it goes to court

  12. TFBW says:

    The legal version of “trolling” is failure to operate in “good faith”, and it’s a solid enough argument if it can be made. Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean you can use that right as a means to be a disruptive nuisance, and the whole “After School Satan” thing has the strong whiff of intent to disturb and offend adults rather than teach children, just from the choice of name. The fact that Mehta is promoting it as a means to stick it to the religious backs up this position, so TIA to him for the help.

  13. Michael says:

    Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean you can use that right as a means to be a disruptive nuisance, and the whole “After School Satan” thing has the strong whiff of intent to disturb and offend adults rather than teach children, just from the choice of name.

    Given that Mehta admits the club has nothing to do with Satan, the name clearly is trolling. And I don’t think the right to have a club means the club has the right to use whatever name it wants. For example, what if the Christian club decided to change its name to “God Loves Only Christians” or “Atheists Are Going to Hell?” What of the skeptics were at a school where there were plenty of Muslim students. Anyone think there would be no problem if the skeptic club wanted to name itself “The Pork and Bacon Lovers Club” even though the club had nothing to do with bacon/pork?

  14. pennywit says:

    Ironically, I’d be more sympathetic if they were actual Satanists, rather than playacting atheists.

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