DILLSBURG, Pa. — On Tuesday, Northern York County School District officials gave the green light for the Satanic Temple to host an event at Northern High School. The event is a back-to-school night for the After School Satan Club.
“We know people have assumptions about what Satanism is and those assumptions are almost universally wrong," said Lucien Graves.
Greaves is the co-founder of the Satanic Temple, which is based in Massachusetts. The scheduling of the satanic event comes just a few days after Northern York hosted a prayer night by the Christian-affiliated, Dillsburg Community Worship and Prayer.
Greaves says congregants of the Satanic Temple should have similar access to school facilities.
“We don’t decry or begrudge anybody having a prayer event or anything like that," said Greaves. "It does become a problem, a serious problem, when you allow a back-to-school prayer event, but you don’t allow any other religious representation.”
The Satanic Temple first sought approval of an After School Satan Club at a Northern York school back in April, but the school board shot it down at the time. The event drew widespread condemnation from parents.
"They already took God out of schools now they're going to let Satan in, it's just crazy," said Perry County resident Jennifer McAllister back in April.
"Anything that has to deal with worshipping Satan is bad news," said Michael Tichnell, Operations Manager at New Hope Ministries.
Greaves says parents should view the event as people expressing their right to religious freedom.
“We’re talking about upholding fundamental pillars of democracy and the First Amendment.”
The Northern York County School District released a statement about the event, saying that it does not endorse the activity of outside organizations that rent its facilities.