Fox News All Het Up About Satan Again

Earlier this week, news dropped that a school in Moline, Illinois would be hosting an After School Satan Club for elementary school students who choose to attend, following the very predictable Facebook outrage among Concerned Moms Who Can't Take A Joke over flyers they saw around their children's schools — a flyer which painstakingly explains that The Satanic Temple, the group responsible for the club, does not believe in Satan.

At this point, anyone who has been around the internet for more than five seconds ought to be aware of who The Satanic Temple is and what they do. They don't "worship Satan" or any other deities, they're just atheists who like to expose the hypocrisy of those who seek to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Someone puts a statue of the Baby Jesus on public land, they're petitioning for a statue of Baby Satan there as well. It's a troll.

In this case, the after school programs are being set up directly in response to after school "Good News Clubs," meant to promote Christianity. If those clubs didn't exist, After School Satan Clubs wouldn't exist. The whole entire purpose of these stunts is to demonstrate to people that if church and state are not kept separate, it won't always be their church that gets promoted by the state. It's an important lesson to learn — unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though anyone has learned it.

Fox has so far run several segments on the club, including one in which Tucker Carlson actually interviews Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple and still manages to come away not quite getting it.

Tucker takes on Satanic

Carlson seemed perplexed by the fact that such a thing could exist, comparing it to an "I Hate Gays Club" or a "Black People Are Inferior Club" existing at the schools, both of which would be a very different thing altogether. And besides, many schools have Young Republicans clubs.

He repeatedly stated that it was very unfair because they wouldn't let kids go around quoting from the Old Testament on school grounds or have an after school program for Christian students — but the club was very specifically a response to the fact that Moline had a Good News Club elementary school after school program run by an evangelical group.

It seems highly unlikely that those working Fox don't know what this is about, and very likely that they are playing it up due to the fact that their viewing audience has brought about the second coming of the Satanic Panic in recent years.


The After School Satan Club is intended to act as an alternative offer to religious after school programs, especially to kids who may not be able to go home straight after school.

“If you’re going to open the public forum up to one religion, you open it up to all of them,” said Lucien Greaves, Co-Founder of the Satanic Temple.

The Good News Club, a program organized by the organization Child Evangelism Fellowship, is offered at Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline.

Programs such as the Good News Club and After School Satan Club bring up a centuries-old debate--the separation between church and state.

“There have been decades, generations of people trying to encroach religion into public schools and we simply can’t allow the government to pick and choose which religions are worthy of expression,” said Greaves.

Somehow, that part of the story was lost on him. It was also lost on Rachel Campos-Duffy on Fox Primetime, who argued that kids should be more scared of "Satan" lurking in their hallways than of COVID.


She too ignored the fact that this was a response to an evangelical after school club, instead worrying that Satanists were out to take over the culture.

Satanists are taking up cultural space all across America, like in the Illinois state house where they successfully put up a statue of baby Satan. And you have heard of Comic-Con, right? Well, there’s a Satancon taking place next month in Arizona.

Oh no, whatever shall we do?

Campos-Duffy addressed the issue again on Fox and Friends Weekend, bringing in Alveda King (Martin Luther King Jr.'s wacky niece) to comment. King's take was that they should fight back by having an evangelical after school program, which, again, already exists.

The thing is, if Christians want to "take up cultural space," they have to allow people of other religions, even fake religions in which everyone is actually an atheist, to take up cultural space as well. And if Christians are going to push to be allowed into schools and state houses and other public areas, they won't always get to be the only religion there. That's the point. The hope, obviously, is that they see the error of their ways and stop doing that and we all get to believe what we believe without anyone getting in anyone else's face about it. It's not that hard.

Anyway, this is now your open thread, you may talk amongst yourselves!

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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