New Jersey is a state known for having it all. It is situated directly between New York City and Philadelphia. There are mountains, beaches, forests, swamps, rivers, bays, cities, suburbs, farmland, and everything in between.
It even has an official chapter of the Satanic Temple.
The temple operates like a normal religious congregation that raises money to aid Ukraine, fights for the reproductive rights of women and works on helping its members with mental health issues.
The Satanic Temple even has an “After School Satan” program designed to help fellow Satanists form after-school programs for children.
According to the Satanic Temple’s website, the After School Satan Clubs meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs and other religious clubs meet. Clubs are set up at the request of local parents, educators, or other community members that would like to see the program offered. Trained educators provide activities and learning opportunities, which students are free to engage in, or they may opt to explore other interests that may be aided by available resources. The environment is open and parents/guardians are welcome to participate. While the classes are designed to promote intellectual and emotional development in accordance with TST’s tenets, no proselytization or religious instruction takes place.
“Proselytization is not our goal, and we’re not interested in converting children to Satanism. After School Satan Clubs focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us,” the group says. “We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”
Based out of Salem, Massachusetts, the Satanic Temple, which boasts 700,000 members globally won a court battle in Maryland to force the state to recognize Satanic holidays for students. Their effort to gain recognition at the local level is clear.
“Gaining recognition on the local level is just as important as legal or governmental recognition,” noted TST Director of Campaign Operations Erin Helian, “This isn’t some joke; our members hold their beliefs in Satanism and the Seven Tenets every bit as closely as followers of other religions.”
The organization has been making significant progress in becoming an officially recognized religion across the United States in recent years, challenging school districts to allow for Satanic holiday excused absences and the formation of the After Schoool Satan Club.
The Satanic Temple even has its own website, Facebook, and YouTube pages.