Tucker Carlson slammed the head of a Satanic Temple for hosting an ‘after-school Satan club’ meeting, which had drawn the outrage of some parents after fliers advertising the event were seen in the Illinois elementary school.
The Fox News host questioned the group’s leader, Lucien Greaves, who appeared on his ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ program on Friday, just a day after protesters stood outside Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, Illinois, to push back on the satanic after-school club.
‘So could there be an “I hate gays” club?’ Carlson asked on Friday, January 14, 2022, ‘Or a “black people are inferior” club?’
‘The answer, of course, is no, because the community has some say in what its kids are exposed to on government property, i.e. a public school,’ he said. ‘So you’re just telling me that everyone is just kind of going along with it because of the Supreme Court?’
‘I don’t want to use profanity on air but, what you’re saying is ridiculous, we both know it’s ridiculous, I just want to be really clear on this.’
Greaves, who’s Satanic Temple runs the club, which says it promotes ‘benevolence and empathy and critical thinking’ and does not believe in Satan, repeatedly citing the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold freedom of religion, using that logic to justify the club’s existence.
The school district has said the club is allowed to meet because they can’t discriminate against ‘different viewpoints.’
The Supreme Court has allowed for religion… What you can’t do is allow the government to pick which religions,’ Greaves said.
‘But they do all the time,’ Carlson responded. ‘You could be suspended from school for quoting portions of the old testament.’
‘If there is an after-school Satan club, students should at least be able to quote (scripture) without being suspended,’ Carlson said.
‘Is there a Satan school of theology?’ he asked Greaves.
‘No, we’ve got educators who have volunteered with us, we do criminal background checks that aren’t required of after-school clubs and haven’t been required of any of the religious clubs because we want to be responsible about this,’ Greaves said.
On Thursday, half a dozen protesters led by a pastor stood outside the school as it held its first ‘after-school Satan club’ meeting, with the district saying the club is allowed to meet because they can’t discriminate against ‘different viewpoints.’
Fliers for the club appeared this week at Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, a small city along the Mississippi River.
They read: ‘Hey Kids, let’s have fun at our After School Satan Club! Science Projects! Puzzles & Games! Arts and Craft Projects! Nature Activities!’
The fliers also noted that five dates were already scheduled, with the first meeting held Thursday afternoon from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
A copy was posted online by a parent and quickly spread across social media, angering some.
The district says that a parent reached out to the ‘national after-school Satan club’ to have them bring the program to the school, and that the club is not connected to any teacher or school employee.’
At the protest on Thursday, one man stood outside with a large wooden cross reading, ‘Stop and Talk.’ Others held signs that said ‘God Knows Your Heart. You Need Jesus’ and ‘You Are Not An Atheist. You Need Jesus.’
‘To illegally deny their organization (viewpoint) to pay to rent our publicly funded institution, after school hours, subjects the district to a discrimination lawsuit, which we will not win, likely taking thousands upon thousands of tax-payer dollars away from our teachers, staff, and classrooms,’ said Moline-Coal Valley Schools Superintendent Rachel Savage in a message posted to the district’s website Wednesday.
On Thursday, Moline police had a cruiser and a community service officer on the scene when school got out, according to OurQuadCities.com.
The pastor leading the small protest said he and his group plan to protest as long as the club continues to meet.
The Satan club’s flier says it promotes ‘benevolence and empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression and personal sovereignty.’
In a FAQ section on its website, the Satanic Temple says it does not ‘believe in the existence of Satan or the supernatural.’
‘The Satanic Temple believes that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition. As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions.’
That hasn’t stopped parents and others on social media from fuming about the club hosting meetings at the school.
Parent Necia Cole posted a photo of the flier on Facebook on Monday, according to KTVI.
One person responded: ‘Wait what????? How is this even a thing? Who approved this? I just know they’re about to catch hell because I would be going tf off.’
Cole replied: ‘I will add that the flyer was only allowed due to the rules and regulations that the school has to allow it. My kids attend a pretty good school. I may also add that no teacher physically passed out the flyers.’
Superintendent Rachel Savage addressed the controversy on Wednesday, citing ‘many mounting concerns and questions.’
She stressed that the club meeting doesn’t impact the school day and does not involve any district teacher.
‘A parent from within our district reached out to the national after-school satan club, informing them that Jane Addams Elementary School, in Moline, offers a child evangelism fellowship club and asked that they bring their program to that school as well, to offer parents a choice of different viewpoints,’ Savage wrote.
The Board of Education allows the community to use and rent the district’s facilities, she added.
‘Since we have allowed religious entities to rent our facilities after school hours, we are not permitted to discriminate against different religious viewpoints,’ Savage said.
She emphasized that only 30 fliers were sent to the school and that they were not distributed to students, but simply placed on a table in the lobby where they could pick one up.