(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – A federal judge has ordered a school district in Pennsylvania to allow “The Satanic Temple,” a far-left “nontheistic” religious group, to use school property for student activities.
The Satanic Temple (TST), which is based in Salem, Massachusetts, claims that it only uses the idea of a literary Satan to promote social justice.
The lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s Saucon Valley District (SVSD) was filed on TST’s behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The Satanic Temple sued after the district first accepted by then denied the leftist group’s application to host its “After School Satan Club,” The Daily Caller reported.
On Monday, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a preliminary injunction, obliging the district to allow the satanic club at schools for the duration of the lawsuit.
“When confronted with a challenge to free speech, the government’s first instinct must be to forward expression rather than quash it,” the ruling read.
“Here, although The Satanic Temple, Inc.’s objectors may challenge the sanctity of this controversially named organization, the sanctity of the First Amendment’s protections must prevail. Indeed, it is the First Amendment that enumerates our freedoms to practice religion and express our viewpoints on religion and all the topics we consider sacred,” the judge elaborated.
Even though the district initially approved TST’s push to launch its activities on campus, it backtracked after outraged parents protested against the emergence of a “satanic club.”
Thus, in February, the Saucon Valley District told The Satanic Temple that the approval was revoked since the latter didn’t clarify on its permission slips for parents that the school authorities didn’t endorse the club.
The court ruled that the district had broken the First Amendment because of “The Satanic Temple’s controversial views on religion and the community’s negative reactions thereto.”
“The Court agrees. Use of government regulations or statutes as pretext to shut down an organization or business because of the content of its speech or some undesired secondary effects of that speech violates the First Amendment,” the ruling reads.
The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the ruling as a “powerful message.”
“We applaud the court for recognizing the threat to the First Amendment rights of the After School Satan Club and The Satanic Temple and preventing Saucon Valley School District from continuing its brazen discrimination,” Sara Rose, deputy legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, declared in a press release.
“This ruling sends a powerful message that the First Amendment protects the viewpoints and beliefs of all people and faiths,” she added.
What is your opinion about this judge’s ruling? Please share your thoughts and views by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.
Federal judge orders Pennsylvania school district to allow After-School Satan club https://t.co/bb4i8IBEiD
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 3, 2023