So, Iben Thranholm, who ‘has been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues’ has a post published on RT entitled, What the Hell, Satan worship on the rise in America. In the article, Thranholm discusses the coming-out-of-the-shadows (if you will) of ‘explicitly Satanic groups’ via participation in public prayer and The Satanic Temple’s, After School Satan club.
After School Satan is being offered as an alternative to the Evangelical Christian Good News Club in U.S. public schools. The TST statement of purpose for the club? ‘While the Good News Clubs focus on indoctrination, instilling them with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath, After School Satan Clubs will focus on free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us.’
Of course After School Satan has become quite the topic for conversation for a number of reasons. FOX 10 Phoenix’s coverage included a conversation with the head of the Arizona chapter of TST, Stu De Haan.
At TST’s After School Satan web page they offer for sale, The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities. The Daily Banter has posted the entire activity book. They describe TST as, ‘…quite possibly the greatest ongoing troll campaign in the contiguous 48, constantly throwing conservative Christian hypocrisy back in the face of anyone who willfully lobbies to violate the separation of church and state.’ Iben Thranholm’s darkest fears might be disappointed by the content of the book. Below is one page, the Jumble word puzzle. If you can’t figure the words out they are: friendship, compassion, respect, empathy, justice, reason, freedom. Evil nasty stuff.
For having ‘been awarded for her investigative research into Danish media coverage of religious issues,’ Iben Thranholm sure does a piss poor job in her coverage of this issue. But, to be fair, Thranholm is working on a bias and with an agenda. If she has been given awards for the promotion of that bias then that can hardly be criticized.
Comparative religious studies requires an astute mind and an understanding of nuance. Good reporting on social/religious issues requires the same, importantly so. By merely attempting to push cliched stereotypes regarding Satan and Satan worshipers Thranholm missed the entire issue related to The Satanic Temple’s activism.
Chez Pazienza at The Daily Banter didn’t in 2014: ‘The message: you choose to bring your religion into a public space, violating the Constitution, then we get to bring ours.’
Today’s message: you choose to indoctrinate children into a cult of irrational fear using the public school system, then we get to offer children an alternative to that fear.
There is more to discuss in Thranholm’s article and this blog will do so because it’s very relevant in a socila/political context. Part two of this conversation will take a look at the way-out opening ceremony for the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland this past June.