ORLANDO Fla. (Christian Examiner) – Satanists want to distribute coloring books to children in Orange County, Fla., schools to try to capture their young minds about the dark religion's rituals and other practices.
"The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities," is being pushed by the Satanic Temple, an organization based in New York City, and among the outlined pictures, children are shown participating in satanic rites and drawing pentagrams.
Now, the Orange County School Board is rethinking a policy that allows the distribution of religious material on public school campuses. Previously, groups have been allowed to distribute Bibles and other religious written matter, including atheist materials, within high schools. As recently as January, there was a request to distribute Bibles, and NIV translations were allowed to be placed in schools on tables where students could pick them up if they wanted.
The free access given Bibles prompted the Central Florida Free Thought Community to sue the board after it refused their request to distribute atheist literature, "Jesus Is Dead" and "Why I Am Not a Muslim." The case subsequently was dismissed, after the board relented in September, agreeing to give the group access to the schools.
Satanists are looking to piggy-back on the atheists' success.
"I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and its Bible, and this might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism," said Lucien Greaves, according to the Washington Times. "We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer."
Greaves is a spokesperson with the Satanic Temple.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports this same group is demanding the State of Florida allow them to place a display in an area of the state capitol that features other group's December holiday displays, including nativity scenes. The exhibit depicts an angel falling into a pit of fire along with Scripture verses referencing Satan's fall from grace, and a banner reading, "Happy holidays from the Satanic Temple."
The First Amendment Center located at Vanderbilt University in Nashville notes outside groups may have a limited right in some circumstances to distribute religious material in secondary schools as "long as that distribution is neutral and 'passive.'"
The earliest the school board can alter the policy is late January.