Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

U.S. News

‘That Is Not a Religion’: DeSantis Bars Satanists from Florida School Chaplaincy Program

via NBC
This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Florida’s new law allows volunteer chaplains from approved religious affiliations to provide counseling services in public schools, but prohibits involvement from Satanist groups.

Governor DeSantis signed the bill, asserting Satanism is not a valid religion.

“Some have said if you do a school chaplain program that somehow you’re going to have Satanists running around in all our schools,” DeSantis said. “We’re not playing those games in Florida. That is not a religion. That is not qualifying to be able to participate in this, so we’re going to be using common sense when it comes to this, so you don’t have to worry about that.”

The legislation read, “Each school district or charter school may adopt a policy to authorize volunteer school chaplains to provide supports, services, and programs to students as assigned by the district school board or charter school governing board.”

“Any opportunity that exists for ministers or chaplains in the public sector must not discriminate based on religious affiliation,” The Satanic Temple’s Director of Ministry Penemue Grigori stated. “Our ministers look forward to participating in opportunities to do good in the community, including the opportunities created by this bill, right alongside the clergy of other religions.”

Ryan Jayne of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Action Fund stated, “I think there is a 100 percent chance you see satanic chaplains, and also of course other religious minorities that the majority-Christian population might not be a fan of. The Satanic Temple is a church, whether people like it or not.”

Proponents argue the law acknowledges faith’s role in students’ lives, while critics like the Satanic Temple and Freedom From Religion Foundation believe it enables discrimination and that Satanism is a legitimate faith.

“It is wonderful to have such a strong statement denying the legitimacy of Satanism as a religion or church from Gov. DeSantis. But I worry that appeals to common sense will not hold in the most ideological school systems, even in Florida,” said Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies.

“Regardless, this is an important step in acknowledging the role that faith plays in our lives and how important it is that the big questions students have about morality, life and death, and God’s plan for their lives are best answered by a parent or priest, pastor, or chaplain,” Kilgannon said.

Debate continues around whether Satanist chaplains should be allowed to participate under the law’s provisions.

You May Also Like