Unexpected but Welcome Support for Religious Liberty in California

On Sunday, October 15, California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown announced his decision to veto AB 569, a bill that would have prohibited organizations from implementing and operating according to faith-based codes of conduct. The legislation would have denied employers the right to take action against an employee because of that employee’s reproductive decisions.

The bill had two huge problems. Firstly, the legislation would have prohibited an employer from taking “any adverse employment action” against any employee of the company who uses any “drug, device, or medical service related to reproductive health.” As an example, this would mean that if an employee of a pro-life organization or pregnancy care center were to take a type of birth control or medication that would medically or chemically induce an abortion, the group would not be allowed under law to take any disciplinary action against, or terminate, that employee. The bill would have applied not only to the employee’s actions but also to the actions of any dependents of the employee (including those up to 26 years of age). The author, Assemblywoman Gonzalez-Fletcher, also stated that the legislation was meant to ban codes of conduct regarding sexual activity outside of marriage.

The second glaring problem is that the bill would have also prevented any organizations from requiring that their employees sign a mission statement, statement of faith, or similar document stating that their intent and agreement to live in accordance with the company’s values. Necessarily, this would mean that churches, nonprofits, and other religious organizations would not be allowed to require their employees to agree to respect and abide by the Bible’s teachings in regards to abortion, contraception, sexual activity outside the bounds of matrimony, and so forth.

In his statement, Governor Jerry Brown noted that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act already bans employers from taking “adverse action” against their employees, except for religious institutions. The Governor indicated his belief that such claims “should remain within the jurisdiction of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.”

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Council Elissa Graves stated:

“The government should not and cannot tell churches, Christian colleges, pro-life pregnancy care centers, and other religious groups that they can’t live out their beliefs within their own organizations. Gov. Brown was right to veto this immensely unconstitutional bill, which would have been an unprecedented overreach on the part of the state of California. The First Amendment doesn’t allow the state to order churches and other faith-based groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. They have the freedom to live according to their faith and to require those who work for them to do the same.”

Governor Brown’s decision to veto AB 569 is a huge win and source of relief to the religious liberty protections of churches, religious organizations, and groups like our state family policy council ally, California Family Council. Working to build opposition to the bill was one of California Family Council’s main focus this legislative session. While this is a major victory, there is still much work to be done in California. For example, California churches are still being forced to pay for elective dismemberment abortions through their health insurance plans.

Churches, religious nonprofits, and organizations like pregnancy help centers rely on being able to operate according to Biblical values. To deny this fundamental First Amendment right would be the equivalent of forcing these institutions to endorse behavior that is inconsistent with the very core of their existence.

Yakima School District Principal Instructs Teachers to Lie to Parents

A Yakima teacher is blowing the whistle on school administrators who he claims instructed him and his coworkers to “engage in active deception towards parents with regard to trans-gendered students.”

In a Facebook post on August 28, Jeremy Wuitschick, a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School in Yakima, WA, gave details about an interaction with the principal at a staff meeting:

YSD [Yakima School District] PARENTS PLEASE SHARE: Today our principal instructed teachers to engage in ACTIVE DECEPTION TOWARDS PARENTS with regard to trans-gendered students that ask to be called a name of a different gender. I am a teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School.

I confirmed this by repeating this question three times to my principal in front of a group of 50 people.

Me: “Are you instructing teachers to actively deceive parents?”

Principal: “Yes.”

This issue is most troubling to me (not transgenderism but rather being told to lie to parents about what is going on at the school with their child).

One teacher raised the classic objection to dishonesty and lying; what if she accidentally makes a mistake and forgets which “reality” is the correct to articulate to a parent.

It is important to note that my objection is to intentional deception by agents of the state towards parents with regard to their own children, I HAVE NO PROBLEM CALLING ANYONE WHATEVER THEY WISH.

The school grounds its policy in federal FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) legislation, but this is not a legally coherent argument. According to FERPA 34 C.F.R. Part 99.4, “An educational agency or institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, State statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.” FERPA was carefully worded to prevent school districts like Yakima from turning it into a weapon to be wielded against parents of middle schoolers. That’s not stopping YSD, however.

This is the latest manifestation of a disturbing trend of state powers encroaching on the ability of parents to act as parents to their children. In 2010, a 15-year-old student at Ballard High School was given birth control by the school nurse without notification of the parents. The birth control failed, and the girl became pregnant. School officials then told the girl that they would cover all expenses including a taxi ride to and from the abortion clinic provided she withheld all information about what had occurred from her parents.

A few weeks ago, a California kindergarten teacher read books to her students explaining that perceptions of one’s body need not conform to the reality of their body. Afterwards, the class hosted a “gender reveal” for a gender dysmorphic boy who was attempting to look more like a girl. “My daughter came home crying and shaking so afraid she could turn into a boy,” one parent said at a public meeting following the incident, according to The Federalist. The parents of the students were not made aware that this would take place.

At Nova Classical Academy in Minnesota, lawsuits over sex-related issues have forced the school to keep all sex-education curriculum and sex-related policies hidden from parents and not allow parents to opt out of any classes or assignments regarding sexual morality. Joy Pullman at The Federalist wrote extensively on the situation:

“This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to ‘train staff’ in politically correct behavior every three years, and ‘not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.’ This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.”

The sexual revolutionaries have no shame. They indoctrinate kindergartners with objectively false and harmful ideas about human nature. They push sexual activity on children as soon as young girls are old enough to take carcinogenic hormonal birth control. They put kids on a trajectory of sexual immorality and then grease the skids towards abortion. They do all of this, and you might never even know.

If it weren’t for the few brave enough to publicly reject leftist sexual orthodoxy and exclusion of parents from kids’ lives, we wouldn’t know of any of this. Legal theorists on the side of secular, anti-family “progressives” believe that the state grants you the right to be a parent and thus also has the authority to take away your parental rights. This particularly insidious understanding of the sacrosanct parent-child relationship is trickling down to the district level. It is up to parents to make sure public school officials don’t get away with it.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.


Feminist Geology? Sexist Cancer Treatment? A Look Into What Colleges Teach Kids

Cogent, a prominent, peer-reviewed academic journal, recently published a paper entitled “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” The paper was published in the “Social Sciences” section of the journal alongside many prominent feminists and gender scholars.

There’s one big problem: the paper was a hoax. It was intentionally written to make no sense. The authors, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay, wrote in a follow-up article on their own website that they themselves don’t even understand what they wrote.

“Assuming the pen names ‘Jamie Lindsay’ and ‘Peter Boyle,’ and writing for the fictitious ‘Southeast Independent Social Research Group,’ we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what ‘post-structuralist discursive gender theory’ actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.”

It is impossible to exaggerate how nonsensically the paper was written.

“Inasmuch as masculinity is essentially performative, so too is the conceptual penis. The penis, in the words of Judith Butler, ‘can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility’ (Butler, 1993). The penis should not be understood as an honest expression of the performer’s intent should it be presented in a performance of masculinity or hypermasculinity. Thus, the isomorphism between the conceptual penis and what’s referred to throughout discursive feminist literature as ‘toxic hypermasculinity,’ is one defined upon a vector of male cultural machismo braggadocio, with the conceptual penis playing the roles of subject, object, and verb of action. The result of this trichotomy of roles is to place hypermasculine men both within and outside of competing discourses whose dynamics, as seen via post-structuralist discourse analysis, enact a systematic interplay of power in which hypermasculine men use the conceptual penis to move themselves from powerless subject positions to powerful ones (confer: Foucault, 1972).”

In the follow up, Boghossian commented, “No one knows what any of this means because it is complete nonsense. Anyone claiming to is pretending.”

Even better than the gibberish is the hysterical:

“Manspreading — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide — is akin to raping the empty space around him.”

That sentence was clearly written for comedic effect. That the sheer absurdity of it was not a red flag for editors of the journal is astonishing.

That is by no means the extent of the comedic value of this paper. Throughout, the authors argue that the conceptual penis is “exclusionary to disenfranchised communities,” and the “driver behind much of climate change.”

Amazingly, despite the paper’s authors proposing that the conceptual penis causes climate change, the hoax paper was still published in a supposedly reputable academic journal.

The morals of the story are many, but primarily that women’s and gender studies must be reevaluated for quality and academic value.

Remember, Cogent is a prominent academic journal. “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” was published alongside the works of Ivy League professors and PhDs. Yet this babble was not out of place.

Here are some other examples demonstrating the lack of sanity in women’s and gender studies:

Breanne Fahs, a women’s and gender studies professor at Arizona State University, claims in a peer-reviewed journal that women should refuse the entire concept of sex in order to move society toward nihilism, anarchy and the destruction of the family:

“Using interview data with Cell 16 members, content analysis of early radical feminist writings, and theoretical and historical analyses of separatism, the piece argues that, by removing themselves from sexuality, women can take a more anarchic stance against the entire institution of sex, thereby working toward more nihilistic, anti-reproduction, anti-family goals that severely disrupt commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and power.”

Donna Hughes, a women’s studies professor at the University of Rhode Island, once wrote an article for the Women’s Studies International Forum, in which she argued that the scientific method is a conspiracy to oppress women perpetrated by the patriarchy:

“The scientific method is a tool for the construction and justification of dominance in the world. The invention of statistics was a major methodological advance in the descriptive sciences causing a shift from descriptive analysis to mathematical analysis. The new methodological techniques were invented by men who were interested in explaining the inheritance of traits in order to support their political ideology of natural human superiority and inferiority.”

Maria Lugones, a professor of philosophy and women’s studies at Bighamton University, claimed in the feminist journal Hypatia that the concept of gender was a violent invention of the colonialists:

“Lugones argues that gender itself is a colonial introduction, a violent introduction consistently and contemporarily used to destroy peoples, cosmologies, and communities as the building ground of the ‘civilized’ West.”

Fahs and a colleague at ASU write in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Studies that the goal of women’s studies is to turn students into “human viruses” that infect other fields of study.

“This paper theorizes that one future pedagogical priority of women’s studies is to train students not only to master a body of knowledge but also to serve as symbolic ‘viruses’ that infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields. In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others.”

It appears these “human viruses” have had some success in this spreading the “virus.” A group of professors at the University of Oregon wrote in Sage Journal that feminism is crucial to glaciology:

“Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”

This nonsense is indistinguishable from the hoax paper. However, feminist glaciology, although lacking sanity, is not an immediate danger to lives. However, women’s and gender studies is ‘infecting’ other fields as well, including the field where it will cause more damage: medicine. In the International Journal of Nursing Studies, the associate dean of studies in the Nursing department at University College Dublin writes that cancer treatment is sexist:

“I argue that there has largely been an uncritical endorsement of biomedical constructions of sexuality, rooted in orthodox sexology, with a dominant focus on sexual functioning and on sexual rehabilitation for women with cancer. Moreover, in this knowledge base, phallocentric heterosexuality over and above other forms of sexual expression is privileged, and the socio-political context of unequal gender power relations is largely excluded.”

Myra Hird, a sociology professor at Queen’s University laments in Sage Journal that a conference doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical professionals focused on biology and medicine rather than feminist and queer theory:

“In accounting for the absence of feminist scholarship, I consider three issues. First, rather than highlight the social construction of gender through the social construction of sex, the conference revealed a persistent belief in `sex’ as the original sign through which gender is read. A second issue concerns the maturity hierarchy that clinicians seem to construct such that stable gender identification and `opposite’ gender desire appear at the apex. Finally, I am concerned with what seems to be a continued association of homosexuality with pathology.”

Spend any time at all in the world of women’s and gender studies and you will realize that the absurdity of “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” is not out of place. Unfortunately, this meaningless babble is not the exception in women’s and gender studies but the rule.

This is a problem. Women’s and gender studies is among the fastest growing fields in academia, with degrees conferred in the discipline increasing by 300% since 1990.

Eighteen-year-olds, most of whom don’t know any better, are being inundated with this rubbish in their college classes. They are being taught that the family unit is an evil construct, that acknowledging gender is violent, that mathematics, biology, ecology and all other fields of study must be subject to queer feminist critiques and reams of other destructive nonsense.

The university system will do nothing about this. The majority of presidents, deans and other higher education administrators ascribe to these post-modern, intersectional leftist absurdities, and the few who don’t are afraid to speak out.

This cannot be allowed to continue. Gender studies should be defunded. States should begin defunding these quackademic programs through the legislative process. Because these programs lack real world value, these programs will likely dissolve without government funds.

Seeing that this is unlikely to occur in radically leftist Washington State, there are other ways we can go about defunding these programs.

First, fight to implement school choice. Under school choice programs, the taxes that fund education will be allocated by parents to the education provider of their choice.

Once parents have the power over education rather than the government, parents will be able to effectively defund gender studies by redirecting their money away from institutions that teach such gobbledygook.

The other option is to put unceasing pressure on education administrators. If you are in college or are the parent of a college student, find out what your school is teaching. This goes for high schools as well. These ideas may originate at universities, but what is taught in universities eventually trickles down into high school.

If we don’t fight this, feminist glaciology and radical anti-family ideology will be coming to a school near you.


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.

A Teacher’s Perspective on School Choice (It’s Parental Choice)

The liberal media pounced on Betsy DeVos after her confirmation hearing last week, alleging that Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is a radical Christian who supports “dismantling” public schools.

I teach at one of those private, for-profit, Christian schools that Democrats and their allies in the media are vilifying as one of the greatest threats to our nation’s youth and education system.

Although those opposed to DeVos’ nomination would like to convince you that private and charter schools are designed to serve only affluent whites, in reality, my school’s student body is majority-minority. Many of these kids come from broken homes on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

This isn’t as rare as the media would lead you to believe. Scholarships and voucher programs, whether privately or publicly funded, allow children to succeed in schools their families would otherwise have been unable to afford. In fact, empirical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that voucher programs improve racial integration in schools.

Many of my students were unable to achieve their full potential in their neighborhood public schools. Their parents were growing frustrated with what their schools were teaching, and were growing worried about their school’s culture of drugs, promiscuity, and insubordination.

In my experience, low-income and minority families who are given the opportunity to attend schools like the one where I teach are so thankful their kids are able to receive a quality education in a safe and edifying environment.

Some of my students have shared with me their experiences attending local public schools. One of my black students carried a gun with him to school as an early teenager to keep himself safe from gang activity. Drug dogs sweep the halls of local public high schools, which also sometimes use metal detectors to check students for weapons.

Apart from concerns about their children’s safety, many families also feel uneasy about the content of their children’s education. In Washington State, for example, schools are now teaching elementary school children that they can choose their gender. Sexual education curricula teach students to use methods of birth control many parents find morally objectionable. And some teachers, schools, and educational standards distort history and science to promote their pet political agendas.

Many of the most vocal critics of DeVos and the educational philosophy she represents contend that the very existence of private schools with different educational philosophies threatens public schools and our social order. These critics oppose any system of school choice that allows parents to choose the school they want to educate their children.

Contrary to the baseless claims of her critics, Betsy DeVos has never supported “dismantling” the public school system. Instead, she is simply working to ensure that those low- and middle-income families who find their local public school insufficient can have the same opportunities as wealthier families that are able pursue other means of education.

Providing more alternatives to public schools wouldn’t necessarily cause an exodus of children from public to private schools, nor would it require that public schools be “dismantled.”

If, in fact, most public schools offer an education superior to that of comparable private schools, families will decide to leave their kids in the public school to which they’ve been assigned. On the other hand, families who worry about their son or daughter attending public school would be able to move him or her to a school that better meets their needs and reflects their values.

No school or educational philosophy is perfect, and a one-size-fits-all system doesn’t really fit all families and students. That’s why choice is so necessary and important.

I’m especially thankful schools like the one at which I teach exist to provide families with an alternative to unsafe, failing schools that teach an educational philosophy antithetical to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Voucher programs like those supported by Betsy DeVos enable families to pursue whatever means of education works best for their children – and that’s something we should all celebrate.

 

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

WA School District Spends Remaining Budget on Pro-LGBT Safe Space Training

A month ago, FPIW reported on the Snohomish School District‘s payment of over $14,000 to a group that advocates transgenderism in children.

Now, according to documents obtained through a public records request, FPIW has learned that North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) spent money last year on “safe space training,” provided by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The money was frantically spent at year-end to avoid losing budget resources for the next year.

Funds were also used to purchase GLSEN student resource kits that were placed in school nurse offices.

The GLSEN safe space training contains questionable content for high schools. The kits encourage teachers to become LGBT allies (the student resource kits presumably include the same information):

  • Teachers are told to integrate pro-LGBT material into their classrooms by adding “positive representations of LGBT people, history and events” and “LGBT literature” in the curriculum.
  • Teachers are instructed not to assume a student’s gender and to use gender inclusive language (i.e., “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend” and the pronoun “they” instead of “he/she”).
  • Teachers are encouraged to “validate [their students’] gender identity and expression.”
  • Schools are urged to adopt gender-neutral locker rooms and bathrooms, “Valentine’s Day celebrations inclusive of LGBT and non-coupled students,” and “proms, homecoming and athletic events that allow for gender-neutral alternatives to ‘King’ and ‘Queen.’”

Additionally, in an email to a state education official sent in June 2015, an NTPS district official lamented that they weren’t able to purchase and assemble Planned Parenthood “birth control kits” for health teachers before the deadline.

The NTPS official stated that the birth control kits would be purchased from Planned Parenthood in 2016. It’s unclear whether the District ended up buying the kits this year. We’ve reached out to the District for comment.

The American Family Association has identified GLSEN as promoting “anti-Christian bigotry” and intolerance toward Christianity. With this in mind, it’s troubling that NTPS seems to have a close relationship with GLSEN.

We agree with GLSEN that students struggling with same-sex feelings or gender dysphoria deserve to feel safe at school. Of course all students deserve respect.  However, public schools shouldn’t teach young children that these behaviors are healthy and normal – and that’s exactly what GLSEN student resource kits do.

Moreover, many North Thurston parents who hold traditional values contrary to those presented in GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits would be shocked to find out what their children are being taught.

The GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits were purchased with NTPS grant money from Exemplary Sexual Health Education (ESHE), an initiative that is partly funded through grants from the Center for Disease Control and administered by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Fourteen school districts in Washington State are part of the ESHE initiative.

Are We “Worthless Pieces of Trash”?

Colleges and universities are widely known to be hotbeds of liberal progressivism, but one public university administrator’s recent comments about supporters of traditional marriage are beyond the pale.

Andrew Bunting, George Mason University’s Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, shared his feelings about supporters of traditional marriage, calling them “worthless pieces of trash.”

The incident began last week when Bunting shared on Facebook a blog post written by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a grassroots organization that advocates for traditional marriage.

The blog post shares NOM’s desire to work with the Trump administration to protect religious liberty, nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court, overturn President Obama’s gender identity directives, and oppose efforts to redefine marriage.

Commenting on the blog post, Bunting parroted the Southern Poverty Law Center’s claim that NOM is a “hate group.”

He went on to write, “If you agree with [NOM about traditional marriage] then that is your opinion. Just know that to the rest of us, you are a worthless piece of trash.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a far-left political group known for designating as a hate group any organization that supports traditional marriage. According to SPLC, mainstream, pro-family organizations like the American Family Association, Family Research Council, and Liberty Counsel (Liberty University) are “extremist, anti-LGBT hate groups.”

Bunting’s comments reveal what Campus Reform has termed “liberal privilege” on college campuses. This “liberal privilege” on college campuses is evidenced by the way students who share conservative ideas are maligned and punished by professors and administrators, most of whom are radically progressive and many of whom are openly Marxist.

The groupthink on college campuses has gotten so bad that the conservative perspective often isn’t even shared with students. Conservative speakers are often disinvited from campus events, if they’re even invited at all. If conservatives do make it onto campus, they’re often verbally and physically abused by protesters comprised of students and faculty.

With college administrators like Bunting making incendiary comments disparaging half of the U.S. population, it’s no wonder that conservative students fear retaliation from liberal professors and administrators.

Additionally, given Bunting’s senior position in George Mason University’s admissions department, prospective students who happen to be conservative are probably left wondering whether they are welcome on campus, and if their political views will affect their admissions chances or opportunities for scholarships.

Bunting’s comments are even more troubling because GMU is a Virginia state public university. So far, it doesn’t look like he’ll be fired, despite his comments dehumanizing those who believe in traditional marriage.

Andrew Bunting’s views are representative of those held by college administrators in schools all over the country. Knowing that this is the predominant ideological perspective on most college campuses, it’s unsurprising that college students at the University of Washington and Seattle University say things like this and this.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Satanic Temple Infiltrates Tacoma Public School

The Satanic Temple’s efforts to infiltrate public schools seem to be making headway.

Point Defiance Elementary School, a public school in the Tacoma School District, has approved the Satanic Temple of Seattle’s request to start an “After School Satan Club” at the school. An informational meeting about the club will be held for parents, students, and teachers on December 14.

Point Defiance Elementary School’s decision to approve the “After School Satan Club” comes as Centennial Elementary School, a public school in Mount Vernon, WA, tries to decide how to respond to the Satanic Temple’s request to open a chapter at their school.

I’ve written before about the Satanic Temple’s attacks on “Good News Clubs,” an evangelical after school club that offers a forum for students who voluntarily want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Satanic Temple contends that it is unconstitutional for a school club to promote any religious belief. Responding to the success of “Good News Clubs” in schools across the country, the Satanic Temple has been targeting any school that allows a chapter of the evangelical club to meet after school by requesting that these schools also permit Satanic after school clubs. The implication, of course, is that schools open themselves up to legal liability if they refuse the request.

Obviously, the Satanic Temple’s argument is bunk. The constitutional framers and authors of the First Amendment wanted Christian morality to be taught in public schools. Moreover, in no way can the First Amendment be construed to prohibit voluntary after school clubs with a religious basis from operating in public schools.

The First Amendment does not give religious protections to secular political advocacy organizations like the Satanic Temple (Cavanaugh v. Bartelt, 2016). In the last several years, the Satanic Temple has garnered headlines for engaging in political stunts like distributing Satanic coloring books to elementary students, displaying Satanic nativity scenes on several state capitol grounds, and organizing “porn rooms.”

And while the Satanic Temple claims that it doesn’t literally worship Satan, its philosophy is permeated with radical self-exaltation and moral relativism, ideas usually associated with traditional Satanic thought. Its adherents, who rename themselves after demons and take part in nude rituals with overtly Satanic imagery, openly mock organized religion and attack the religious foundations of the American system of law in their effort to supplant our Judeo-Christian national heritage.

Schools shouldn’t be concerned about the Satanic Temple’s threats of litigation. Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty law firm, says it will provide pro-bono legal counsel to public schools that refuse the Satanic Temple’s request to start Satanic after school clubs. “School administrators do not have to tolerate groups that disrupt the school and target other legitimate clubs,” said Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel.

On the other hand, parents should be very concerned about the recent development that a local public school has given the green light to a Satanic club. Even most reasonable parents that don’t consider themselves overly religious would find the Satanic Temple’s promotion of promiscuity, self-exaltation, and rebellion against authority utterly distasteful. Parents of students in the Tacoma and Mount Vernon school districts should call and email their school officials and ask them to deny the Satanic Temple’s requests to open these clubs.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Take action by sharing your concerns with your school and school district:

Point Defiance Elementary School

Phone: 253-571-6900

Email: lboyd2@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Tacoma Public School District

Phone: 253-571-1000

Email: info@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Centennial Elementary School

Phone: 360-428-6138

Email: tjensen@mvsd320.org

Mount Vernon School District

Phone: 360-428-6110

Email: cbruner@mv.k12.wa.us