Satanists in school and Washington — only without the whole "Satan" thing
Break out the parachute pants and Rubik's Cubes — the satanic panic of the 1980s is back. Only this kind of Satanism doesn't look like anything of the Geraldo Rivera/Mike Warnke variety. These Satanists say they're really just atheists who like the more shocking label.

Atheists, however, aren't amused. Picking up on an earlier New York Times piece, The Washington Times today reports on Satanists' involvement in The Godless Americans March on Washington, scheduled for November 2.

"This is supposed to be a march of those without religion," Ed Buckner, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, complains. "We don't believe there is Satan or any other god."

American Atheists, which is planning the march, says the Satanists are still invited since they're "godless."

("I myself am personally offended that representatives from the Christian community were not invited to take part in the Godless Americans March," Gene Edward Veith sarcastically remarked in a recent issue of World. "A number of feminist theologians, seminary professors, and Episcopalian bishops hold views that are far closer to those of the Council of Secular Humanists than any recognizably Christian theology.")

Meanwhile, students at San Mateo (Calif.) High School got a somewhat shocking announcement over their public address system recently: they were invited to join The Satanic Thought Society. About three dozen students showed up, but some students and parents are outraged. "It's just a negative that doesn't belong in the school," Pam Cachay, whose daughter attends the school, told the San Mateo County Times. She and other parents tried to stage a protest yesterday, but the Times reports that it was a flop. (It's a good thing. It's the classic First Amendment argument: if Christians are allowed to have a club a school — which they are San Mateo High — Satanists are, too.)

Club copresident James Doolittle is also quick to emphasize Satanism's atheism. "Its purpose is to turn man back into a natural state and not have him corrupted by religion," he explains.

Principal Jacqueline McEvoy is behind him. "These young men are really interested in the philosophical teachings of alternative religions," she says.

But local priest Harold Snider wonders how interested they really are. "Lets face it, teenagers love to shock," he said. "The best thing to do about it is to not make a big deal."

More articles

Persecution and violence:

Article continues below

Sexuality and gender:

Article continues below

Sex abuse scandals:


Canadian nun trial:

Church life:

Article continues below
  • Trouble in assemblies of God church | Three pastors of the Tema Community Five Revival Assemblies of God Church and their families have been suspended from the congregation indefinitely (Ghanaian Chronicle, Accra)

  • Church has to pick up the gauntlet | It is incumbent upon the African church to immerse itself in matters touching the public at large (Editorial, City Press, South Africa)

  • Trading churches for the airwaves | A famed on-air preacher has stirred a tempest, proclaiming that God is on the radio, not in church (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Church, city join to check on stores | St. Sabina group makes inspections for illegal and unacceptable practices (Chicago Tribune)

  • Christians win right to build in Cassadaga | Town's spiritualists had argued in public meetings that having a Christian church in their midst would interfere with the harmony and spiritual vibrations of the city (Orlando Business Journal)

Related Elsewhere

Suggest links and stories by sending mail to

What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

October 1 | September 30
September 27 | 26 | 25 | 24 | 23
September 19 | 18 | 17 | 16
September 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9
September 6 | 5 | 4 | 3
August 30 | 29 | 28 | 27 | 26
August 23 | 22 | 21 | 20 | 19
August 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12
August 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5