A new religious program led by Satanists is pushing to expand into the Bible Belt this Fall.

It's called the After School Satan Club and instead of worship, it teaches activism.

Instead of God, it teaches evolution, rationalism and free inquiry.

But residents in Shreveport call it evil.

Arturo Alderete said, "I think kids at that age shouldn't be involved with that kind of stuff you know. It doesn't sound too good to me."

Stacy McDonald agreed calling the after school program, "terrible."

Jaqeline Jackson added, "Some kids will take it too far and do different things that is not nice to other people."

KTBS-3 checked with school districts in Caddo, Bossier and Texarkana, Texas. District spokesperson's

confirm no application has been made with its respective school districts. But do confirm after school satan club's won't be banned.

A huge concern for parents, who are watching the program gain traction.

"Well we should learn about Satan, but we should learn about the truth. The fact is he's a liar and he can't tell the truth and he's all out for killing, stealing, and distruction. There's nothing good about anything he does and he's not any good for anybody unless they want to be like him." said Kelly McCabe.

Created by the Satanic Temple, the organizaton is seeking school district approval at public grade schools in Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Tacoma, Washington, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Arizona, Los Angeles and the Lone Star State. Cities in Texas inclulde San Carcos, San Antonio and Austin.

Satanic Temple member Jeremy Galloway, says the clubs have nothing to do with the devil or religion at all.

"There's no red guy with horns and a pitchfork," said Jeremy Galloway, an Austin Satanic Temple member

Despite the logo of the group, a cartoonish devil with horns holding a crayon, Galloway said parents should look past the name before making any irrational judgment.

"Satan's involved because it's coming from our temple, the Temple of Satan, and we identify as Satanists," he said. "We don't feel any particular shame for the name that we use. Some people find the name a bit jarring, but when you actually look into the tenants of the Satanic Temple, there's nothing scary at all."

San Marcos chapter leader Lanzifer Longinus said Satan is just a metaphor.

"Satan, to start with, is a fictional character. He really represents, to us, the spirit of independent, critical thinking, free thought. The spirit against arbitrary authority," he said.

Galloway said the Satanic Temple is targeting schools with Good News Clubs first. There are seven schools in the Austin area being targeted, but to protect the schools from any backlash, the names are not released.

The purpose of targeting schools with Good News Clubs is to make sure both kids and parents have more than one viewpoint represented.

"Children are sponges. They're really open-minded and they're still learning about the world," he said. "We want to give them the opportunity to not give them the answers, but give them the opportunity to ask more questions and discern for themselves, rather than being told, 'Oh, this is what you believe and here's why'."

USA Ministries vice president Moises Esteves with the Child Evangelical Fellowship, organizer of the Good News Club says, "The people behind the After School Satan Clubs are Atheists dressed up in scary costumes," Esteves said. "This isn't a Satanist club. This isn't a devil worshipping club. These are Atheists trying to scare parents with pitchforks and devil horns. It's a parody. It's a publicity stunt."

But Galloway said he's got it all wrong.

This is not a joke," he said. "We are a true religion but we don't believe in anything supernatural. We believe in science, rational thinking and scientific realism."

Galloway added, "The fear of hell fire is put into these kids, which is a really scary thing for a kid, and I feel it robs kids of their childhood a bit. So we're trying to have a counter voice to that."

To be clear, schools who offer the program are not necessarily affiliated. School officials offer a portion of their facility as required by the law.

After School Satan chapter leaders say the monthly meetings include a healthy snack, literature lesson, creative learning activities, science lesson, puzzle solving and an art project. Galloway adds, "If a child asks, 'Why is the sky blue? Where do rainbows come from?' Our response would have nothing to do with religion. We have really great scientific explanations for these things."


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