An After-School Satan Club that was planning to begin its program at a Virginia primary school next week has canceled its meetings–for now.
The Chesapeake, Virginia resident who requested the use of B.M. Williams Primary School for the club's meetings has withdrawn the application.
"The Chesapeake citizen requesting to use the facility on behalf of the ASSC has officially withdrawn their request. As such, the application no longer meets the requirements of School Board Policy. At this point, the approval for building use has been canceled," Chesapeake Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton confirmed to CBN News.
The parent sponsor for the organization pulled their name out of the initial application because she faced backlash from the community and feared for her family's safety and privacy, WAVY News Reports.
Jeremy Rodden, a parent with plans to enroll his second grader into the club, posted on Facebook that he spoke directly with the sponsor.
He wrote, "After rational and reasonable conversation, the local sponsor of the club has asked me to pass along the following message on their behalf: 'Due to the heightened emotional situation in our city following the recent tragic shooting at the Walmart... I am removing my name from the lease agreement for the After School Satan Club. I do not want more division in our city as we strive to heal and are still reeling from the great loss of life.'"
As CBN News reported, parents were outraged after a flyer advertising the After-School Satan Club began circulating on social media.
Chesapeake parents made plans to contact the school board, protest outside of the elementary school, and pray.
Many parents were concerned because the club touts the name Satan and a Walmart employee recently cited Satan in his manifesto explaining his reasoning for shooting and killing at least seven people at a nearby store, located just minutes from the school.
"We are going to pray and we are going to intercede because this is a spiritual battle at this point. We are going to intercede and God always wins! We are going to win and Satan is going to lose," said Annie, an organizer for the children's advocacy group, Unmask Virginia Beach.
Organizers with The Satanic Temple say they do not promote Satanism or any religious ideology but want children to explore "critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative expression."
"We have no interest in theological discussions with children; that is best left to their parents," Rose Bastet, a volunteer with the school club told 13NewsNow.
She added that they wanted to offer an alternative to an Evangelical after-school program called the Good News Club, which offers Bible lessons.
Still, the group has encouraged young children to embrace Satan as a sort of imaginary friend and hero, using a children's song to declare, "Satan's not an evil guy."
Satan Club Still in the Works for Chesapeake
The national campaign director for the After School Satan Club told WTKR-TV they already have a sponsor lined up who will submit another application to the school.
"We have another resident who is happy to put their name on the Facility Use request," said June Everett, the campaign director for the After School Satan Club.
Chesapeake residents say they recognize the battle continues and "the fight does go on."
"This is a battle we won but we are still in the war, which God will absolutely win but we must continue fighting with the Lord's help," one resident wrote on Facebook.
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