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Florida lawmakers recently proposed two bills that, if passed, could allow for Satanic priests to serve as volunteer chaplains in public schools. The companion bills, Senate Bill 1044 and House Bill 931, would give schools the ability to choose which volunteer chaplains can provide counseling services to students. Under the bill, each school could adopt a policy authorizing volunteer school chaplains to provide support services and programs for students.

The bill also requires principals of schools with volunteer school chaplains to inform all parents of the services while also requiring written parental consent before students participate or receive the services. Schools would be required to provide parents with a list of volunteers who have undergone a complete background check. The parents would then be able to select a chaplain of their choosing from the list. Under the U.S. Constitution, the state is not allowed to dictate the religious groups that can participate as volunteers, so it could open the door to groups like The Satanic Temple to allow their clergy members to offer services to students.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson of The Satanic Temple, told Fox News Digital as long as the Florida government wants to blur the line between Church and State by allowing chaplains into schools, The Satanic Temple is ready to participate with hopes of preserving government viewpoint neutrality, but also as an alternative to “proselytizing evangelism.” He said, “In an effort to dismiss concerns about bringing religious viewpoints into schools, advocates for chaplain bills have a scripted response that insists their interest is in merely providing additional ‘emotional support’ for potentially troubled youth. If that were true, they could simply be calling upon volunteers who hold licensure as counselors to offer their services in the schools in their communities.”

According to FOX 35 Orlando, the bills are currently moving through the state legislature and, if passed, will go into effect on July 1. Still, Greaves suggested that the lawmakers have bigger fish to fry. “With a wealth of problems that lawmakers could be addressing, advocating for a disingenuous piece of poorly thought model legislation supported by false arguments shows raw incompetence on the part of the chaplain bill’s sponsoring signatories,” he said.

The Satanic Temple is no stranger to First Amendment rights of religion, and since 2016, has been working to introduce after-school programs to schools in states like Virginia, Tennessee, and Kansas. The IRS recognizes the temple as a public charity. Greaves has described the kind of activities that the after-school program facilitates as a self-directed learning process that entails playing games, solving puzzles, activities, and other things that are educational for the kids — where they can choose which ones they want to work with.

The Satanic Temple originally constructed a complex curriculum and consulted people in the field of education, but then changed it after realizing that it had become too elaborate.

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