The scene was surreal. It was a cold, snowy night, perhaps not unlike the scene associated with the Christmas song, “Silent Night.” The snow fell gently. The weather was frosty. Children held tight to the hands of their parents. Yet, in the town of Moline, Illinois, on March 10, it was far from a holy scene. We were outside Jane Addams Elementary school while inside the building, an After-School Satan Club was about to begin their third session of the year.
TFP Student Action collected more than 109,0001 signatures against this program where adults usually push on teenagers. This alarming program at Jane Addams even allowed a first grader to attend.
News sites tried to defuse the opposition by repeating some lies Satanists use to promote the program. For example, a USA Today fact-check article2 says that the program is about fun and will not proselytize children to The Satanic Temple. This lie and others are refuted by the TFP Student Action’s article, Refuting 9 Lies Used to Push After School Satan Clubs. Read more by following this link.
Despite the overwhelming opposition against the program, the school district defended their policy and insisted that they “do not discriminate against any groups who wish to rent our facilities.”
Chris Dunlap, who led the rosary in protest, said: “It’s unthinkable that adults would promote a program named after Satan with first graders.” Another prayer warrior commented, “We’re here for the children even if the parents and teachers are not.” At the age when children’s innocence should be protected and fostered, people are working to corrupt it.
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The prayer warriors filled the streets with the sounds of Hail Marys, beautiful hymns to Our Lady and bagpipe tunes, bringing some blessings to the children’s day.
The school staff providentially asked us to move to a different spot. Our first spot was reserved for the school bus loading area. The staffer, who thanked us for being there, kindly asked us to move across the street. It proved to be the best spot since it was only one way in and out of the school parking lot. We were visible to every parent, teacher and student entering and leaving. Every single child watched us with keen curiosity. Thus, the rally would undoubtedly be a topic of conversation at home that night and at school the following day.
Most of those who reacted favored our position. Some gave thumbs up. Others crossed themselves as they saw the statue of Our Lady. Many honked in support.
A few reacted against the rally. One lady got out of her car and told us “to leave our school alone.” She was bothered by Catholics praying for the children while Satanists inside promoted their immoral values to children.
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The protest pressured the school district to reconsider its assessment of the dangers of the Satanist program. A previous rally against a Satan club in Carmel, Indiana, worked so well that the principal canceled the program two days before the protest, which celebrated the victory.
We also protested so that the children might be aware of the program’s dangers and be comforted to see people praying for their safety.
A good inch or more of snow settled over us as we finished. The children who stayed behind for an after-school program now waited to be picked up. A few waved with smiles indicating they knew what we were protesting at their school. Snow is such a beautiful symbol of innocence. We ended by praying the Saint Michael prayer three times for the children. May our effort contribute toward preserving children’s innocence and cover them with the protection of their guardian angels.