Florida Governor DeSantis: Satanists Can’t be Part of School Chaplain Program “We’re Not Playing Those Games in Florida”

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 931  into law.

The law allows school districts and charter schools to “adopt a policy to authorize volunteer school chaplains to provide support, services, and programs to students as assigned by the district school board or charter school governing board.”

The Governor also made it clear that the program will not be imposed upon public school students, sharing that it is “totally voluntary for a parent or a student to participate.”

In subsequent comments, DeSantis made it clear that the new measure would not open the door for members of the Satanic Temple to be public school chaplains.

The Florida Phoenix reports, “Some have said that if you do a school chaplain program that, somehow, you’re going to have satanists running around in all our schools. We’re not playing those games in Florida. That is not a religion. That is not qualified to be able to participate in this. So, we’re going to be using common sense when it comes to this. You don’t have to worry about it.”

Satanists are displeased.

The Christian Post reports the co-founder of The Satanic Temple responded to the new law with a request to debate DeSantis.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, which oversees After School Satan Clubs and planned to take advantage of the law, argued in a series of social media posts summarizing his comments to media that DeSantis’ words “hold no authority” because the U.S. Constitution “guarantees equal treatment under the law.” The group has threatened to sue if its members were prohibited from participating in the chaplain program.

Greaves stressed DeSantis “invited Satanic chaplains into public schools, whether he likes it or not” because he is “not at liberty to amend the Constitution by fiat.” He also noted that The Satanic Temple is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt religious organization.

After a call with DeSantis’ office on Friday, Greaves announced he instructed the organization’s Executive Director of Operations to send a formal proposal for a debate between DeSantis and Greaves.

The Satanic Temple has fought to hold After School Satan Clubs in school districts across the country, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, North Carolina, Ohio and Illinois.

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