A spokesperson for TST, Lucien Greaves, said the controversial clubs will give children other alternatives than the Good News Club, which he claimed instills children “with a fear of Hell and God’s wrath.” TST also aims to place demonic books on the shelves in the libraries of public schools, as well as having satanic prayers recited at high school games. It is, however, somewhat ironic that the Satanists’ intention is currently to get children to stop fearing hell, which runs counter to Christian teaching. Satanists are of the opinion that Christianity has had too much influence on American society, but this must be because they have not kept up to date on the latest research. Or that they are governed by a different factor than reason. But it seems that Europe may also be heading in the wrong religious direction. In June, several European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, were present at a bizarre ritual in connection with the opening of the world’s longest tunnel, the new Gotthard tunnel, in Switzerland this past June. The ceremony is performed by masked men dressed in grass costumes, fallen angels descending from the ceiling and a man with a goat’s head, whom the other performers in the ceremony appear to worship. The opening ritual has subsequently been interpreted as depicting satanic scenes from hell. More than one publication, and certainly more conspiracy theorists, slammed the dark performance “Satanic.”
A disturbing trend
According to The Pew Research Center, religious “nones”, a category that includes atheists, agnostics, and the “nothing in particular” group, make up 23 per cent of US adults, up from 16 per cent in 2007. This group is growing as a percentage of the US population. At the same time, they are becoming increasingly secular, Pew reports, “a trend that also makes the US public overall less religious,” according to surveys made as part of the Religious Landscape Study. But there is more to the story. To begin with, this group is not uniformly nonreligious. Most of them say they believe in God, and about a third says religion is at least somewhat important in their lives. Seventy percent of those born between 1990 and 1996 with no religious affiliation say religion is not important in their lives. A similar share also report they seldom or never pray and 42 percent say they do not believe in God, according to the Pew study. Obviously, most of the “nones” do not reject faith in “something”, and this often means that they seek some form of spirituality outside a traditional affiliation. Like Satanists also do. But why would one use Satan, a spiritual entity, as figurehead if the aim of their struggle is rationality and freedom from religion? The perception of secular society as nonreligious is quite simply a delusion, as Lesslie Newbigin states in his book The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, in which he also points to a revival of ancient heathen religions, in opposition to Christianity. The paradox is that the religions that have attempted to embrace rationalism perish in modernity, while those that embrace the supernatural elements revive.