The Satanic Temple recently released a children's coloring book in response to a court ruling in Orange County, Florida, which held that it is legal to pass out religious literature in public schools.
The coloring book is pretty clearly a PR stunt — like the Temple's attempts to erect a statue of Baphomet on the grounds of Oklahoma's statehouse — but it's an amusing one, and it has a political point to make.
In a statement regarding the court ruling, Lucien Greaves, spokesperson for the Temple, said:
We would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State. However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students — as is the case in Orange County, Florida — we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.
The coloring book also contains activities, like connecting the dots to make a pentagram.
And coloring Annabel's Satanist-literature-lined bookshelves.
Or decoding a secret message that reads, " Audi Preces Mea: Satana Blessed Be!"
Though Satanists take their name from the biblical antagonist, many of them don't actually worship the Devil. For Satanists, the biblical figure of Satan, portrayed as the rebellious creature who dared to defy Almighty God, represents the qualities of free thought, autonomy, and ingenuity. It is the pursuit of these qualities that is common to all forms of Satanism.
At the same time, there are plenty of people in the US that do believe in Satan. According to a 2007 Gallup poll, most (70 percent) of the respondents admitted to holding the belief. And this belief is on an upward climb. In 1990, 55 percent of respondents said they believed in Satan — by 2007, that number was up by 15 percentage points.
You can purchase a copy of the Satanic activity book here.