Gov. Ron DeSantis Says No to Satanic Temple in Schools

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James Lasher

The U.S. Bill of Rights, Amendment I: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

With the freedom of religion a part of the bedrock on which the United States of America was built, the battle taking place between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and The Satanic Temple is nearly certain to go to the court system.

But what exactly are they fighting over?

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Recently, DeSantis signed into law HB 931, “establishes a statewide school chaplain program” according to the Florida government.

Parents will be involved and the program is voluntary, but the caveat is that DeSantis recently said, publicly, that TST will not be allowed in schools.

“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,” DeSantis says. “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.”

The Associated Press reported on Apr. 25, 2019, that TST had provided them “with a notice it recently received communicating its new tax-exempt status. The letter used a code that classifies it as a ‘church or a convention or association of churches.’

“This should be of significant concern to anybody, regardless of their own religious views,” TST co-founder Lucien Greaves told Fox News Digital. “Worse, in signing HB 931 into law, the governor simply announced, from the podium at a press conference, that satanists were to be considered unqualified for the school chaplaincy program while citing no legal theory to support his view.”

In the wake of his public rebuke of TST, their executive director of operations, Rachel Chambliss, has challenged DeSantis to a public debate over freedom of religion.

Satanism has been making headway in being displayed in government, with several states displaying satanic imagery on their capitol grounds in recent months.

As Charisma News reported, Navy veteran Michael Cassidy tore down the satanic image in the Iowa state capitol and is currently facing hate crime charges for it.

Though Gov. DeSantis is not alone in his thinking, with the IRS’ designation of TST as a religious organization, the protection of the First Amendment will almost certainly play the deciding role in the expected future lawsuits.

But if the conflict does go before the court system, it would be up to the DeSantis team to prove that the IRS made a mistake in TST’s designation and in turn, keep Satan’s influence out of Florida schools.

James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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