Satanic Temple Asks Boston To Fly Flag After Court Ruling
Flags fly above Boston City Hall on November 11, 2021.
Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Satanic Temple is requesting the opportunity to fly a flag at Boston’s City Hall after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that banning a request to fly a Christian flag at the location was unconstitutional.

The group shared a copy of its official request in a post on Twitter on Tuesday as part of “Satanic Appreciation Week.”

“Religious Liberty is a bedrock principle in a democracy, and Religious Liberty is dependent upon government viewpoint neutrality,” Lucien Greaves, co-founder of The Satanic Temple, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“When public officials are allowed to preference certain religious viewpoints over others, we do not have Religious Liberty, we have theocracy,” he added.

The Satanic Temple’s application was filed for July 23 to 29 to mark its annual awareness week. The request form notes a response should be provided from the city’s Property and Construction Management Department within 10 business days.

“Mayor Michelle Wu’s office declined to comment on the group’s request other than to say it’s reviewing the high court’s decision while also evaluating its flag-raising program,” the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court gave its opinion on Monday, overturning a lower court decision in favor of the city. The ruling determined that, contrary to arguments made by city attorneys, the city’s flag-waving program constituted an expression of private speech, not government speech, and therefore could not limit participants based on Establishment Clause concerns.

“We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech. That means, in turn, that Boston’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Constitution raise their flag based on its religious viewpoint ‘abridg[ed]’ their ‘freedom of speech,’” Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the court’s opinion.

The Satanic Temple also made headlines in January when an Illinois school district defended an elementary school hosting a “Satan club” after the strange extracurricular activity prompted outrage from parents.

The “After School Satan Club” was sponsored by the Satanic Temple of the United States, which says the clubs are a response to the Christian Good News Clubs at public schools across the country, The Daily Wire reported.

Flyers for the club were displayed in the lobby of the Jane Addams Elementary School in Moline, and a photo of the flyer was later circulated on Facebook.

The flyer said the Satan club would include science projects, puzzles, games, arts and crafts projects, and nature activities and promised to teach kids benevolence, empathy, critical thinking, problem solving, creative expression, and “personal sovereignty.”

Other schools have also recently addressed concerns related to attempts to start a “Satan club” outside of school hours on campus.

In York County, Pennsylvania, the Northern York County School Board rejected a proposal to start a club at Northern York Elementary School in an 8-1 vote.

“The group that introduced the ‘Satan Club’ says they wanted to prove a point that no religious clubs should be held at the elementary school,” WGAL-TV shared in a report in April.

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