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Annapolis, Md., Oct 19, 2019 / 03:17 am (CNA).- As an outside group is asking to hold “satanic religious services” at the U.S. Naval Academy, questions have arisen as to its actual motives for doing so.
The Satanic Temple (TST), a group recognized as a church by the Internal Revenue Service, has threatened legal action against the U.S. Naval Academy if Midshipmen are not allowed to hold “satanic services” on campus as members of other religions are allowed to do.
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However, Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA, the group’s efforts at the Naval Academy are “misleading” because what they wish for “is not a satanic service.” Rather, what certain Midshipmen wish to host “is a discussion about how the supernatural doesn’t exist.”
On Oct. 8, an internal email was sent to the Brigade of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy announcing that “‘satanic services’ would start this week,” according to a Wednesday statement issued by Commander Alana Garas, public affairs officer at the United States Naval Academy.
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“This email was sent without the review and approval of the Naval Academy’s Command Chaplain, as required by command policy; it did not represent the U.S. Naval Academy’s Command Religious Program,” Garas said.
The academy had previously walked back an original email announcement of satanic services and had said that services would not be taking place on campus.
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The Satanic Temple then said on Wednesday that it would pursue legal action if the group was “discriminated against” on campus by being denied official services at the academy.
Lucius Greaves, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, called the idea of the group being denied services at the Naval Academy on the grounds that it constituted political advocacy “self-evidently absurd.”
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Under that reasoning, he said, the academy would also “be obligated to deny the services of Catholics for their...
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