Applications for this scholarship will be accepted until August 31 of this year.
The Satanic Temple is now interested in helping high school graduates pursue their higher studies with its special "Devil's Advocate Scholarship". The organization, which has long advocated for the separation of religion and public affairs, will now sift through submissions from 2020 graduates to award two winners $500 in scholarship money.
"The Satanic Temple is proud to announce its scholarship that awards students who champion individualism, free-thought, empathy, and other noble aspects of The Satanic Temple's mission to better society as they pursue higher education," they announced on the website this week.
This scholarship application was officially launched on Monday and Malcolm Jarry, the organization's co-founder told CNN on Wednesday that at least 50 applications had been received so far. According to Jarry, this unique idea came about when a high school student had apparently emailed him to ask for a letter of recommendation for a religious scholarship that was being offered at her school.
Why not! It's America and freedom to practice your religion is a Constitutional right! If they want to give money away it's more than Christian do!— Eve ryan (@Everyan56939321) July 23, 2020
"I was disappointed that she did not receive the scholarship and saw that moment as an opportunity to offer our own scholarship that reflects our values," he said. "In addition to promoting our values by honoring those who engage in pro-social rugged individualism, the scholarship allows students a rare opportunity to be critical of an institution that only rewards sycophantic adulation," Jarry said. The members of the Satanic Temple also believe that compulsory schooling violates the fundamental civil rights of the children who are forced to attend.
The symbolism is a bit off with the statue. I believe they're playing on Christian ideas of what are Devil symbols. The snake on a pole is symbolic of God though; oops. The wings are too angelic and should be more bat-like. The goat head on a human body is more accurate.— Tory Hagen (@ToryHagen) July 23, 2020
The Satanic Temple's website says the group advocates the "pursuit of knowledge," but believes people confuse learning and schooling. "Students are often expected to praise their schools in spite of the fact that many students endure unconscionable abuse at the hands of faculty, administration, and their peers," Jarry said. "It is common to hear a successful person talk about a teacher who inspired them, but they never acknowledge that after 13 years of schooling they were quite fortunate if they came across just one."
The headquarters of the organization is in Salem, Massachusetts, and claim that their mission is "to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people." Interestingly enough, the followers of the Satanic Temple believe that Satan is a "literary construct" and not an actual being. "As such, we do not promote a belief in a personal Satan. To embrace the name Satan is to embrace rational inquiry removed from supernaturalism and archaic tradition-based superstitions. Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse," their website says.
The Satanic Temple has used several symbols of Satan to point out the hypocrisy of Christian symbols being put on government property. For years, they have petitioned to have a massive Baphomet statue, which is a goat-headed being/symbol linked directly to Satan, in the Oklahoma state Capitol, which is home to a Ten Commandments statue.
The "Devil's Advocate Scholarship" is open until August 31st. Those who are interested can apply for this by submitting a creative response in the form of an essay, poem, work of art or film answering one of two questions. One of the questions asks what each applicant has done to promote the temple's tenets and mission. The other one asks for a description of a teacher who "crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate every minute you were forced to be in school."
The winners will be announced on the temple's website on September 15th.
You would think that the Satanic Temple would have deeper pockets.— Socially-distant Will Simpson (@WDSimp) July 22, 2020