Bremerton HS students invite satanists to oppose praying coach

At the invitation of the Bremerton High School senior class president, Lilith Starr says that her group of self-described Satanists will attend the school's football game Thursday to protest a decision by a Christian coach to continue praying at the 50-yard line after games. - AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

BREMERTON — When the Bremerton BREMERTON — When the Bremerton Knights take the field against Sequim on Thursday, a group of Satanists dressed in ceremonial robes will be watching from the stands.

The members of The Satanic Temple of Seattle say they are coming to the game to advocate for religious equality, in light of the controversy sparked by Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, who has threatened to sue the school district if he is not allowed to pray on the field after games.

Bremerton School District spokeswoman Patty Glaser confirmed Wednesday the district has received a request from the Satanic Temple asking to be allowed access to the field after the game for a ceremony. The district is working on a statement in response, Glaser said.

The Satanists aren’t coming uninvited. Two Bremerton High School students responded to a public offer made by the Temple this week to give an invocation at the game and asked the Satanists to attend.

The two students had different motivations for contacting the Satanists, but both said they wanted to emphasize the need for equal religious opportunity at their school. They believe if the district allows prayer on the football field after games, people of all faiths should be allowed to participate.

“The school district needs to create religious opportunity for everyone or ban it completely,” said Abe Bartlett, senior class president and one of the students who contacted the Satanic Temple. “There can’t be a middle ground.”

Bartlett said he was aware of Kennedy’s tradition of praying after games and wasn’t concerned with the coach’s actions in the past. “No harm no foul,” as Bartlett put it. He believed Kennedy’s intentions were good, at least to begin with. But Bartlett’s feelings changed as Kennedy moved toward legal action against the district this week.

“I think that crossed a line,” Bartlett said. “That’s when I felt the need to contact The Satanic Temple.”

Bartlett hopes the appearance by the Satanists will prompt action by the school district. He expects to receive backlash from some members of the community over his decision to contact the Temple, but he believes most will understand his motivation.

“I want to do what’s best with the kids at this point,” Bartlett said. “And not just what’s best for Joe Kennedy.”

It was national media coverage of the controversy that drove the other Bremerton High School student to respond to The Satanist Temple. The student asked to remain anonymous, fearing backlash from the community, but responded to questions Wednesday in an email to the Kitsap Sun.

“The portrayal of Joe Kennedy by Fox News as a would-be hero is definitely a reason why I’m frustrated,” the student, a self-described atheist, said. “Once Fox News covered us, we appear in the Seattle Times, all over atheist and Christian rights websites; our school is notorious for one man, despite our success in lowering dropout rates, student achievements, etc. It’s national coverage for a local school that I feel was doing pretty well.”

The student said the district didn’t go far enough to block Kennedy from praying. Like Bartlett, the student thinks inviting Satanists to pray at the game will help hasten a resolution.

“I hope the attention from outside interests will finally get all people to realize that this is why prayer and religion isn’t allowed in public schools or by public school officials,” the student said. “I’m quite exhausted with progress that we haven’t made, so it’s time to change strategies. Protesting won’t cut it.”

Bartlett said controversy over prayer at the school has sparked some healthy conversations between teachers and students. In some classes, he said the situation has been used as an opportunity to discuss the First Amendment and the polarized national debate over religion in schools.

That said, he hopes the maelstrom will die down after Thursday’s game, and life at Bremerton High can return to normal.

Catholic Bishop says made-for-tv event at infamous Bel Nor home is reckless and potentially dangerous

Video at link.

“Any attempt to use the solemn Rite of Exorcism as entertainment exposes all participators to the danger of future hidden satanic attack.”

ST LOUIS- Friday night a cable TV show will broadcast a live exorcism inside a St. Louis County house.

And it’s not just any home. It’s the house where Catholic priests performed an exorcism on a young boy in 1949.

The true events that inspired the famous movie, ‘The Exorcist’, in 1973.

NewsChannel 5 got an exclusive first look at the made-for-TV event that leading Catholics in St. Louis are calling an unholy ritual.

It could be a house on any street in any town. But what happened here in Bel Nor, in 1949, is one of the most talked about paranormal events in modern history.

Jesuit priests from Saint Louis University performed an exorcism on a 14-year-old boy. A boy they believed was possessed by the devil himself.

The famous movie, “The Exorcist”, is based on the extraordinary events that happened here.

The most shocking details came straight from the diary of one of the SLU Jesuits involved. You can read the full text of the diary by clicking here.

The diary describes the boy’s bed shaking violently, and mysterious scratch marks that appeared to spell words on the boy’s body.

“Many of the things you see in that movie (‘The Exorcist’),” said SLU archivist John Waide. “Evidently things like that or almost like that did happen.”

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But since 1949, nothing much out of the ordinary happened at the Bel Nor home, until just a few years ago.

In 2008, radio host Dave Glover invited people to spend a half hour in the room where the exorcism happened. Three tried–no one made it past five minutes.

“The look on one of the young lady’s face is as close to horror and terror that I ever want to see,” said the host of The Dave Glover Show on 97.1 FM.

Based on the genuine chills and screams from Dave Glover’s video shoot at the house, cable TV channel Destination America will have a crew and a bishop from an offshoot of the Roman Catholic church perform an exorcism on the house—on live TV, Friday night.

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“Exorcism is not entertainment,” says Bishop Robert Hermann with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “Exorcism is serious business.”

Bishop Robert Hermann with the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis is deeply concerned. Bishop Hermann believes any attempt to conjure up the devil– even for a TV show– is a gravely serious and potentially dangerous stunt!

“It can only be done with the authority of the Archbishop by someone appointed by the Archbishop who is the exorcist for the diocese.”

“Exorcism is to be done privately so as not to give Satan a lot of publicity.”

Many neighbors in the area are also upset with the production.

“It’s ludicrous. It’s a big hoax. Don’t come. Don’t pay attention to it,” said Linda Kemp.

Common complaints you’ll hear include too much additional traffic and noise to blocked streets and driveways.

Greg Taylor said, “There’s just lots of trucks moving around. You hear the beeping every now and then.”

“Generators going at 11 o’clock at night. And they’re loud. You can’t sleep,” Shauna McWoods said.

McWoods, a Catholic, has even gone as far as to have her home blessed before the showtime.

She said, “Those negative spirits are real.”