- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., was forced to clarify an email that leaked this week offering midshipmen “Satanic religious services” in the school’s yard.

An email sent on Oct. 8 was posted to the Instagram drunkoldgrad, an account purportedly owned by, “A modest and very good looking West Pointer.” West Point, N.Y., is the location of the U.S. Military Academy, where Army cadets are trained prior to commissioning.

The post shows a screenshot of an email addressed to midshipmen at the Annapolis, Md., service academy alerting them to “Satanic Services … on the yard” where they could participate in discussions on “Satanic Philosophy.” 

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After concerns were raised online, Academy spokeswoman Cmdr. Alana Garas confirmed the email’s authenticity but said it had not been properly signed off on and that certain midshipmen — who are part of the IRS-recognized religion The Satanic Temple — had wanted a space on campus to practice their faith.

“A group of Midshipmen with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple…requested a space where they could assemble to discuss and share their common beliefs,” Ms. Garas said in an email, according to The Military Times. “The request was for a ‘study group’ space, not for holding ‘satanic services.’”

Cmdr. Garas added that “arrangements were being made to provide the Midshipmen with a designated place to assemble as chaplains facilitate the beliefs of all service members, a responsibility outlined by Navy instructions.”

“Midshipmen have the right to assemble to discuss their beliefs as they choose,” she added.

The Satanic Temple — which became an institutionalized religion in 2013 — does not worship Satan or practice any sort of “magic,” according to their website.

Instead they use Satan’s name to promote beliefs “that religion can, and should, be divorced from superstition” including individualism, reason, empathy and justice divorced from religion.

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