A group of U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen who subscribe to The Satanic Temple has requested that the academy honor their non-theistic beliefs as it does for other faiths.
The Military Times Observation Post reports that an Oct. 8 internal email leaked out, which said “Satanic services” would soon be offered there on the campus located in Annapolis, Maryland.
Cmdr. Alana Garas, an academy spokesperson, disputes that report, explaining the midshipmen wanted a “study group space,” the Military Times reported.
“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,” Garas wrote in an email. “The request was for a ‘study group’ space, not for holding ‘satanic services.'”
She went on to say that the email was circulated prematurely before officially approved.
“This email was sent without the review and approval of the Naval Academy’s command chaplain, as required by command policy,” Garas said, according to Fox News. “It did not represent the U.S. Naval Academy’s Command Religious Program.”
The Military Times also reported that Garas warned against students who adhere to the “politically active” Satanic Temple taking part in its political aspect, so it wouldn’t seem like the Pentagon endorses those actions.